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Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: Independent local firms

Kasumigaseki International Law Office‘s team is led by Yoshihiro Takatori , with support provided from firm founder Shinichiro Abe. The practice is experienced in international arbitration and cross-border litigation, as well as contentious cases surrounding data privacy and cybersecurity matters.

Dispute resolution: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune ‘specialises in representing international clients’, and is often engaged in construction disputes, labour disputes, internal investigations, as well as white-collar crime cases. Kenichi Sadaka and Hiroki Wakabayashi jointly lead the team, with the former utilising his experience as a former judge, while the latter brings expertise in cross-border litigation. Aoi Inoue and David MacArthur dually lead the international arbitration team and are key contacts for clients under various institutional rules.

Practice head(s):

Hiroki Wakabayashi; Kenichi Sadaka


Other key lawyers:

Aoi Inoue; David MacArthur


Testimonials

‘Anderson Mori & Tomotsune specialises in representing international clients’.

‘Their international arbitration team shines from top to bottom, due to the David MacArthur and Aoi Inoue. They are two top notch practitioners that have incredible client handling skills.’

‘Hiroki Wakabayashi and his team deliver excellent service in complex litigation and are very proactive.’

‘Hiroki Wakabayashi provides to the point strategic advice in litigation and enforcement matters and makes you feel in good hands with his vast experience.’

Key clients

Shimizu Corporation


Showa Denko K.K.


Suruga Bank Ltd.


The Pokemon Company


UBS


Universal Music LLC


Mitsuiwa Corporation


Nippon Light Metal Holdings Company


HYPER Inc.


TABIKOBO Co.


Work highlights


  • Acted for Suruga Bank Ltd. in a mass mediation case filed by approximately 400 debtors with the Tokyo District Court.
  • Represented a client in a taxation lawsuit arising out of a corporate group restructuring.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Leveraging support from the firm’s bankruptcy, employment, tax, and corporate teams, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto assists cryptocurrency, renewable energy, and automotive clients with cross-border litigation, international arbitration, and tax disputes. Mugi Sekido and Kana Manabe jointly lead the practice, while Daniel Allen handles international commercial and construction arbitration proceedings. Koichiro Iida is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Mugi Sekido; Kana Manabe


Other key lawyers:

Koichiro Iida; Daniel Allen


Testimonials

‘Kana Manabe is fully devoted to her clients. She is as incisive as she is decisive. Her team is diverse, and she is pleasure to work with. ’

‘Kana Manabe has deep knowledge of local matters.’

‘Mugi Sekido stands out for his very fast response time, and his intercultural sensitivity is unique.’

‘Mugi Sekido is commercial, solution focused, responsive, and practical. ’

‘Mugi Sekido has a deep understanding and extensive experience of handling international conflict for many Japanese clients.’

‘The team stands out for their very fast response time and clear recommendations for action.’

‘They are responsive, commercial, great at forming teams, and working with clients. ’

‘Their size, organisational strength, and network make them standout.’

Key clients

SoftBank Corp.


Japan Post Co.


Yamato Transport Co.


Hitachi


Toshiba Corporation


Daio Paper Corporation


BICCAMERA INC


Eksportfinans ASA


Tokyo Boeki Materials, Ltd.


Coincheck, Inc.


Work highlights


  • Represented Japan Post Co. in defence of claims brought under the Labour Contract Act by a high number of fixed-term employees over differences between the terms and conditions of their employment contracts and those of employees employed permanently.
  • Represented Toshiba Corporation in defence of claims brought by former or current shareholders in tort alleging improper disclosure of financial information by Toshiba in past years.
  • Represented Coincheck, Inc. in respect of lawsuits seeking compensation launched by investors after the client was hacked in January 2018, resulting in the theft of approximately JPY58 billion in cryptocurrency NEM.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Led by Koki Yanagisawa, who is adept at advising clients on labour and employment litigation, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu has is consistently praised for its ‘high quality‘ and ‘highly specialised‘ expertise in dispute resolution. Hisaya Kimura excels in commercial arbitration, while Oki Mori handles litigation relating to consumer law, tax, and real estate. Norimitsu Arai and Yoshimi Ohara are also noted, with the latter bringing insight in arbitrations under ICSID, SIAC, ICC, and JCAA rules.

