Firm Profile > Ushijima & Partners > Tokyo, Japan

Ushijima & Partners
TOKYO 100-6114

Corporate and M&A: Independent local firms Tier 2

Ushijima & Partners specialises in cross-border mandates, notably outbound M&A, and the defence of hostile takeovers. The firm is experienced acting for manufacturers and real estate developers, as well as foreign corporations and foreign financial institutions making investments in Japan. Shin Ushijima’s areas of expertise include international transactions, M&A, dispute resolution and anti-monopoly law, on the international and domestic scenes. He also has particular experience in hostile takeover defences and co-leads the team with Hiroshi Watanabe, whose practice covers M&A transactions and dispute resolutions, specialising in litigation relating to business acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Shin Uhijima; Hiroshi Watanabe


‘Ushijima & Partners provides great support in the issues of corporate and M&A’

‘Hiroshi Watanabe, Rikisuke Yamanaka and Kenji Sarukura are extremely well experienced in corporate and M&A issues and give timely and sound advice’

‘Every partner has their own expertise, which sounds broad and deep’

‘ The firm does an incredibly speedy and accurate job’

‘A broad spectrum and professional response’

‘Hiroshi Watanabe is a reliable source’

Dispute resolution: Independent local firms Tier 2

Experienced in acting for auditors and individuals, Ushijima & Partners also has expertise in domestic disputes arising from construction, soil contamination and systems development. In addition, the firm is increasingly active in international matters, particularly in relation to inheritance disputes and business litigation. Corporate control specialist Shin Ushijima is known for disputes inside and outside of Japan, in particular, litigation and arbitration across international transactions, M&A, anti-monopoly, labour, and tax. He co-leads the team with Osamu Inoue, who is well known for real estate and construction-related cases and transactions, notably representing foreign companies.

Practice head(s):

Shin Ushijima; Osamu Inoue


‘The firm’s attorneys have talent to very swiftly identify the core and to suggest practicable solutions’

‘The attorneys are strong in court, very well organized and focused’

‘They keep each single detail under control and can play out nuances in clients favor’

‘Ushijima & Partners makes extensive use of its network ranging from legal scholars, economists and other experts relating to issues of dispute’

‘They generate highly sophisticated work products for submission to the court’

‘Rikisuke Yamanaka is an excellent litigator with deep analytical sense and highly convincing tactical skills. He is able to turn out a lost case to success’

‘Associate Shinobu Yanagita is a great litigation manager and very smart in suggesting innovative paths to prove client’s cases’

Key clients

Urban Renaissance Agency

Real estate and construction: Independent local firms Tier 2

The multidisciplinary team at Ushijima & Partners specialises in private funds transactions and private investment schemes. Practice head Kohtaro Tamura is known for real estate and real estate securitisation. He leads a team that includes Hiroki Awahara, who is experienced in real estate finance transactions and regulation, as well as representing domestic and foreign investors in many real estate investment transactions; and Masahiro Shiotani, who has particular expertise in real estate securitisation and real estate financing transactions. Also notable is transactional and litigation specialist Kenji Sarukura, who was promoted to partner in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Kohtaro Tamura

Key clients

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Tokyo Branch

Urban Renaissance Agency

TMT: Independent local firms Tier 2

Ushijima & Partners is particularly experienced advising ICT businesses in litigation and issues arising from big data analysis and internet defamation. The firm also has expertise in IP laws, trends in practical operations and government policy. The practice's client rosts includes financial institutions, ICT companies, retail operators, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and sporting events organisations. Hiroyasu Kageshima leads the team and specialises in IT system development, personal data, fintech, data leakage, and defamation.

Practice head(s):

Hiroyasu Kageshima

Labour and employment: Independent local firms Tier 3

Litigation specialist Ushijima & Partners has expertise in cross-cultural and cross-border issues, particularly in relation to explaining and advising foreign businesses on Japanese law issues. The firm is also experienced in labour practice matters, terminations and dismissals. Rikisuke Yamanaka leads the practice and provides employment advice to Japanese and foreign clients, notably in disputes resolution matters.

Practice head(s):

Rikisuke Yamanaka

The firm: Ushijima & Partners is a full-service law firm representing domestic and international clients in Japan and providing overseas legal services to Japanese clients both directly and through its international alliances, such as Multilaw, ELA and LAW. The firm was founded in 1985 by Shin Ushijima and currently numbers 52 attorneys.

The firm represents clients across a broad range of industries, including financial institutions, trading companies, manufacturers, system integration vendors, IT service providers, construction companies, real estate companies, broadcasters, telecommunications, entertainment, distributors, professional associations and public or quasi-public agencies. The firm also represents high-net-worth individuals in the areas of family business planning and trusts and estates.

