In the latest edition of WWL: Japan, we feature more than 100 firms, from full-service outfits to specialised boutiques. Over 40 per cent of the total listings come from just five standout firms, which we profile here.
Full-service outfit Anderson Mori & Tomotsune performs extremely well in this year’s research into the Japanese legal market. It achieves a total of 45 listings across 19 different practice areas in this edition, thus securing its position as one of Japan’s leading firms.
M&A and governance is an area in which the firm truly excels, achieving eight listings in the guide. Practitioners are highlighted for their skill in a variety of matters pertaining to mergers and acquisitions across various sectors globally, spanning due diligence, negotiation and transactions.
Competition emerges as another of the firm’s specialisms, with seven lawyers achieving a listing for their outstanding ability in merger control, cartels, unilateral conduct and compliance matters. The firm also illustrates its broad expertise across a range of sectors including data, construction, real estate and insurance.
Prominent names at the firm include Yusuke Nakano and Shigeyoshi Ezaki, pre-eminent figures in competition law. Kazutoshi Kakuyama stands out for his world-class labour and employment practice, while Tomoki Debari is a top name in insurance and reinsurance law. Hiroki Kodate draws praise for his excellence in antitrust, as well as M&A and governance, while Yasufumi Shiroyama stands out for his first-rate IP practice. Hideyuki Sakai is a go-to name for restructuring and insolvency proceedings, while Takashi Nakazaki is highly sought after for his leading work in the data sector.
Full-service firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu demonstrates its strong presence in the Japanese legal market with an impressive 40 nominations across 17 practice area chapters in this edition.
The firm’s complete offering is displayed by its nominations across a broad range of practice areas including aviation, M&A and governance, construction and product liability defence.
In particular, the firm’s securities, finance and transactional specialists perform well with a total of 16 nominations across our banking, capital markets, corporate tax and M&A chapters, with its first-class lawyers advising domestic and international clients on a range of complex and high-value transactions and regulatory issues.
Standout lawyers at the firm include Shinichi Araki and Fumihide Sugimoto who are touted for their capital markets expertise spanning complex debt and equity transactions. Yoshimi Ohara is highlighted for her exceptional arbitration practice and intellectual property know-how, while Kaoru Hattori and Yoshitoshi Imoto are commended for their excellence in competition matters. Hisaya Kimura has a stellar track record in commercial disputes while Shunpei Tanaka is distinguished by his work on complex real estate transactions.
Nishimura & Asahi enjoys a position as a major player in the Japanese market. In our research this year, the firm receives an impressive total of 36 listings across 16 chapters, illustrating the breadth of expertise it has to offer.
The firm receives six listings across our arbitration and litigation chapters, demonstrating its excellence in dispute resolution proceedings. Four of its practitioners are also acclaimed for their impressive work within the M&A and corporate governance space, and for being well versed in handling complex domestic and international deals.
The firm excels in competition law and sees four lawyers recognised in our corresponding chapter for their excellence in antitrust, merger clearance, cartel investigations and anti-monopoly proceedings. The firm further demonstrates strong industry-focused practices, with nominations across aviation, real estate, construction and life sciences.
Eminent individuals at the firm include Lars Markert who is highly regarded in the international market for his first-class arbitration practice. Asa Shinkawa is also recognised for his top-tier work in high-value M&A, while Kozo Kawai enjoys a stellar reputation for his expertise in antitrust and competition matters. Katsu Sengoku is a go-to name in the aviation industry, and Akihiro Hironaka is held in high regard for his top-tier product liability practice.
Full-service firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is a dominant force in Asia with five offices spread across Japan, as well as offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Yangon and Ho Chi Minh City. The firm achieves a total of 29 listings across 10 chapters in this edition.
The firm showcases its standing as an authority on M&A transactions and governance issues with five lawyers highlighted for their expertise in our corresponding chapter, as well as a further five nominations for its top-tier capital markets team.
With four listings in our competition chapter, the firm’s practice group demonstrates its prowess in a range of competition law matters from merger filings and clearance proceedings to investigations and JFTC enforcement.
Standout names at the firm include Thought Leaders Kenji Ito and Hideki Utsunomiya, who excel in merger clearance proceedings and cartel investigations. Yoshifumi Onodera is commended for his stellar data practice encompassing the full gamut of IT issues. Ken Miura stands out in the private funds space, as does Eriko Ozawa who is an authority on real estate investment. Mugi Sekido is lauded for his extensive litigation and arbitration experience, while Masanori Sato is hailed as a go-to name for debt and equity, and structured finance deals, and wows peers across the full spectrum of banking finance issues.
Renowned national law firm TMI Associates is an established and respected player in the Japanese market. It performs well in our research this year with 21 listings across nine practice areas.
The firm demonstrates a strong offering in the intellectual property space, where it sees five of its IP lawyers and three patent attorneys listed in our corresponding chapters. The group is highly adept in a wide array of related matters including patent infringement, copyright, trademarks and IP rights.
M&A and governance is a further area of strength for the firm, where it sees four lawyers recognised in the edition for their impressive work in corporate finance, from M&A transactions to private equity deals.
Key figures at the firm include Satoru Nagasaka, who ranks highly for his top-tier life sciences practice; and Takashi Toichi, who is held in high esteem for his excellence in M&A and governance. Yoshiyuki Inaba is a leading light for intellectual property law, while Hiroshi Nemoto is considered another standout name in the field.