Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan is seeking to relax laws against foreign blue-collar construction workers to tackle its labour shortage. With a predicted development expenditure of almost US$8.5 billion on stadiums, critics have highlighted the tsunami-ravaged north-east coast where reconstruction has still barely begun. Real estate prices have increased, interest rates have gone up and construction costs have increased, resulting in poor profit margins, but with the world watching ever more closely as the Olympics draws nearer, Japan is becoming an exciting place for foreign investment. We list 19 professionals recognised for their work within the construction and real estate field.
Japan has a strong preference for out-of-court dispute resolution and arbitration remains the method of choice for many. That said, the increased use of the mediation process in sectors such as construction and intellectual property suggest that this is a growing area.
Japan is moving ever closer to the introduction of a US-style class action system following calls for some method of collective action in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. In April 2013 the Japanese cabinet approved a new bill recognising a civil procedure for collective recovery of consumers’ damages. With the bill now submitted to the House of Representatives, practitioners will be watching this latest development with interest. In this premier edition, we recognise 17 leading litigators.
There are encouraging signs of growth for capital markets lawyers as they advise Japanese investors on domestic opportunities and international financial markets. Japan has played a more prominent role in the recovery of capital markets over the past year and, while G4 bonds are expected to offer low returns for a sustained period, there is optimism among lawyers for increased work in equity capital markets as corporate profits drive stock market activity. We recognise 21 leading practitioners in this section.
As the world’s fourth-largest economy, Japan boasts a well-developed banking industry with some 200 banks, including four mega-banks. The financial services industry was badly shaken during the global financial crisis and, as in other jurisdictions, tougher restrictions on the sector have been imposed by regulators. In this edition we single out 17 practitioners.
Fraud is a major risk for businesses today and, with increasing international investment in the country’s major sectors, the Japanese government has recently turned its attention to amending laws relating to asset recovery. Currently under discussion are amendments to the Civil Code that would include cancellation and recovery of fraudulent transactions, the statute of limitations on certain types of claims and recovery of assets sold through auctions.
This year, we single out 326 practitioners from 188 firms who are considered leading lawyers in asset recovery law. Several firms stand out due to the high number of listings they achieve, with Appleby taking the top spot. It has individuals from five jurisdictions singled out, with its Bermuda and Cayman Island offices especially well represented. Following closely behind is Kobre & Kim, which has lawyers from its London, New York and Washington, DC offices featured. Other notable firms include Walkers, Hogan Lovells, Al Tamimi & Company and Harney Westwood & Riegels. We also select the 10 most highly regarded individuals in the world as voted for by their peers and corporate counsel.
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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.