The founding partner is a leading practitioner in general corporate matters, including compliance and corporate governance, and is often interviewed on TV and in the media. The firm has significant experience in M&A, representing corporations in both international and domestic M&A for either acquirers or targets and in the hostile takeover defence area. In fact, the firm was awarded ‘Corporate M&A Law Firm of the Year – Japan’ by DealMakers Global Awards 2015 and ‘Best International Transactions Law – Japan’ by Acquisition International in its 2015 M&A Awards. The firm has long experience representing major domestic insurers and its founding and managing partner is an outside director of a major domestic insurer. The firm has an elite reputation for its deep knowledge and high level of practice in real estate and securitisation. The senior real estate partner is well known as a major pioneer and eminent practitioner in the securitisation of real property with wide knowledge of the relevant laws. The firm has expertise in intellectual property and technology including major disputes involving system development and integration. The firm has expertise in labour matters and has won precedent-setting victories in corporate restructuring for a major well known multinational company, and in injunctive relief to prevent the former president of a major well known multinational company from competing. The firm also has significant victories in soil contamination and construction litigation.

Some of the firm’s attorneys have served as high level prosecutors in the Ministry of Justice and the Public Security Intelligence Agency, as well as in-house general counsel, in international organisations, and as chairmen or advisors of numerous committees relating to REIT and real estate investment, including MLIT and the Ministry of Construction and the Japan Real Estate and Japan Economic Research Institute. Associate attorneys are regularly seconded to government agencies.

All of the firm’s Japanese attorneys are bilingual in Japanese and English, and its clients comprise roughly 50% domestic and 50% international. The firm has native English-speaking, US-admitted attorneys assisting in presentation and communication to clients.

Although a very large part of the firm’s practice is corporate, the firm has a strong reputation as top litigators in litigation and dispute resolution, including acting for major multinational companies with subsidiaries in Japan, and is often sought by clients aware of its reputation by word of mouth as the go-to litigation counsel in Japan.

Areas of practice: The firm is a full-service firm providing strategy, advice, negotiation, transactional work and dispute resolution for multinational and domestic companies under Japanese law (and through its relationships internationally) in the following areas, namely: corporate, including general corporate practice (both domestic and international); compliance/corporate governance; M&A; hostile takeover; labour/employment; tax; real estate; environmental law; financial regulations; finance/securitisation; insurance; restructuring/insolvency and corporate rehabilitation; risk management; antitrust; litigation (including international commercial litigation)/alternative dispute resolution (including arbitration); international transactions; international investment; antitrust; intellectual property (including patent, trade mark and copyright); entertainment; internet, media and technology; customs/trade; contracts; Asia practice; and international inheritance/international divorce.

Department Name Email Telephone
Compliance/corporate governance
Hostile takeover
Real estate
Financial regulations
Risk management
International transactions
International investment
Internet, media and technology
Intellectual property
System development
Personal information/utilization of personal data
Information management/cyber security
Asia practice
International inheritance/international divorce
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Tetsuya Araseki  photo Mr Tetsuya Araseki
Mr Naoki Hieda photo Mr Naoki Hieda
Mr Toshitake Higashiyama  photo Mr Toshitake Higashiyama
Mr Tetsuya Ishida  photo Mr Tetsuya Ishida
Mr Takuya Ishikawa  photo Mr Takuya Ishikawa
Mr Shigeo Kifuji  photo Mr Shigeo Kifuji
Mr Sohei Mitamura  photo Mr Sohei Mitamura
Mr Hiroshi Nagase  photo Mr Hiroshi Nagase
Mr Gregory R.Kinaga  photo Mr Gregory R.Kinaga
Mr Naoshi Sato  photo Mr Naoshi Sato
Mr Akito Sekine  photo Mr Akito Sekine
Mr Masahiro Shiotani  photo Mr Masahiro Shiotani
Mr Shin Ushijima  photo Mr Shin Ushijima
Mr Hiroyuki Yamauchi  photo Mr Hiroyuki Yamauchi
Ms Shinobu Yanagita  photo Ms Shinobu Yanagita
Number of lawyers : 52
Employment Law Alliance
Lawyers' Associated Worldwide (LAW)
Contacts : Shin Ushijima (founding partner)

Urban Renaissance Agency/Muza Kawasaki Litigation
Successfully represented the lead defendant, Urban Renaissance Agency, in a case brought by a local government as the owner of a world-renowned symphony hall (Muza Kawasaki) for JPY 2 billion in damages against our client as the seller of the hall and seven of its designers and contractors when the ceiling of the symphony hall collapsed during the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The case involved highly technical construction defect claims for special construction of the elaborate 2,000 seat hall. On May 31, 2018, the Yokohama District Court rendered judgment entirely in favor of our client and the other defendants, and this victory was affirmed by the appeals court on November 7, 2019.