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Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

National Leader

Japan - Competition 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Kimitoshi Yabuki is a key name in the Japanese competition market, and excels when it comes to handling sophisticated merger control proceedings.


Kimitoshi Yabuki is the managing partner of Yabuki Law Offices and specialises in international and domestic antitrust and litigation practice. He represents international and domestic clients in IT, IP, electronics, transportation, construction and other manufacturing industries in antitrust and competition fields, particularly in the cartel, bid rigging, unfair trade practice, private monopolisation and merger regulation cases. The recent international cartel cases in which he has been involved are, for example, airline fuel surcharge, DRAM, SRAM, marine hose, TFT-LCD, CRT, high-voltage power cable, forwarder, auto-parts, securities products, auto-shipping and capacitor cases. He has also been involved in those in unilateral conducts and IP-related cases in the international stage, including the Qualcomm case in the JFTC hearing. He has also worked on many domestic antitrust cases such as the bridge construction bid-rigging case, the forwarder price-fixing case, the auto-parts price fixing case and the JASRAC private monopolisation case.

He has been a professor of antitrust law at the Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy until 2018. He is the secretary general of the Japan Competition Law Forum, the largest organisation of antitrust lawyers in Japan, a member of the working group on amendments to the Antimonopoly Act at the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, as well as the former chairperson of the Asia Competition Association, the international organisation among practitioners and professors in Korea, China and Japan. He has participated in various international conferences organised by the IBA and the ABA as a speaker or a panellist, including the cartel workshops in 2008 (San Francisco), 2010 (Paris), 2012 (Vancouver), 2014 (Rome), 2016 (Tokyo) and 2018 (Paris). He is the co-author of several law books and has written numerous articles on antitrust. In 2012 through 2019, Yabuki Law Offices was selected by Global Competition Review as a highly recommended firm in Japan.

He is currently the independent board member of both Sumitomo Life Insurance and SCSK Corporation. Between 2008 and 2012 he was an independent director of the board of Eisai Co, Ltd, and the same of Ricoh Company, Ltd between 2013 and 2017. Between 2000 and 2003, he was an outside independent auditor of UPS Japan KK.

Mr Yabuki graduated from the University of Tokyo (LLB, 1982) and Columbia Law School, NY (LLM, 1991). He was admitted as an attorney-at-law in Japan (1987) and in New York (1992). He also worked as lawyer from abroad at Covington and Burling in Brussels and Washington, DC (1991–1993).

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