Hiratsuka & Co > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

Hiratsuka & Co
TOKYO 102-0093

Japan > Shipping: Independent local firms Tier 1

International shipping and insurance boutique Hiratsuka & Co offers a full range of maritime legal services. Known for its dry and wet shipping practices, the firm has extensive expertise in maritime disputes relating to contracts (shipbuilding, sale, affreightment), product liability, collisions, salvage and groundings. Practice head Makoto Hiratsuka is hailed as a ‘legend’ in the industry and leads an ‘exceptional’ team with industry and legal experience of both the Japanese and English legal system for domestic, cross-border, and multi-jurisdictional issues. Names of note are Shinichiro Yamashita , and Yuji Miyazaki .

Practice head(s):


‘One of the most well known practices in Japan. Excellent attention to detail and knowledge of shipping law.’

‘This is an outstanding boutique shipping and insurance firm capable of taking on the larger less focussed firms on the most complex matters.’

‘Makoto Hiratsuka has been a leading Japanese shipping lawyer for more than 40 years. He was already a legend when I first met him in 1984.’

‘The firm has a close network with foreign maritime law firms, and very responsive for clients.’

‘The lawyers at Hiratsuka & Co always work as one team. For all cases, Mr. Makoto Hiratsuka pays careful attention to the matters, guaranteeing overall quality of service.’

The firm: Hiratsuka & Co is renowned as one of the leading maritime law firms in Japan, with nearly 40 years’ history. The firm has provided high-quality legal services to international and local clients, in close liaison with international law firms in the UK, the US, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Taiwan. The firm is proud of its success rates and has built a reputation for excellence in its main areas of maritime dispute resolution, shipping, insurance and reinsurance.

The managing partner, Makoto Hiratsuka, has great experience and expertise in litigation practice and has been a member of the Arbitration Commission of The Japan Shipping Exchange, Inc. Makoto Hiratsuka is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Japan Maritime Law Association and Private International Law Association. Partners Shinichiro Yamashita and Yuji Miyazaki have a good command of knowledge in maritime and shipping law. Both Shinichiro Yamashita and Yuji Miyazaki completed the Maritime Law Short Course at the University of Southampton.  Associate Yoichiro Tadano is a recent key addition, particularly active in cases involving carriage by air. Consultant Noboru Kobayashi, one of the most authoritative scholars in the field of maritime and insurance law in Japan, further strengthens the firm with his academic background.

Areas of practice
Admiralty and maritime law: Hiratsuka & Co is best known for its expertise in the areas of marine casualties (including collision, grounding, ship fires and oil spillage), charterparty disputes, cargo claims and disputes involving ship sale and purchase. The firm has represented many owners and charterers, as well as their P&I clubs and underwriters, both non-Japanese and Japanese.

Civil and commercial litigation: Hiratsuka & Co has considerable experience in commercial dispute resolution, from litigation or arbitration to negotiations, and has handled a number of high-profile cases. The firm deals with complex multi-jurisdictional commercial cases and advises on issues of jurisdiction and choice of law.

Insurance and reinsurance: Hiratsuka & Co handles practice in all aspects of insurance and reinsurance. The firm advises on the interpretation of insurance and reinsurance policies and handles disputes, acting for clients, particularly for non-Japanese reinsurers.

Shipping: Hiratsuka & Co has a reputation for providing prompt and accurate legal advice to clients, particularly to non-Japanese clients regarding all types of disputes including those arising out of charterparties, bills of lading and contracts of affreightment, reinsurance contracts and shipbuilding contracts.

Bankruptcy, civil rehabilitation/reorganisation proceedings: Hiratsuka & Co provides legal services related to bankruptcy, civil rehabilitation, corporate reorganisation and liquidation proceedings. The firm also handles matters related to transactions on claims against companies in bankruptcy, reorganisation and rehabilitation proceedings.

Admiralty and maritime law Makoto Hiratsuka
Admiralty and maritime law Shinichiro Yamashita
Admiralty and maritime law Yuji Miyazaki
Shipping Makoto Hiratsuka
Shipping Shinichiro Yamashita
Shipping Yuji Miyazaki
Shipping Yoichiro Tadano
Shipping Prof Noboru Kobayashi
Insurance Makoto Hiratsuka
Insurance Shinichiro Yamashita
Insurance Yuji Miyazaki
Insurance Prof Noboru Kobayashi
Civil and commercial litigation Makoto Hiratsuka
Civil and commercial litigation Shinichiro Yamashita
Civil and commercial litigation Yuji Miyazaki
Civil and commercial litigation Yoichiro Tadano
Bankruptcy, civil rehabilitation/reorganisation proceedings Makoto Hiratsuka
Bankruptcy, civil rehabilitation/reorganisation proceedings Shinichiro Yamashita
Bankruptcy, civil rehabilitation/reorganisation proceedings Yuji Miyazaki
Makoto Hiratsuka photoMr Makoto HiratsukaSenior partnerSince founding Hiratsuka & Co. in 1976, I handled a large…
Noboru Kobayashi photoMr Noboru KobayashiLegal Counsel
Yuji Miyazaki photoMr Yuji MiyazakiSpecialist in Litigation, Arbitration and Negotiation of all Maritime matters including Charterparty,…
Yoichiro Tadano photoMr Yoichiro TadanoAssociate
Shinichiro Yamashita photoMr Shinichiro YamashitaMain practice areas are Litigation and Arbitration, Maritime matters such as Cargo…
Number of lawyers : 5


シニア・パートナーの平塚眞弁護士は、訴訟仲裁の経験が豊富であり、社団法人日本海運集会所の仲裁委員会の委員を務めていたほか、International Academy of Trial Lawyers(国際訴訟弁護士協会)、日本海法学会、国際私法学会に所属しています。又、2018年までLondon Maritime Arbitrators Association(ロンドン海事仲裁人協会)のSupporting Members Liaison Committee (Asia Pacific)の日本代表メンバーでした。