Leading Individuals: Gaiben

Next Generation Partners: Bengoshi

Next Generation Partners: Gaiben

Rising Stars: Gaiben

Dispute resolution: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Herbert Smith Freehills

Praised for its ‘great strength and experience’, Herbert Smith Freehills is led by the ‘excellentDavid Gilmore, who is noted for his capabilities in international arbitration as well as commercial dispute resolution. The team is also well-versed in cartel, fraud, and corruption investigations, for which Elaine Wong is a key contact. Michael McErlaine excels in regulatory investigations and is experienced in representing clients under all of the major institutional rules, including JCAA and ICC. Of counsel Yosuke Homma departed in July 2023 for an in-house role at Mitsubishi.

Practice head(s):

David Gilmore

Other key lawyers:

Michael McErlaine; Elaine Wong


‘The team is experienced in dealing with complex cases involving Japanese parties or Japanese subsidiaries of foreign enterprises.’

‘Herbert Smith Freehills give advice backed up by deep and accurate legal knowledge. They are firm and prompt in responding to our needs.’

‘They have great knowledge and experience, and they always drive clients to the appropriate direction.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a Japanese pharmaceutical company in JCAA arbitration proceedings for claims of breach of representation and warranty under a share purchase agreement arising out of the sale of a pharmaceutical company.
  • Advised an automotive manufacturer on a potential dispute with an Indonesian entity that has not been complying with obligations, owing to the substantial decrease in the demand for vehicles under the supply agreement.
  • Advised a Japanese trading house on an internal investigation pertaining to potential cartel conduct in relation to an international commodities market, with a particular focus on certain customers based in Europe.

Morrison Foerster

With knowledge spanning the pharmaceuticals, real estate, and mobile telecoms sectors, Morrison Foerster‘s litigation department is praised for its ‘strong expertise in international disputes’. Louise Stoupe and Yuka Teraguchi co-lead the team, the former is proficient in multi-jurisdictional commercial litigation, while the latter is a key contact for tech clients in disputes involving IP and commercial issues. Max Olson is the name to note for patent litigation disputes regarding trade secrets, and Tomoki Kodama who was promoted to the partnership in January 2023, is also highlighted.

Practice head(s):

Louise Stoupe; Yuka Teraguchi

Other key lawyers:

Max Olson; Tomoki Kodama


‘Morrison Foerster has a great team for handling disputes relating to intellectual property matters, particularly patent and antitrust litigation cases.’

‘The Morrison & Forster team is familiar with Japanese corporate practices, including decision-making procedures, the preparation of decision-making documents, and the timely conduct of our intentions.’

‘They have strong expertise in big international disputes involving Japanese companies. They unite organically.’

‘Louise Stoupe is always very strategic, because of her long experiences of working with Japanese companies in big international disputes, she understands the practical aspects of such clients incuding how they operate and make decisions.’

‘‘Max Olson recognises the situation and provides appropriate advice.’

Key clients


Renesas Electronics

Fujitsu Limited

Socionext Inc.

Buffalo Inc.


Rakuten Mobile Inc.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

FCNT Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Fujitsu America in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in relation to a patent infringement dispute with Realtime Data.
  • Represented Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited in an action for alleged breach of contract, interference with contract, indemnity, and unfair competition brought by Cypress Semiconductor in the California Superior Court for Santa Clara County.
  • Successfully represented Chugai Pharmaceutical in a multi-billion dollar patent case against Alexion Pharmaceuticals over infringement of Chugai’s technology for recycling antibodies.

Clifford Chance

With ‘a diverse network of specialists’, Clifford Chance is often engaged in international arbitration, with a particular focus on the infrastructure, energy, resources, and construction sectors. Peter Harris heads the team and is adept in matters concerning international commercial and Investor-State arbitration, while Mohsun Ali excels in Investor–state dispute settlement arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Peter Harris

Other key lawyers:

Mohsun Ali


‘The team is very supportive to client needs. They analyse the risks clearly, and have a diverse network of specialists within their organisation.’

‘Peter Harris provides comprehensive analysis and advice on negotiation strategy. He also provides professional advice, with commercial aspects considered.’

‘Mohsun Ali is very committed, and co-ordinates well with other teams.’

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Led by Shinsuke Yakura who has notable strength in data protection and cybersecurity disputes, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is well-versed in international arbitration, cross-border litigation, copyright infringement, and white-collar crime. The team’s broad expertise also encompasses global compliance issues, whistleblowing cases, and cross-border cartel investigations. Senior associate Haruka Matsumoto is a key contact for fraud investigations, while Masao Fujino is recommended for IP disputes.

