It has been an active year for patent lawyers and attorneys in Japan. On 11 March 2014 the cabinet approved the Bill for the Act on the Partial Revision of the Patent Act, which aims to establish a more user-friendly IP system for applicants and harmonise Japan’s laws with other patent systems worldwide. The Japan Patent Office is also aiming to shorten by half the examination period required for granting patent rights. In this dynamic sector we recognise 22 leading experts.
In the wake of the Japanese earthquake and the resulting nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan has turned its attention towards exploring alternative energy sources. For a resource-poor country like Japan, overseas investment is crucial. As such, Japanese mining companies and trading houses have been procuring resources overseas to develop Japan’s processing industries. A key focus has been coal and natural gas resources to increase supplies for thermal power plants. Three lawyers are recommended for their work in this sector.
The domestic M&A market remained quiet in 2013, with the focus remaining on outbound transactions. However, lawyers remain optimistic that 2014 will see more domestic deals and more “mega deals”. Twenty-five lawyers are recommended in this chapter.
In recent times, temporary and non-standard employment has become much more widely used by Japanese companies to meet their labour needs. In 2012, such staff accounted for 38.2 per cent of the workforce and the phenomenon has become a significant issue prompting legislative changes. Below are 11 of the leading lawyers armed with the necessary skills and experience to assist clients with these developments and advise on wider employment and labour law issues.
The Japan pharma market is the second largest in terms of value after the US and is estimated at US$96.5 billion. In recent years, domestic drug companies have been on an acquisition spree, expanding internationally and paying particular attention to the generics industry in India. One noteworthy example was Meiji’s acquisition of Bangalore-based Medreich for US$290 million in June 2014. In this important industry sector, we recognise 11 leading lights who are well equipped to advise on the regulatory and transactional aspects of patent litigation and on product liability defence.
Companies are increasingly concerned with compliance due to greater scrutiny by both local and foreign regulators. As a consequence, there is a growing demand for top investigations lawyers in the country. In this chapter we single out four practitioners who stand out for their expertise in this field.
The Japanese insurance industry is becoming increasingly complex as insurance companies look to build a global network. The market is in the process of significant transformation, with mergers increasingly common. Lawyers will need to show great adaptability to meet the demands of a rapidly developing industry in order to maintain their competitive edge in the market. We identify two individuals who stand out for their “impressive expertise” in the field.
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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.