Japan - Competition/Antitrust Lawyers & Law Firms - Asia-Pacific | Chambers and Partners
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Asia Guide

Competition/Antitrust — Japan


Anderson Mori & Tomotsune - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Hideto Ishida, Shigeyoshi Ezaki, Yusuke Nakano and Atsushi Yamada

What the team is known for Top-tier practice offering expertise on the gamut of competition and antitrust issues, including merger filings, leniency applications and international cartel investigations. Offers plentiful experience appearing before the Japan Free Trade Commission (JFTC), as well as other major antitrust forums.

Strengths Appreciative clients report: "They are one of the best-known firms in Japan and you can rely on them with peace of mind. They also have a high level of specialisation and a wealth of experience."

Others confirm: "They are outstanding. They are very detailed and very thorough."

Work highlights Advised NXP Semiconductors on securing approval for its USD16.7 million acquisition of Freescale.

Represented Jetstar Japan in obtaining an antitrust immunity under the Civil Aeronautics Act of Japan.

Significant clients Bunka Shutter, Qualcomm.

Notable practitioners

Hideto Ishida is praised for his depth of knowledge and his ability to draw upon his previous experience as a special investigator with the JFTC. One source states: "He is very knowledgeable and grasps the strategies and understands the politics of business very well."

Interviewees single out Yusuke Nakano as giving the "best bang for your buck" in antitrust matters. He specialises in merger control and regulatory issues, and is well versed in handling multi-jurisdictional matters for domestic companies.

Vassili Moussis remains a popular choice for domestic companies facing issues concerning merger controls and cartel matters arising in Europe. Of late, he played an integral role in assisting LimaCorporate on the acquisition of the artificial joint business of Zimmer which included Phase 2 reviews in numerous jurisdictions. One commentator reports: "I was impressed by his proactive approach and dedication to closing the issue with the Japan Fair Trade Commission."

Department profile by Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Department profile not yet provided by Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. Please see their firm profile.

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Hibiya Sogo Law Office - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for Top-league boutique firm specialising in antitrust and competition matters. Garners praise for its ability to offer support in litigations and JFTC investigations including claims against individual employees.

Strengths "The top antitrust firm in Japan is Hibiya Sogo Law Office, they are great."

Notable practitioners

Commentators are swift to highlight that Tsutomu Nakato is “one of the most respected antitrust lawyers who thinks strategically.” He is able to draw upon over three decades of experience in antitrust matters with a particular emphasis on behavioural prohibition issues.

Toshiaki Tada has vast expertise in antitrust matters and is skilled at handling cartel investigations. Peers note that he is “an extremely good practitioner who is very practical.”

Department profile by Hibiya Sogo Law Office

Department profile not yet provided by Hibiya Sogo Law Office. Please see their firm profile.

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Mori Hamada & Matsumoto - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Harumichi Uchida, Tomohiro Tsuchiya, Kenji Ito and Hideki Utsunomiya
- 6 partners
- 1 senior counsel, 2 of counsel and 10 associates

What the team is known for Highly esteemed practice that is regularly called upon to act on merger reviews following cross-border acquisitions and cartel investigations involving domestic corporations. Bolstered by the expertise of former JFTC officials within the team.

Strengths Clients report: "They are very effective and have worked on a lot of cartel investigations."

Work highlights Advised Family Mart on gaining approval for its USD3.87 million merger and integration with UNY Group.

Counselled Morita Holdings on the EUR76 billion acquisition of Bronto Skylift from Federal Signal.

Significant clients Clients include Hitachi and a range of notable manufacturing corporates.

Notable practitioners

Kenji Ito is a prominent practitioner who is skilled at tackling merger control and government investigations. Of late, he co-led the team supporting Showa Shell Sekiyu in its USD6.5 billion consolidation with Idemitsu Kosan. One source remarks: “Ito is one of the best antitrust lawyers in Japan. He is very smart and has a good strategic sense. His judgement is also excellent.”

Harumichi Uchida has extensive expertise in handling antitrust matters and currently acts as a Council Member of the Roundtable Conferences at the JFTC. "He has immense knowledge and is a very wise man. He also has an excellent sense of perception and judgement," according to interviewees.

Hideki Utsunomiya has established a reputation as a practitioner who is "intelligent and has strong knowledge and confidence in antitrust law." His sphere of expertise covers mergers as well as government investigations, and he is a key adviser on the multi-jurisdictional merger filings for Hitachi's establishment of a joint venture with Johnson Controls.

