Labour and employment: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)‘s 'excellent' labour and employment practice group is valued by clients for its domestic and cross-border offering to a roster of high-profile, multinational corporations with operations in Japan. Led by Tomohisa Muranushi, the Tokyo practice’s work covers a broad spectrum of industries including banking, retail and commercial industries, and technology covering contentious and non-contentious labour issues. Muranushi is supported by Daichi Kiriyama who is particularly experienced in employment issues relating to M&A matters. The team also works in tandem with the firm’s global network to collaborate on various employment issues, such as workplace policy development, restructuring and reorganisations, workforce reductions/dismissals, and labour union issues.

Practice head(s):

Tomohisa Muranushi

Other key lawyers:

Daichi Kiriyama|


‘Baker Mckenzie has an excellent global employment practice group that is great for coordinating global advice across multiple jurisdictions given that they have a strong network of local lawyers who are experts in their field.’

Tomohisa Muranushi and Daichi Kiriyama are our go-to lawyers in Japan for employment advice. They are able to pivot to understand multinational company cultures and give practical legal advice that is relevant.’

‘They always assigned the responsible lawyer with the right level of experience as well as the supervising lawyer so that they would provide us with the competent legal services in the most cost-effective manner.’

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho’s Japan labour and employment practice is headed by Lawrence Carter. The firm represents many high-profile multinational corporates on all aspects of non-contentious and contentious employment matters. The firm is adept at advising on reductions in workforces, collective bargaining, labour union matters, employee-related investigations, and negotiations. In addition, the firm also represents clients on restrictive covenants and unfair trade practices with respect to trade secrets. Carter’s experience focuses labour and employment matters related to cross-border M&A, as well as privacy matters. Keiji Nasuda is notable for his expertise in contentious labour and employment matters including those involving injunctive relief, and labour tribunal cases. Also of note in the team is Koji Ohtani, who is a key contact for global clients with dealings in Japan.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Carter

Other key lawyers:

Keiji Nasuda; Koji Ohtani

K&L Gates

The K&L Gates employment and labour team provides advise to multinationals, private and public employees and local corporates on a range of issues in industries such as technology, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, energy, and financial services. Specifically known for its reputation in assisting its clients in contentious employment issues, the firm is adept at collective bargain, compensation and wage disputes, terminations, and workplace injuries/deaths. The Team is co-led by Takahiro Hoshino and Ryan Dwyer, with Hoshino being an experienced litigator and Dwyer advising on the employment issues in connection with corporate work and related regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Takahiro Hoshino; Ryan Dwyer

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

New to the ranking this year, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP’s employment and labour Japan-based practice advises both employers and former employees all aspects of employment issues for international and domestic clients. The firm also assists global companies in their initial entry into Japan and are instructed in both contentious and non-contentious matters, with a core focus being HR issues. The practice is jointly led by Carol Tsuchida, a Japan-based US qualified employment lawyer with a focus on asset management firms/financial institutions and Mitsuyoshi Saito, a dual qualified (Japan and New York) employment specialist in the design and implementation of employment policies for international and domestic clients.

Practice head(s):

Carol Tsuchida; Mitsuyoshi Saito

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

The Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP employment and labour practice focuses on representing global companies in disputes. The firm offers a global employment and equity compensation practice to provide comprehensive, cross-office assistance and advice for employment litigation and transactional matters. The team is led by Yumiko Ohta whose experience encompasses advising foreign companies and subsidiaries in developing and implementing employment strategies for their Japanese operations. At a non-partner level, Kane Huang  and Yusuke Kobayashi are key members in the team.

Practice head(s):

Yumiko Ohta

Other key lawyers:

Kane Huang; Yusuke Kobayahi