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Labour and employment – Independent local firms

Index of tables

  1. Labour and employment – Independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune fields an experienced eight-partner team with notable expertise in employment disputes; it also regularly handles employment reduction and termination issues, sexual harassment and power harassment work, mental illness matters, union-related mandates, and is increasingly active in the employee data privacy space. Noteworthy names include Kazutoshi Kakuyama and Nobuhito Sawasaki; Sawasaki advises domestic and foreign clients on various issues including labour disputes, redundancies, employment benefit schemes and pension law. Hideki Thurgood Kanoh  is also recommended and acts for Japanese and non-Japanese multinational companies.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune - Japanese translation: 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 は、労使紛争分野の経験豊かなパートナー8名でチームを編成しています。人員削減や契約終了、セクハラやパワハラ、メンタルヘルス、労働組合に関わる案件に定期的に取り組んでいます。また、従業員データのプライバシーに関する分野にも活躍の場を広げています。角山一俊氏や沢崎敦一氏も注目の人材です。沢崎氏は、労働紛争、解雇、従業員の福利厚生制度、年金法などに関する助言を国内外のクライアントに提供しています。嘉納英樹氏も評価が高く、国内外の多国籍企業の代理人を務めています。

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto's practice fields advisory, litigation and M&A specialists who handle the full range of labour and employment advice including compliance issues, work relating to the transition and migration of staff, terminations, benefits, and trade disputes. The experienced team consists of three partners including Chisako Takaya, who is a specialist litigator and mainly represents employers in contentious matters. Her recent work includes acting in a dispute in which fixed-term employees allege they should be entitled to receive allowances that are paid to employees not on fixed-term contracts. Associate Yoshikazu Abe is also recommended.

The ‘always creative’ team at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu provides ‘excellent’ advice to foreign and domestic clients across a range of issues including employee contracts and work rules, employment-related regulatory compliance, contracts for executives and executive compensation, and collective bargaining negotiations with labour unions. The group's ability to ‘work with its New York office on Japanese employment law matters is a big advantage’ and the team also leverages the group's experience in commercial litigation and corporate issues. Hisaya Kimura heads up the practice, which includes Norimitsu Arai, who is a specialist in union-related work, litigation and transactional matters.

Nishimura & Asahi's multi-departmental group provides cross-border expertise and is led by Michihiro Mori. Yuri Sugano advises foreign and domestic clients on a variety of employment matters and is particularly active in disputes associated with employee terminations relating to insolvency and restructuring matters. The team's high-profile client list includes Yomiuri Telecasting, Mercedes-Benz Japan, Tsukada Global Holdings, and Tokyo Academy Group. In a recent highlight, the practice represented Avon Products in a dispute relating to the validity of an employee transfer following a corporate demerger.

The cross-border team at TMI Associates can ‘keep time and quickly respond' to clients’ needs across the entire spectrum of employment-related matters including employee contracts and work rules, issues relating to problem employees, reorganisations and investigations into harassment and other misconduct. ‘The service level is very high’ thanks to a team of nine partners including Seiji Kurihara and team co-heads Motoi Fujii and Mie Fujimoto;associate Rie Taiko is also a name to note. Fujii has a wealth of experience in collective bargaining negotiations and defending clients in unfair labour practices claims, while Fujimoto is a cross-border specialist who frequently advises foreign clients.

Atsumi & Sakai advises on all aspects of employment law including employment agreements, directors’ and officers’ service contracts and work rules. The group has particular expertise in assisting foreign corporations with the issues surrounding the termination of employment in Japan including preparing termination schemes and related disputes. Practice co-head Kunihiro Sumida is a specialist in employment litigation.

Iwata Godo provides advice on a broad range of labour and employment matters including the cancellation of tentative job offers, issues relating to the extension or renewal of contracts with contingent workers, the implementation of early retirement programs, sexual harassment and power harassment matters, and work-related injuries and illnesses including mental health-related mandates. Shinya Tago is a key contact in this area.

Iwata Godo - Japanese translation: 岩田合同法律事務所 は、労働法、雇用関係について幅広い助言を提供します。これには、仮のジョブオファーの取消、臨時社員の契約延長や更新、早期退職プログラムの導入、セクハラやパワハラ、業務上の傷病(精神保健に関する任務を含む)などの案件が含まれます。 この分野は主に田子真也氏が担当しています。

The team at Ushijima & Partners has cross-border experience and particular expertise in handling employment litigation and negotiations for foreign and domestic clients. Rikisuke Yamanaka leads the team, which includes Shinobu Yanagita, who has experience in domestic and international labour law.

Ushijima & Partners - Japanese translation: Ushijima & Partners のチームは、クロスボーダー案件の経験を有し、特に雇用訴訟や交渉における高い専門性を国内外のクライアントに提供しています。山中力介氏の率いるチームには、国内外の労働法に精通した柳田忍氏が所属しています。

Particularly excellent for employment litigation’, Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo ‘always tries hard to come up with ways to meet clients' goals, considering risks in an appropriate manner’. Formerly the labour and employment team of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Tokyo office, the practice focuses on providing employment advice to global companies with Japanese subsidiaries. The group has extensive experience in conducting internal investigations relating to employee misconduct including harassment, fraud and regulatory breach issues. With ‘knowledge and experience in a variety of labour issues’, Akiko Yamakawa heads up the practice and has expertise in representing clients in employment disputes. Also noteworthy is Kazuki Okada who ‘offers practical advice and takes reasonable risks’.

Labour and employment – International firms and joint ventures

Index of tables

  1. Labour and employment – International firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

The ‘excellent’ team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) ‘provides complex employment law advice’ and utilises its global network to handle domestic and cross-border matters for multinational companies with operations in Japan including those in the banking, commercial, retail and technology sectors. The ‘knowledgeable and very calm’ Tomohisa Muranushi is a member of the firm’s corporate M&A practice group and heads up the labour and employment team; he has notable experience in designing terms and conditions of employment, workforce reductions and labour disputes, and provides ‘concise and practical advice’.

DLA Piper assists domestic and foreign clients; it recently advised Cisco on all its Japanese employment work and is employment counsel for Princess Cruise Lines. Other clients include Audemars Piguet Holding and SDL. Practice head Lawrence Carter regularly advises on contentious and non-contentious cross-border matters and also handles harassment work and investigations. Senior associate Keiji Nasuda and associate Koji Ohtani are also recommended.

Herbert Smith Freehills 'provides quick, sufficient and practical advice to its clients’ and combines global and local knowledge with significant experience and a commercial approach, making it ‘a reliable international law firm in the field of labour and employment law’. The department advises on the full range of contentious and non-contentious work; it has recently been involved in compliance-related instructions including harassment claims and investigations, overtime compliance work and issues relating to terminations for poor performance or misconduct. Practice head David Gilmore leads ‘a very good labour and employment team’, which includes the ‘always professional and practical’ Florence Cheung, who is ‘highly competent with very strong knowledge of all aspects of employment’.

The team at K&L Gates focuses on advising domestic and international employer clients in multi-jurisdictional and international employment matters. Practice head Takahiro Hoshino is a former judge in the Tokyo and Utsunomiya District Courts and Nobuki Wada is singled out for his contentious expertise, particularly in relation to restructurings, dismissals, mental health issues and overtime pay.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's practice represents global companies in employment disputes in Japan, and also works closely with the firm's corporate department on the employment elements of major cross-border M&A deals. Practice head Yumiko Ohta was recently promoted to partner and specialises in employment litigation in the Japanese courts including the Tokyo District Court and the Labour Tribunal System in Japan.

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