Tsuyoshi Ikeda is viewed by interviewees as “a young practitioner with an expanding client base.” He has been promoted to counsel and is adroit at working on competition matters backed by his previous experience working at the JFTC.

Department profile by Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Department profile not yet provided by Mori Hamada & Matsumoto. Please see their firm profile.

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Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Eriko Watanabe
- 5 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A go-to group for domestic and international corporates in securing JFTC clearances on cross-border M&A transactions including Phase 1 and 2 approvals. Also possesses noteworthy expertise in cartel investigations.

Strengths Clients speak in glowing terms about the team's performance: "The firm ranks among the best that we have worked with in Japan. They have a stellar team that possesses lots of expertise and is experienced working with clients based in the US and the EU."

Another client adds: "They are excellent. Their advice is extremely clear and they are responsive."

Notable practitioners

Eriko Watanabe leads the team and excels at handling merger control matters. In the words of one source, "she is among the premier Japanese competition law practitioners, with a substantial practice advising clients in a global regulatory environment. Her mastery of the law, broad range of experience and sophisticated judgement put her among the very best of the Japanese competition law attorneys with whom we have worked."

Kaoru Hattori "is expertly knowledgeable about international cartel investigations and has a very good rapport with clients," highlights one commentator. She is also highly involved in merger control and has supported international companies in securing Phase 1 clearances from the JFTC.

Yoshitoshi Imoto continues to play a key role in the firm's competition practice and is often entrusted with Phase 1 clearance issues. He handles government investigations, and also has a wealth of knowledge of US and EU competition laws.

Department profile by Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tusnematsu’s antitrust practice is unique in that its antitrust lawyers not only possess widely recognised, in-depth expertise and highly specialised knowledge of the antimonopoly law, but also a wealth of broad and deep practice experience in all other areas of legal practice that intersect with antitrust-related laws, in both domestic and cross-border matters.

For more details, please visit our website http://www.noandt.com/en/practice/index.html.

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Nishimura & Asahi - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Kozo Kawai

What the team is known for Widely acknowledged as a leading name in merger clearance and cartel cases, both domestic and international. Houses additional expertise in handling deregulation and market liberalisation matters. Regularly works on merger filings in respect of domestic and cross-border acquisitions.

Strengths Clients attest to its quality of service: "They are very good and are at the top of their game, whether it is M&A filings or cartel investigations."

Others add: "One of their charms is their ability to provide fitting advice based on their wealth of experience. They also have highly specialised knowledge and information."

Work highlights Supported Kawasaki-Line following a cartel investigation by various authorities with advice on the US civil litigation and settlement negotiations.

Acted as defence counsel to Dai-Dan following a criminal investigation by the JFTC into allegations of bid-rigging.

Significant clients Idemitsu Kosan, Japan Post, Showa Denko.

Notable practitioners

Distinguished as one of the leading figures in this field, Kozo Kawai is credited for his ability to “give accurate advice from a broad prospective with a business judgement.” He is highly proficient in handling the full scope of antitrust matters including bid-rigging, and also advises on unilateral matters. He is regularly instructed to assist with cross-border merger controls and cartel investigations, and of late he acted for GlaxoSmithKline on its acquisition and integration of certain pharmaceutical businesses of Novartis.

Department profile by Nishimura & Asahi

Department profile not yet provided by Nishimura & Asahi. Please see their firm profile.

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Atsumi & Sakai - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Setsuko Yufu
- 6 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Flourishing practice respected for its involvement in work on cartel investigations, both domestic and international. Frequently instructed by domestic clients in the automobile and parts, manufacturing, shipping and financial services sectors on highly contentious matters. Also excels in merger reviews and compliance programmes.

Strengths The team is highlighted for its commitment to its clients: "Their dedication to the client is incredible. They work around the clock to deliver on investigation and do a great job at being the first point of contact for clients."

"They are a very strong team with in-depth knowledge of this field and very valuable experience."

Notable practitioners

Setsuko Yufu is a seasoned practitioner who "provides hands-on advice and has a very wide contact network." Sources are also swift to highlight her ability to tackle cross-border competition matters, noting: "She has an EU law background, which makes it particularly easy to address competition law issues for EU-based clients."

Tatsuo Yamashima is "very dynamic, intelligent and smart," according to sources. His key area of focus lies in cross-border cartel investigations, with additional proficiency in merger control and dominant position matters.