Practice head(s):

Koki Yanagisawa


Other key lawyers:

Hisaya Kimura; Norimitsu Arai; Yoshimi Ohara; Oki Mori


Testimonials

‘Highly specialised attorneys, with robust legal research capabilities.’

‘They have a strong international arbitration team. They have a depth of experience, are highly sophisticated, and have great advocacy skills.’

’The partners understand our business, our people and our stakeholders. They will give you hands-on, tailored, and timely advice however unique the situation may be.’

‘Koki Yanagisawa is capable of handling large-scale cases while grasping every detail of the facts involved.’

‘Koki Yanagisawa worked around the clock to get every document right. He is hands-on, and understand how U.S firms operate.’

Key clients

Central Japan Railway Company


Tokyo Electric Power Company


Kajima Corporation


Nissan Motor Co.


SECOM Co.


Work highlights


  • Represented Central Japan Railway Company in its Linear Chuo Shinkansen litigation.
  • Represented Tokyo Electric Power Company in shareholder derivative litigation.
  • Represented KOYO Automatic Machine Co. in trade secret litigation.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi‘s Japanese dispute resolution practice works in conjunction with the firm’s Singapore, Vietnam, and Bangkok offices to provide clients with cross-border disputes pertaining to tax, product liability, trade secrets, and construction. Head of the practice Hiroyuki Tezuka specialises in international arbitration, and is the Vice President of the Japan Association of Arbitrators. For disputes in the pharmaceutical and automotive sectors, Akihiro Hironaka is a key contact, while Lars Markert is adept at assisting clients with disputes involving German and European law. Yutaro Kawabata is proficient in disputes arising from the termination of contracts, and Chié Nakahara is a key figure for high-stakes and high-value international litigation.

Practice head(s):

Hiroyuki Tezuka


Other key lawyers:

Akihiro Hironaka; Lars Markert; Yutaro Kawabata; Chié Nakahara


Key clients

Marubeni Corporation


Itochu Corporation


Mochida Pharmaceutical Co.


Panasonic Corporation


Toshiba Corporation


Shionogi Co.


AIG General Insurance Co.


Mitsubishi Electric Corporation


Sharp Corporation


Honda Motor Co.


Work highlights


  • Successfully defended a German company in the automotive industry in cross-border product liability litigation before Japanese courts.
  • Successfully defended a Japanese company in the TMT industry in a post-M&A dispute regarding alleged breaches of representations and warranties.
  • Successfully represented a Japanese automotive supplier in initiating various parallel arbitration and litigation proceedings against a German company for non-payment of deliveries.

City-Yuwa Partners

Led by Shigeaki Ito, the dispute resolution practice at City-Yuwa Partners is lauded by clients as ‘hard-working‘ and ‘highly sophisticated‘. Alongside the team’s expertise in real estate and construction disputes, the practice offers assistance in banking and financial litigation, class action litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution for financial clients. The ‘exceptional’ Yoko Maeda is well-versed in international arbitration. Other key team members include Masaaki Sawano, Cholmin Kim, and Yuji Kondo.

Practice head(s):

Shigeaki Ito


Other key lawyers:

Yoko Maeda; Masaaki Sawano; Cholmin Kim; Yuji Kondo


Testimonials

‘The team is highly sophisticated and offers great client service.’

‘They are practical and sharp.’

‘Excellent negotiation skills, with professional and timely responses.’

‘Hard-working and diligent. The CY lawyers are always willing to learn and share information.’

‘Yoko Maeda is a rising star on the international arbitration scene. She is a great advocate, very smart, and has a lot of experience. I have found her very impressive and exceptional.’

‘I have had good experiences with Yoko Maeda, she is a great lawyer, who is responsive, client-focused, and does good work.’

‘City-Yuwa Partners has an excellent dispute resolution team, including up-and-coming young partners who are building strong international arbitration practices. Their litigators are also knowledgeable and are good to work with.’

