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Editorial

Dispute resolution – Independent local firms

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution – Independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Hiroki Wakabayashi and Yoshimasa Furuta jointly lead the dispute resolution team at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. Tsuburaya recently engaged the group to defend it in a US litigation filed by UM Corporation on the grounds it allegedly holds licensing rights to the 'Ultraman' drama series. In a privacy matter, Kei Akagawa was part of the team which acted for Google in an order of provisional disposition to delete the search results concerning arrest records associated with the claimant's name. Tetsuro Motoyoshi teamed up with Wakabayashi to represent a Japanese audit corporation sued by two investors alleging the defendant is liable for overlooking false statements made by a company in its annual securities reports. Aoi Inoue is another key name to note.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune - Japanese translation: 若林弘樹氏、古田啓昌氏は共に、アンダーソン・毛利・友常法律事務所 ・ 安德森·毛利·友常律师事务所 の紛争解決チームを率いています。 近年、同事務所は円谷プロダクションと契約を締結しました。ユーエム株式会社が「ウルトラマン」テレビシリーズのライセンス権を有すると主張し、それを根拠として米国で提訴した案件について弁護を担当します。 プライバシー関連の案件では、原告の氏名に伴う逮捕記録に関連する検索結果の削除の仮処分命令に関して、赤川圭氏がグーグルの代理人を務めるチームに参加しました。元芳哲郎氏は若林氏と共に、企業による有価証券報告書の虚偽の記載を見逃した責任があると主張する2名の投資家から提訴された日本の監査法人の代理人を務めました。井上葵氏も本分野での注目の人材です。

Under the leadership of Mugi Sekido and Kana Manabe, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has an outstanding and long-established track record in the dispute resolution space, handling both domestic and cross-border cases across a broad range of practice areas. Chisako Takaya and Shiho Ono are representing Japan Post in a high-profile Labour Contract Act dispute brought by several fixed-term employees who allege that, compared to permanent employees, their contract terms and conditions are unreasonable. Meanwhile, Minoru Sawaguchi is overseeing JCAA arbitration proceedings filed by a heavy industrial entity against his client – a multinational conglomerate – demanding payments arising from complications in the construction of a power project in Africa. On the corporate front, Yasuhiko Fujitsu is advising a major Japanese corporate on a series of shareholder disputes, and Gaku Hayakawa is defending a group of product manufacturers in a suit filed by construction workers alleging the clients' products caused asbestos-related diseases. Also of note are Koichiro Iida, Shinichiro Yokota and newly promoted partner Yuko Kanamaru, who specialises in domestic and international privacy and labour laws. Daniel Allen has joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu represents both domestic clients in international arbitration and mediation proceedings as well as international entities before Japanese courts in a vast array of practice areas, including intellectual property, employment, antitrust, product liability and construction. In recent highlights, the directors of TEPCO appointed a team led by Seiichiro Umeno, practice head Norimitsu Arai and Koki Yanagisawa to oversee its defence against a derivative action filed by shareholders alleging the clients failed to properly prepare for the 2011 tsunami and the ensuing damages caused by the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Kenji Tosaki acted for the trustees of funds who had purchased shares in Olympus and incurred losses after the discovery that the company had filed false financial reports. Hisaya Kimura is overseeing all litigation arising from autopart failures worldwide on behalf of a major Japanese manufacturer. Hiroyuki Ebisawa and Satoshi Hosokawa were made partner.

Nishimura & Asahi's dispute resolution team covers the full gamut of litigation, international arbitration and mediation. Ryutaro Nakayama collaborated with Miki Fujita and counsel Naoko Omukai to secure a favourable appeal judgment in a trademark infringement claim against Subaya Metalware in Nigeria. Meanwhile, Akihiro Hironaka has been acting in international arbitration proceedings pertaining to contractual disputes. Practice head Hiroyuki Tezuka specialises in international commercial litigation and arbitration, representing a wide array of clients including manufacturers, financial institutions and insurance companies, among others.