Observers point to Saori Hanada's "incredible dedication to clients" as one of her key strengths. She is frequently called upon to work on major international cartel investigations involving the EC, the US DOJ and the JFTC.

Department profile by Atsumi & Sakai

Department profile not yet provided by Atsumi & Sakai. Please see their firm profile.

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Takeshi Nakao
- 2 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly reputed practice recognised for its leading merger filing capabilities. Assists energy companies, manufacturers and trading houses. Notable experience of cartel investigations and global compliance programmes.

Strengths Sources point to the scope of the group's expertise: "They have very in-depth and very rich experience in this field. Their advice is also very practical and based on a very rich experience dealing with authorities in many countries."

The firm is also commended for its ability to harness the expertise of its international offices, as one client highlights: "They have a number of experienced practitioners all over the world, and thus provide a sort of one-stop service for cross-border transactions."

Work highlights Acted as counsel to Sumitomo Metal Mining in securing approval for its USD1 billion acquisition of Freeport-McMoRan's interest in the Morenci open-pit copper mine.

Assisted Intel with the merger review following its USD16.7 billion acquisition of Altera.

Significant clients ABB, AGC, JT International, JX Energy, Mars.

Notable practitioners

Takeshi Nakao heads the practice and is well versed in assisting Japanese trading houses and other corporations with merger filings. Of late, he represented Mitsui & Co in merger filings and behavioural issues with regard to two joint ventures with Vale, and with Mozambique government entities.

Counsel Kaori Yamada is most noted for her expertise in dealing with merger filings for international corporations. Her roster of work includes acting for the BG Group in securing clearance without remedies before the JFTC in its merger filing following the USD70 billion acquisition by Shell. One delighted client highlights: “She has a very rich experience dealing with antitrust authorities and always gives very good practical advice.”

Department profile by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Please visit the Freshfields website for more details about our work in this category: http://www.freshfields.com/en-gb/what-we-do/services/antitrust-and-competition/

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Momo-o Matsuo & Namba - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for Respected team highlighted for its prowess in antitrust compliance issues and merger filing reviews. Sought out for its ability to act as lead counsel in global cartel investigations.

Notable practitioners

Nobuaki Mukai enjoys a robust reputation for his expertise in handling international cartel investigations. He has worked on a number of investigations including those centring on shipping and the auto parts manufacturing industries.

Makoto Matsuo is skilled at handling competition matters as part of his broader general corporate practice and is able to leverage some four decades of experience in providing insights into a range of cartel investigations.

Department profile by Momo-o Matsuo & Namba

Department profile not yet provided by Momo-o Matsuo & Namba. Please see their firm profile.

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Morrison & Foerster LLP/ Ito & Mitomi - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Kei Amemiya
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Respected team well versed in transactional and investigatory matters, including cartels, anti-monopoly cases and merger reviews. Counsel to manufacturers and electronic companies with strengths in tackling issues involving the US DOJ.

Strengths Clients agree that "the quality of service they provide is high" and that "they are very talented and smart people."

Work highlights Assisted ON Semiconductor with the merger filing for its proposed USD2.4 billion acquisition of Fairchild.

Represented Air Liquide Japan in the JFTC cartel investigation involving three other companies in the industrial gases sector.

Significant clients Fujifilm, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mabuchi Motor, Nisshin Steel.

Notable practitioners

Kei Amemiya attracts praise from observers for his depth of knowledge in merger filings and cartel investigations pertaining to Japan, and for his particular strength in supporting corporations seeking approvals of cross-border joint venture transactions. One client remarks: “His advice is extremely technical and easy to understand. His service is also practical.” Amemiya represented Nisshin Steel in the formation of a Taiwan joint venture with Jie Jin Material Technology and Marubeni-Itochu Steel and assisted on the relevant global filing issues.

Kentaro Hirayama has an impressive track record in acting for blue-chip corporations in cartel matters. His roster of work covers providing assistance in civil litigation relating to competition law, and he is also proficient in advising on Phase 2 merger reviews.