Key clients

Asahi Breweries, Co.


Cardinal Health Inc.


Cook Medical Inc.


China Merchants Bank Co.


Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.


Contrack Watts Inc.


Deutsche Bank Group


FTI Consulting


Google LLC


GS Yuasa International Ltd.


Japan Tobacco Inc.


JFE Systems Inc


Maetel


Midea Group


Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation


Sanki Engineering


Taiheiyo Cement Corporation


Tokyo Electric Power Co.


Toshiba Lifestyle Products & Services Corporation


Ube Industries


TMI Associates

TMI Associates is well-regarded for its expertise in intellectual property litigation, and frequently advises clients on patent disputes. The team is also often engaged in JCAA and ICC arbitration, with sector expertise spanning pharmaceuticals, construction, real estate, and technology. Ryosuke Ito leads the practice, working alongside IP specialists Hiroshi Nemoto and Makoto Okada. Commercial litigation experts Tomoki Yanagisawa and Masanobu Hara are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Ryosuke Ito


Other key lawyers:

Hiroshi Nemoto; Makoto Okada; Tomoki Yanagisawa; Masanobu Hara


Key clients

Tsuburaya Production Co.


Work highlights


  • Represented Ricoh Company, Ltd. (the plaintiff) in a lawsuit against the manufacturers of recycle toner cartridges for Ricoh copiers.
  • Represented a plaintiff in litigation seeking confirmation of partial interest to a Tokumeikumiai (an SPC) which holds solar energy projects.
  • Represented R. C. CORE Co. in litigation relating to the violation of design rights, trade secrets, and trademark rights.

Ushijima & Partners

The dispute resolution practice group at Ushijima & Partners is jointly led by Shin Ushijima and Osamu Inoue, the latter of whom is recommended for his experience in real estate and construction disputes. The team is also able to assist clients in securities litigation, international arbitrations, derivative suits, disputes surrounding software development, and hostile takeover cases. Hiroshi Watanabe regularly handles corporate control cases, while Rikisuke Yamanaka is proficient in labour disputes and cross-border transactions. Alongside disputes in system and software development, Hiroyasu Kageshima is experienced in copyright law and privacy matters.

Practice head(s):

Shin Ushijima; Osamu Inoue


Other key lawyers:

Hiroshi Watanabe; Rikisuke Yamanaka; Hiroyasu Kageshima


Testimonials

‘Ushijima and Partners is well-known as one of few independent firms who can handle international corporate and finance disputes .’

‘Shin Ushijima and Osamu Inoue have outstanding expertise representing international clients, especially investment funds in financial and corporate dispute cases.’

Key clients

Oasis Management Company


Work highlights


  • Advised Oasis Management Company on potential legal proceedings regarding an M&A transaction, including seeking invalidation of the share exchange.
  • Filed a lawsuit on behalf of Oasis Management Company seeking damages associated with a share exchange.

Abe, Ikubo & Katayama

IP litigation is a key focus for Abe, Ikubo & Katayama, which is dually headed by Eiji Katayama and Hiroshi Kobayashi. The team has recently been engaged in domestic patent infringement suits – for which Nodoka Nakamura is a key contact. Junichi Kitahara is skilled in commercial disputes, while Makoto Hattori caters to trade secret litigation. Tomohiro Yoneyama regularly assists clients with counterfeit issues, and Shoichiro Kajinami is especially strong in clean energy mandates.

Practice head(s):

Eiji Katayama; Hiroshi Kobayashi


Other key lawyers:

Nodoka Nakamura; Junichi Kitahara; Makoto Hattori; Tomohiro Yoneyama; Shoichiro Kajinami


Key clients

Apple


Novartis


Eli Lilly


Johnson & Johnson


Sharp


Dow Chemical


Suntory


Takeda


Astellas


Komatsu


Atsumi & Sakai

Jointly headed by Toshiaki Takahashi, Hisashi Miyatsuka, Toyoki Emoto, Kohei Murakawa, Teruhisa Tomoya, Fumiaki Matsuoka, and Rikiya Okuhara, Atsumi & Sakai regularly assists clients with litigation and arbitration cases. The practice's broad caseload also encompasses pharmaceutical, manufacturing, investing, and green energy activity, with notable experience in cross-border disputes and high-value litigation before Japanese courts.

