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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Independent local firms clients in Japan using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


With a ‘brilliant team capable of handling detailed investigations and legal analysis’, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu provides ‘a highly strategic, reliable and professional service’, which clients ‘would recommend without hesitation’. Hideaki Kobayashi, Takayoshi Tao and Akihisa Shiozaki co-chair the practice, which is ‘a leader in the field for corporate regulatory and compliance issues’, particularly those with a cross-border element. Highlights for the ‘exceptional’ group included Shiozaki assisting Takata with its global strategy following multiple product defect claims against Takata airbags due to airbag ruptures and the subsequent product recall arrangement across the US, Asia and Europe. In other work, Kobayashi acted for Novartis Pharma in a regulatory and criminal investigation regarding alleged data manipulation issues surrounding academic research relating to its Diovan product. Eriko Watanabe is recommended for antitrust matters, Fumihide Sugimoto handles corporate governance and Takahiro Yamauchi is the key name for trade secret protection issues. Counsel Atsushi Iritani is also singled out for his ‘thorough attention to detail’.

Key names at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto include Yoichi Okuda, who focuses on white-collar crime; Yasuhiko Fujitsu, who specialises in capital markets-related matters; and Hideaki Umetsu, who is highly regarded for his cross-border expertise. The ‘impressive’ group counts Obayashi Road Corporation and Japan Shogi Association as clients; Okuda acted for the latter in cheating allegations surrounding Shogi professional Hiroyuki Miura and his alleged use of smartphones and other electronic devices during the official Shogi games. The department also represented Broadleaf in an internal investigation relating to the misappropriation of funds by a former employee, and acted for Nittan Valve in an internal investigation surrounding accounting irregularities. Special counsels Keiichi Tadaki and Kotaro Ohno also receive praise; Ohno joined the firm in 2016 from a position at the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office.

Atsumi & Sakai’s practice divides itself into two sub-teams: the business value restoration group, led by practice co-head Masataka Hayakawa, and the white-collar crime group jointly led by Hayakawa, Kumpei Ohashi and Teruhisa Toyama. Ohashi’s experience lies in criminal defence including fraud, cybercrime and felony cases, and Toyama is recommended for securities litigation and accounting fraud. In a recent mandate, Hayakawa and practice co-head Hiroyuki Nezu advised CAICA on an inspection by the SESC and accusations of false statements made in annual securities reports. J-Holdings and Ono Kogyosho are also clients.

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Tokyo Anti-Corruption Forum 2018

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    In May, The Legal 500 and GC Magazine in partnership with Morrison & Foerster co-hosted the first in a series of Anti-Corruption Forums set to take place across Asia. Held exclusively for senior in-house counsel, the event brought together 25 leading general counsel, heads of legal and heads of compliance from across Japan to discuss current anti-corruption trends and share best practices to mitigate emerging risks.

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