Atsumi & Sakai covers a wide range of dispute resolution matters, including overseas class-action lawsuits, securities litigation, international arbitration and mediation, and criminal defence. Teruhisa Toyama is currently representing major institutional investors as plaintiffs in a suit seeking compensation for damages arising from misstatements in Toshiba's annual reports, and Kunihiro Sumida teamed up with senior partner Guohui Fan to advise a Chinese trading company on its JCAA claim against a Japanese automobile company; the matter related to the non-renewal of a dealer agreement. Meanwhile, in the Supreme Court, Kumpei Ohashi defended a woman before prosecuted for the death of her daughter. Bonnie Dixon is also highlighted for novel claims. The team recently strengthened its lineup through the addition of Go Hashimoto and Hisashi Miyatsuka from Nishimura & Asahi and Kenichiro Saito from a public prosecution practice; Tatsuya Fukui departed the firm.

The dispute resolution offering at TMI Associates is led by senior partner Ryosuke Ito. Naomichi Chiba recently advised Yahoo! on lawsuits seeking injunctions against the display of search results on the grounds that they violate privacy, reputation rights and the right to be forgotten. Also notable are Hiroshi Nemoto who is handling a claim for compensatory damages on behalf of a Japanese autoparts company against its supplier arising from malfunction of one of its products, incurring the plaintiff considerable losses. Masanobu Hara is acting in a global intellectual property dispute. Other key names include Keichiro Tashiro, Mitsue Aizawa and Hidetoshi Masunaga.

Ushijima & PartnersOsamu Inoue and managing partner Shin Ushijima represented the Urban Renaissance Agency as one of the eight defendants in a suit filed by the owner of Muza Kawasaki symphony hall and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra to recover over JPY2bn damages following the destruction of the hall's ceiling during 2011's East Japan earthquake. In other highlights, employment law specialist Rikisuke Yamanaka acted for a major corporation in its stock-drop litigation against the directors of a paper manufacturer following its announcement of the issuance of a convertible bond, and Motohiro Kuroki is advising a leading multinational technology manufacturer on its dispute with a landlord arising from an alleged failure to restore a building to its original condition after termination of a lease. Hiroyasu Kageshima assisted a number of IT-service providers with actions brought by customers in connection with the cancellation of system development projects and recovery of damages incurred by the alleged failure of the project. Other key names include experienced antitrust partner Yoshimoto KawamuraHiroshi Watanabe and Masahiko Todo, who was part of the team acting in a family dispute over the ownership of assets in the estate of a deceased husband and father.

Ushijima & Partners - Japanese translation: Ushijima & Partners の井上治氏と代表弁護士の牛島信氏は、ミューザ川崎シンフォニーホールおよび東京交響楽団の所有者が2011年東日本大震災の際に天井の一部が落下し、その復旧工事費用20億円以上の損害賠償を求めた件で、被告8社のうちの1社であるUR都市機構の代理人を務めました。 その他ハイライトとしては、労働法のスペシャリストである山中力介氏が、製紙業者の経営陣に対する転換社債発行の発表直後に生じた株価急落に関する訴訟において大手企業の代理人を務めた案件や、黒木資浩氏が大手多国籍テクノロジー企業に対し、リース期間満了後の建造物の原状回復を怠ったと主張する貸主との紛争に関する助言を提供した案件などが挙げられます。影島広泰氏は、システム開発プロジェクトの中止とプロジェクト失敗によって生じた損害賠償に関して顧客から起訴された多くのITサービスプロバイダーをサポートしています。 独禁法分野での経験豊富な川村宜志氏、渡邉弘志氏、東道雅彦氏らも注目です。東道氏は、家族紛争で夫と父親の遺産の所有権をめぐる案件を担当するチームのメンバーを務めました。

The 'confident and knowledgeable' Kazuki Okada jointly heads Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo's dispute resolution offering with Akiko Yamakawa. The 'excellent' new boutique firm consists of former litigation and investigation specialists from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Tokyo office, and provides 'clear advice' on domestic litigation, arbitration and investigations. In recent highlights, 'efficient' associate Masahiko Kinoshita assisted Okada with a leading international financial institution and its filing of a case to recover fees due in an investment advisory agreement. Elsewhere, Yamakawa led the advice to a major multinational conglomerate in a claim filed against numerous individuals for damages caused by an accident. The group also intervened in intellectual property litigation, financial fraud cases, employment disputes and shareholder issues.