Practice head(s):

Toshiaki Takahashi; Hisashi Miyatsuka; Toyoki Emoto; Kohei Murakawa; Teruhisa Toyama; Fumiaki Matsuoka; Rikiya Okuhara


Testimonials

‘The firm has always always been very responsive and efficient in dealing with my queries and requests for assistance. ’

‘Their advice is always highy practical, given their high level of knowledge and experience.’

‘Kohei Murakawa is an excellent arbitration practitioner, and is always keen to improve service as well as his knowledge of dispute resolution. He is also very pleasant and professional in his dealings. ’

‘Mr. Kohei Murakawa always thinks about what the most important request of the client is. He deepens the discussion and reaches essential solutions. He always tries to be practical and helpful for customers.’

Work highlights


Miura & Partners

The dispute resolution department at Miura & Partners is proficient in cross-border litigation, as well as international arbitration. The team is singled for its ‘wide range of talent‘, and is jointly led by Tokyo-based Ryota Miura, Satoshi Ikemura, Ryoichi Kagizaki, Norika Yuasa, Tsuyoshi Omura, Tomotake Matsuda, Yoshie Midorikawa, Masayuki Atsumi, Seiji Matsuda, Jun Imamura, and Yasuaki Taguchi who is based in Hiroshima.

Practice head(s):

Ryota Miura; Satoshi Ikemura; Ryoichi Kagizaki; Norika Yuasa; Tsuyoshi Omura; Tomotake Matsuda; Yoshie Midorikawa; Masayuki Atsumi; Yasuaki Taguchi; Seiji Matsuda; Jun Imamura


Testimonials

‘M&P have a wide range of talent and their expertise are highly appreciated by us.’

‘Their productivity is very high.’

‘They will team us up with other attorneys in a timely manner on areas that need specialisation.’

‘They quickly and accurately build up their staffing structure according to the case and give us appropriate advice – especially Yoshie Midorikawa.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Forestry Co.


Vina Eco Board Company Limited


Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting Corp.


Work highlights


  • Advised Vina Eco Board Company Limited, a foreign subsidiary of Sumitomo Forestry Co., in a tax related dispute before a Chinese court.
  • Represented Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting Corp. in a case where the the defendant refused to pay, following a sales agreement.
  • Represented a Japanese private manufacturing company in a case in which a minority shareholder who objected the shareholders’ resolution brought a case for an appraisal remedy.

Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo

The dispute resolution team at Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo offers clients assistance in JCAA arbitrations, product liability cases, defamation cases, as well as investigations. The practice is led by Kazuki Okada, who is experienced in domestic litigation and disputes between international companies. Other key names within the practice include Akira Nakazawa and Akiko Yamakawa who often handle life science regulatory disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kazuki Okada


Other key lawyers:

Akira Nakazawa; Akiko Yamakawa


Testimonials

‘Our go-to firm for human resource matters, investigations and dispute related matters.’

‘They are high-quality lawyers.’

‘Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo have strategically built a very strong professional team.’

‘Akiko Yamakawa is a standout figure.’

‘Akikko Yamakawa and Kazuki Okada are excellent. They quickly understand what the client really needs.’

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners’s team is well-equipped to represent clients in arbitration cases before a range of institutions including the JCAA, ICDR, and SIAC. The practice is also geared to handle patent infringement and invalidation, product liability cases, tort claims, and commercial disputes. Teppei Mogi heads the practice and brings particular expertise in international arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Teppei Mogi


ZeLo, a Foreign Law Joint Enterprise

ZeLo, a Foreign Law Joint Enterprise‘s dispute resolution team is headed by founding partner Masataka Ogasawara, who established the firm in 2017. The team handles disputes relating to software development projects, asset management cases, and other IT litigation, with further experience in blockchain technology and AI-based contract review services.

Practice head(s):

Masataka Ogasawara