Practice head(s):

Shinsuke Yakura

Other key lawyers:

Haruka Matsumoto; Masao Fujino


‘They understand the client’s situation very well, and this leads to a well-balanced conclusion.’

Key clients

Canon Medical System Corporation

Morinaga Milk Industry

NEC Corporation


Sanei International

Shibaura Machine Co.

Specialized Bicycle Components Inc.

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation

Toyota Motor Corporation

WeWork Japan GK


Ashurst’s broad practice encompasses international sanctions, sensitive internal investigations, white-collar crime matters, as well as international arbitration. Practice head Alexander Dmitrenko is well-regarded for his expertise in cyber security and is particularly active in the banking and finance, manufacturing, trade, and energy spaces.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Dmitrenko


‘The team is unique in having an Asia-based team with deep expertise both in regional and global laws.’

‘Alexander Dmitrenko has many years of experience in sanctions. foreign policy and national security based laws impacting international trade and disputes.’

‘Alexander Dmitrenko understands his clients preferences very well.’

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

The dispute resolution practice at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) boasts a wide breadth of industry expertise, with experience advising clients operating in the pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, energy, and life sciences spaces. Toshio Ibaraki excels in compliance investigations, practice head Yoshiaki Muto handles commercial litigation, and Takeshi Yoshida is praised for his ‘prompt and quality service.’

Practice head(s):

Yoshiaki Muto

Other key lawyers:

Toshio Ibaraki; Takeshi Yoshida


‘The team has established a global network structure. We believe this is a strength of the team for clients with global business operations.’

‘Takeshi Yoshida provides prompt and quality service.’


O'Melveny’s team handles both domestic and international arbitration, mediation, criminal investigations, and copyright disputes. The practice is led by Yoji Maeda, who is skilled in labour and employment disputes, while Hiroko Nihei is noted for her experience in US litigation and antitrust investigations.

Practice head(s):

Yoji Maeda

Other key lawyers:

Hiroko Nihei


‘Hiroko Nihei is a very well-rounded, thoughtful and strategic litigator. She’s been a key part of our multi-firm team in international arbitration.’

‘Hiroko Nihei is knowledgeable, responsive and strategic. She collaborates well with in-house counsel and co-counsel, providing excellent insight into matters of Japanese law.’

‘We felt we had everything we needed in Hiroko Nihei.’

Key clients

Japan Intellectual Property Arbitration Center

CFJ (Citi Group)

Shinsei Financial

Work highlights

  • Acted as a sole panellist in a JP-domain name dispute before the Japan Intellectual Property Arbitration Center filed by a major Japanese telecommunications company.
  • Represented CFJ G.K, the consumer finance subsidiary of Citigroup, in an unprecedented tax litigation matter before the Tokyo District Court.
  • Represented Shinsei in up to 148 cases litigated at the district courts and high courts.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP regularly handles intellectual property disputes, with notable experience in complex patent infringement disputes. It also assists Japanese and Asian clients with litigation and arbitration proceedings. Ryan Goldstein leads the practice, and his recent work highlights includes filing patent infringements for US-based companies.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Goldstein

Key clients

Panasonic Corporation

Opticon, Inc.

Canon, Inc.



Mitsubishi Motors

Line Corporation

IP Bridge

Mitsubishi Electric


Unification Church International

Work highlights

  • Represented Panasonic in major automobile-related patent litigation worth hundreds of millions of dollars, as both plaintiff and defendant, adverse to Magna.
  • Represented NEC in an offensive campaign involving server patents and litigations against two US companies.
  • Represented TeamLab in litigation involving its ability to protect its proprietary displays, with worldwide coverage.

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho‘s disputes team is led by David Yaegashi, a specialist in arbitrations arising from international business transactions, while Matthew Digby excels in import and trade disputes. Jun Mamiya caters to litigation and disputes arising out of cross-border transactions, joint ventures, and licensing deals. Yuichiro Yasutomo is also noted.

Practice head(s):

David Yaegashi

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Digby; Jun Mamiya; Yuichiro Yasutomo

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise

The litigation and trial department at Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise has particular strength in enforcement actions before the US Department of Justice. Practice head Kaede Toh is experienced in advising Asia-based clients on a wide array of issues including government investigations, criminal defence in white-collar crime cases, and civil litigation.

Practice head(s):

Kaede Toh

Key clients

Nissan Motor Co.

Toyo Denso

Sumida Corporation