Dispute resolution – International firms and joint ventures

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution – International firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

The dispute resolution team at Herbert Smith Freehills has a strong record in the Japanese market and is well known in the international arbitration space for ‘fast and comprehensive legal services’. David Gilmore acts as the Tokyo office's managing partner and leads the dispute resolution offering with a particular focus on commercial arbitration; he recently teamed up with the ‘excellent, extremely competent, honest and innovative’  Elaine Wong to represent a Middle Eastern automotive distributor in a JCAA arbitration brought against a multinational manufacturer over the alleged violation and wrongful termination of a long-term distribution agreement. Wong was also instructed in investigations into a multilateral development bank following allegations of bribery, corruption and collusion connected to the development of several power stations. Meanwhile, Gilmore, Damien Roberts and senior associate Ben Jolley were instructed by a Japanese technology company to undertake an internal investigation into non-compliant accounting practices related to equipment leases across several Asian jurisdictions. Elsewhere, Emma Kratochvilova heads the real estate and construction practice and led the advice on a number of arbitration and litigation proceedings in the projects and energy space alongside the ‘extremely professional’ Christopher Hunt, who recently assisted a renewables company in its defence of an application brought by a scientific institute to set aside an ICC arbitration award in the client's favour.

Morrison & Foerster LLP assists heavyweight clients with international arbitration, litigation and investigations both globally and domestically. Practice head Louise Stoupe and Chie Yakura represented Toshiba and Toshiba Memory in a series of arbitration and litigation proceedings brought by Western Digital and its subsidiary SanDisk in light of the client's decision to sell its subsidiary to a consortium led by Bain Capital. Max Olson and recently promoted partner Yuka Teraguchi are currently acting for a major technology company in worldwide patent infringement litigation against a competitor. Other key clients include Fujitsu, SoftBank, Terumo and NEC. Steve Comer retired from the practice and James Hough relocated to the New York office.

The names to note in King & Spalding's disputes practice are team head Christopher Bailey and associate Oliver McEntee who provide a global outbound dispute capabilities for the firm's Japanese client roster. In recent highlights, a multinational automotive corporation appointed the group to handle a JCAA arbitration against its business partners arising from the non-renewal of a distribution agreement, and a billionaire investor engaged the team to represent them in an action for breach of fiduciary duties against the board of a leading international corporate group. Also notable are the various disputes arising from the procurement of power and infrastructure projects in South East Asia and the North Sea.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP acts for both international clients in Japan-based disputes and domestic entities in outbound matters, and has recently been advising clients caught in actions pertaining to new technologies, cyber security and data protection. Yoshihiro Takatori leads the group and acted for a leading Japanese electronics manufacturer in international mediation proceedings administered by the JCAA over defects in television sets manufactured by a Hong Kong entity. Shinsuke Yakura was supported by managing associates Kei Kato and Masao Fujino to represent a retailer in a dispute brought by a fashion designer alleging violations of her rights to publicity, copyright law and breaches of the retailer's antitrust obligations; the client counter-sued for breach of contract. Also notable is managing associate Haruka Matsumoto who advised a medical device manufacturer on an internal investigation arising from a series of whistleblower reports concerning issues of bribery, bid-rigging and corruption. David Case is experienced in the field of intellectual property and is also a key name to note.

Boutique litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP entrusts its Tokyo office to Ryan Goldstein who covers the full gamut of business disputes including intellectual property, antitrust, fraud, commercial contracts and product liability. In recent highlights, Goldstein secured a victory for Tsuburaya Productions in the Central District of California where it had been fighting a claim brought by a Thai man who alleged that the former president of Tsuburaya had signed over all rights to the 'Ultraman' character outside of Japan in a one-page contract. Also notable is his work for Mitsubishi in several longstanding antitrust actions arising from allegations of price-fixing in the international market for cathode ray tubes, and his successful overturning of almost all of a $930m penalty judgment against Samsung following its ongoing 'smartphone war' with Apple.

