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Japan > Dispute resolution > International firms and joint ventures > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: international firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  3. Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)
  4. Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

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Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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    • Daniel Allen - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Ben Jolley - Herbert Smith Freehills

The ‘very impressive’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills is led jointly by David Gilmore and Peter Godwin (who ‘has a deep, quick and precise approach’) and is ‘one of the best’ for international arbitrations. The team represents Japanese and international corporations from a range of sectors, including energy, TMT, pharmaceuticals, construction and manufacturing. Clients single out Emma Kratochvilova, who is ‘rich in legal knowledge’, Elaine Wong, who ‘stands head and shoulders above the rest’, and Christopher Hunt. Hunt and Wong were promoted to the partnership in 2015. Dominic Roughton relocated to the firm’s London office.

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomicombines exceptionally strong Japanese resources with its first-class US litigation practice’ and is ‘one of the best for international IP disputes’. Recent highlights include representing Toshiba in a trade secrets dispute, successfully obtaining a preliminary injunction for the client, and acting for Fujitsu Ten in a patent infringement investigation. Other clients include SoftBank, NEC and Nikon. James Hough leads the department, which also includes patent litigator Max Olson, Louise Stoupe, who is ‘excellent and intelligent with trustworthy, strategic judgement’, and Chie Yakura, who ‘has a very strong analytical sense’.

Kazuki Okada leads the department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which has substantial strength in representing Japanese corporations in outbound matters, particularly investment treaty and commercial arbitrations. The team is advising Eurus Energy Holdings in filing an ICSID Energy Charter Treaty claim against Spain. Nicholas Lingard led the matter, and is praised by clients for his ‘high-quality performance and timely responses’. Other clients include Bloomberg, Inpex and Marubeni. Akiko Yamakawa is also recommended.

Clients praise Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s ‘strategic and efficient’ team, which has ‘a deep understanding of clients’ needs’ and ‘uses its speedy global network highly effectively’. Recent headline cases include representing NEC in a recourse action brought by Elpida Memory relating to a cartel involving NEC and Hitachi. Practice head Yoshihiro Takatori led the matter. The team represents Japanese and multinational clients, assisting with litigation, arbitration and contentious regulatory issues. David Case and Shinsuke Yakura are well regarded.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has a sizeable practice representing clients in patent infringement cases. Recent examples include representing Samsung in a patent infringement case against Apple Inc relating to several software features, and acting for Nissan in patent litigation relating to GPS navigation and user interface technologies. Ryan Goldstein leads the team, which also includes Wayne Alexander, who is recommended for patent, trade mark and copyright litigation. Outside IP, the team acted for Mitsubishi Electric in several antitrust class actions relating to cathode ray tubes.

Kensuke Inoue leads the practice at Ashurst, which focuses on international litigation and arbitration. The team worked with the firm’s Singapore office in representing a Japanese construction company in ICC arbitration proceedings. Clients include Modec, Daewoo International, Marubeni-Itochu Steel, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance and JBIC. Counsel Anthony Hague joined from Simmons & Simmons and is recommended for construction, financial and regulatory issues.

The five-partner team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) is experienced in domestic and cross-border litigation, commercial arbitrations and compliance investigations, acting for clients including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Dell and Japan Transport Consulting. Yoshiaki Muto leads the department, which also includes Kengo Nishigaki, who has expertise in fraud investigations, employment specialist Tomohisa Muranushi, and Joel Greer. Greer joined from White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) and focuses on construction arbitration.

Jones Day’s team is led by Takashi Tanazawa, who specialises in product liability matters. The team has a substantial focus on the manufacturing sector, advising pharmaceuticals, automobile and software manufacturers. Other areas of expertise include contract disputes, IP issues and arbitration award challenges. Previous practice head Rika Sato left to establish her own firm.

At Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo, Lloyd Parker is recommended for contentious IP issues, and senior associate Ethan Kate represents clients in government investigations. Patric McGonigal joined Hill Dickinson LLP’s London office, and Philippe Riesen joined Foley & Lardner.

K&L Gates has ‘ample experience in employment litigation’ and fields several ‘truly knowledgeable employment experts’. Takahiro Hoshino is recommended alongside ‘dedicated and patient’ associate Nobuki Wada. Former practice co-head Haig Oghigian recently left for Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho.

The ‘very experienced’ lawyers in the newly established team at King & Spalding Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi Jimusho are led by the ‘tenacious, precise and excellent negotiator’ Christopher Bailey, who joined from Ashurst. The practice focuses on outbound work, particularly in the energy sector, advising on international arbitrations, US disputes, international trade and government investigations.

Office head Yoji Maeda is the key name at O'Melveny, and is experienced in litigation and arbitration at domestic and international level. Maeda is noted for his expertise in the employment field, and regularly acts on labour disputes before Japanese courts and labour commissions. He also has mass tort experience. Counsels Yukie Kurosawa and Hiroko Nihei are also names to note.

At Sidley Austin Nishikawa Foreign Law Joint Enterprise, counsel Takahiro Nonaka has expertise in compliance issues, cross-border litigation and international arbitration. Other areas of focus for the team include commercial disputes, labour disputes, IP issues, white-collar crime and mediation. Tomoo Nishikawa leads the practice, and Akira Nakazawa is a name to note.

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