Japan: Arbitration 2017

Arbitration remains a demonstrably growing area in Japan, with a steady increase of Japanese companies becoming involved in commercial arbitration across borders. This year, 22 practitioners based in the country have been identified as leading experts in domestic and international arbitration across an extensive range of industries and sectors.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Hiroyuki Tezuka Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo
2. Christopher Hunt Herbert Smith Freehills, Tokyo
3. Yoshimi Ohara Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, Tokyo
4. Junya Naito Momo-o Matsuo & Namba, Tokyo
5. Yoshimasa Furuta Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Tokyo

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS remains the leader in this area, with five practitioners recognised in this chapter.
Celebrated for his “great depth of expertise” in international commercial arbitration, David Gilmore* is “warmly endorsed” by his peers. His “high level of wisdom, sharpness and dedication” makes him one of Japan’s foremost arbitrators.
Christopher Hunt* has a strong reputation, with one client praising his “excellent manner in dealing with all members of the team”. His “ability to break down legal jargon to provide a clear understandable explanation” allows him to effectively advise across a variety of sectors including TMT, pharmaceutical, energy and construction.
Ben Jolley* has extensive experience assisting Japanese companies to resolve cross-border disputes through international arbitration. Respondents praise him for his “dedication to complicated issues” which “exceeds expectations”.

NAGASHIMA OHNO & TSUNEMATSU is one of the “Big Four” law firms in Japan and sees three listings this year.
Yoshimi Ohara is a “top-tier practitioner” who is “very highly regarded in the market”. She frequently represents domestic and foreign clients, and is noted as “definitely on top of developments in arbitration”.
Hiroshi Oda is a highly respected and “very knowledgeable” name in the market with vast experience sitting as an arbitrator in cross-border disputes.
The “very clever” Naoki Iguchi is a key figure in international arbitration and considered by sources to be particularly “strong in the construction space”.

NISHIMURA & ASAHI achieves two listings.
Hiroyuki Tezuka has a well-established practice in commercial arbitration, who one source describes him as “Mr Japan when it comes to global arbitration”. He has represented international clients in areas such as M&A disputes, licensing and construction.
Yutaro Kawabata is an “up-and-coming arbitrator” and a “frontrunner” in international arbitrations, representing multinational companies in sectors such as the automobile, pharmaceutical and franchise industries.

MATSUO & KOSUGI is highlighted for its strong arbitration practice, and sees two lawyers nominated in this year’s research.
Yasuhei Taniguchi is a “highly respected” figure who is “well known in the market”. He is internationally recognised for his extensive knowledge of arbitration law.
Takeo Kosugi is deemed the “most famous arbitration lawyer in the market” by one commentator, and is widely respected for his expertise in the market.

Junya Naito at MOMO-O MATSUO & NAMBA is “highly rated” by sources for his work in international arbitration. Sources consider him to be within the “top tier” for his work in national and international arbitration.

Yoshimasa Furuta of ANDERSON MORI & TOMOTSUNE is “well known in arbitrator circles” and wins praise from respondents for his extensive experience in commercial arbitration and other dispute resolution proceedings.

Frequently appointed as local counsel, Junichi Tobimatsu of TOBIMATSU LAW is a “leading sole practitioner” who is praised for his intellect and “smooth, calm and collected” manner.

Christopher Bailey* at KING & SPALDING is an “outstanding” practitioner, who is highly experienced in international arbitration, with a focus on disputes involving energy and natural resources.

Naoki Idei at KOJIMA LAW OFFICES is a highly rated practitioner who “holds his own among prominent arbitrators.” He has extensive experience acting at the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association and at Bar Association ADR proceedings.

Haig Oghigian* at SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS – SQUIRE GAIKOKUHO KYODO JIGYO HORITSU JIMUSHO is a prominent arbitrator with extensive experience with high-profile cases in Asia, Europe and the US.

* foreign-qualified lawyer

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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