Ashurst's dispute resolution practice is centred around the firm's Japanese client base which includes major trading houses, industrial groups, utilities and financial institutions. Kensuke Inoue jointly heads the team with Ronnie King, who has arrived from the Singapore office where he was managing partner. In recent highlights, the team represented the projects business unit of a major corporation on a breach of anti-corruption compliance of a joint venture partner in a project in South East Asia. Inoue also acted for a financial institution in two class-action suits alleging false reporting and rate-related misconduct including manipulation. Recently promoted senior associate Huw Watkins teamed up with the London office to handle an arbitration claim on behalf of a corporate against an aircraft company with respect to an outstanding debt complicated by a bribery scandal. Anthony Hague started an in-house role at Walmart.

At Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) the dispute resolution team is comprised of Japanese and international lawyers who cover the full spectrum of disputes and risk management matters across a vast range of industry sectors. Following a series of cyber frauds, a global life science company appointed a team led by practice head Yoshiaki Muto to oversee its crime reporting and investigation proceedings in Japan, while Kengo Nishigaki advised a Japanese medical devices company on an internal investigation pertaining to alleged bribery and conflict of interest offences in South East Asia. Joel Greer handled a number of JCAA arbitration cases and assisted a heavyweight corporate name on a mediation with a Middle Eastern party over a project construction dispute. Other key names include Tomohisa Muranushi, Hideyuki Yamamoto, antitrust specialist Akira Inoue and intellectual property expert Daisuke Tatsuno.

Nicholas Lingard heads the dispute resolution department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer which recently welcomed counsel Joaquin Terceño, previously of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's New York office. A cross-office team represented a major Japanese conglomerate in all aspects of potential arbitration proceedings against Taiwan in connection with an infrastructure construction project. Further recent highlights include Lingard's enforcement of a Tokyo-seated arbitral award in Saudi Arabia on behalf of a major Japanese trading house, while  Takeshi Nakao and senior associate Alexander Dmitrenko advised a global energy company on its regulatory compliance programmes. Kazuki Okada and the other bengoshi litigators left the firm to start Vanguard Lawyers.

Jones Day 's dispute resolution team caters to a broad client roster which includes household names in the pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and IT sectors. Maxwell Fox has a strong track record intervening in the intellectual property litigation space, while practice head Takashi Tanazawa has experience in product liability cases, contractual disputes and employment litigation. For contentious tax issues, clients can rely on Koichi Inoue.

Takahiro Hoshino and J. Ryan Dwyer jointly head K&L Gates' dispute resolution group and recently acted for a major international airline in a claim by a workers' union alleging the redundancy of three members was an illegal attack against the union. In Tokyo District Court, Nobuki Wada represented a pharmaceutical company in a suit filed by a former employee who was dismissed due to unacceptable behaviour. In other highlights, a shipping company appointed the team to handle a damages claim against a manufacturer over a defective ship engine.

The dispute resolution offering at O'Melveny includes Japanese domestic litigation, international arbitration and criminal investigations. Managing partner Yoji Maeda is the senior name to note; with the help of counsel Hiroko Nihei, he recently secured a victory in the Supreme Court for the consumer finance subsidiary of Citigroup following a series of mass consumer litigation actions brought against several financial institutions. In other highlights, the pair represented a leading roofing company in its warranty claim against a supplier that supplied faulty materials for several projects; they also handled a major car company's claim against a number of autoparts manufacturers over the supply of defective parts.

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho's senior counsel Haig Oghigian is representing a technology company in a JCAA case pertaining to the manufacturing of software and which highlights the clashes between Japanese and US intellectual property laws. Senior associate David Yaegashi recently teamed up with Oghigian to counsel a trading house on an arbitration against a Swiss company in the context of a joint venture agricultural firm in South America, and to assist a US-based software business in a dispute over an OEM agreement with a Chinese phone manufacturer.


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