Department profile by Morrison & Foerster LLP/ Ito & Mitomi

Morrison & Foerster’s Japan antitrust practice advises clients on a wide range of antitrust matters, including transactions and agency investigations. Our work includes cartel, monopolization, unfair trade practices and administrative fine (kachokin) cases as well as merger reviews. In addition, our antitrust lawyers in Tokyo provide counseling to clients on a wide variety of issues, such as pricing policies, intellectual property licensing, patent pools, distribution arrangements, trade associations, unfair trade and deceptive advertising issues, and antitrust compliance programs.
Our capabilities extend beyond Japan-specific matters, and we have a strong global platform to provide advice to clients on multi-jurisdictional issues. Our Tokyo antitrust attorneys work closely with our antitrust teams in Brussels and Washington, D.C. to provide coordinated global representation and advice.

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Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for Maintains a distinguished reputation for acting on abuse of dominance cases, and also ably handles merger filings. Represents a solid client base of electronic and telecommunications companies in the Kansai region and beyond.

Strengths Clients report being pleased that "they offer a very balanced service and are very efficient."

Notable practitioners

Sources remark that Tetsuya Nagasawa's “skill is very obvious and clear as he is very talented and very experienced.” Further clients add: “He is very frank and says what he thinks, and how best to handle the case for the client.” His scope of expertise in this domain covers abuse of bargaining position and bid rigging as well as an array of other cartel matters.

Department profile by Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

Department profile not yet provided by Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners. Please see their firm profile.

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Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Akira Inoue and Junya Ae
- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Solid practice active in a range of competition and antitrust matters, including merger filings and multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations. Leverages its well-regarded international network to assist domestic companies with issues involving China's National Development and Reform Commission, and European and other major authorities across the globe. Well versed in acting for trading houses, automotive and electrical companies.

Strengths Clients express a high level of trust in the firm: "They have a lot of lawyers with broad experience and you feel that you can trust them."

Work highlights Acted for Okaya Electric Industries on the domestic aspects of the worldwide cartel investigation over capacitor products.

Advised a car parts manufacturer on the cartel investigation by the JFTC and the US DOJ relating to automobile steering systems.

Significant clients Abbott Laboratories, FedEx, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, Mitsubishi Electric, Sumitomo Corporation.

Notable practitioners

Head of the antitrust practice Akira Inoue is frequently instructed to assist with cartel matters pertaining to the USA. Of late, he represented Autoliv and its Japanese counterpart at the Federal District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan in the class action triggered by its involvement in the US DOJ's price-fixing investigations.

Department profile by Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Department profile not yet provided by Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise). Please see their firm profile.

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Jones Day - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Hiromitsu Miyakawa
- 1 partner
- 1 senior adviser
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised for its abilities in global merger filings and cartel investigations before the US DOJ and the EC as well as the JFTC. A diverse client base includes leading domestic corporations active in sectors such as automotive parts, chemicals and manufacturing. Areas of focus includes bid-rigging and price-fixing investigations and US civil litigation.

Strengths Clients attest to the high calibre of the team: "They are very high quality."

Sources also commended the team's ability to draw upon its global network to assist with cross-border matters, as one interviewee remarks: "They have offices in countries all over the world and are able to offer beneficial advice regarding each nation's competition and bribery laws."

Notable practitioners

Hiromitsu Miyakawa is routinely instructed to assist with bid-rigging and price-fixing investigations in the USA. He is endorsed by clients, who state: “He offers explanations on anti-bribery laws throughout the world in an easy-to-understand manner.”

Shinya Watanabe is a seasoned practitioner who is talented in handling international cartel investigations. He is also trusted by domestic corporations for his depth of knowledge in regulatory matters.

Department profile by Jones Day

Department profile not yet provided by Jones Day. Please see their firm profile.

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Ropes & Gray LLP - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Kaede Toh
- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for both companies and individual executives from Japanese and overseas markets. Works in conjunction with experts in the USA, offering advice on US-based antitrust investigations. Advises on areas including price-fixing and collusion.

Strengths A satisfied client reports: "They are well organised and well connected." Another adds: "They try to think things through from the client's perspective and give solutions."

Work highlights Represented Taitsu and its US subsidiary in a price-fixing cartel investigation led by the US DOJ involving a number of film capacitor suppliers.

Assisted Diamond Electric with the criminal investigation by the US DOJ into alleged cartel activities in the automotive parts industry.

Notable practitioners

Kaede Toh is favoured by Japanese corporations and their subsidiaries as she holds “deep knowledge and a broad base of experience” in US antitrust investigations. She focuses on US government-led investigations and is called upon to act on matters involving price-fixing, collusion and corruption.

Department profile by Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray’s global antitrust team offers top-flight representation across the full spectrum of antitrust matters. Built around veterans of the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, and including litigators and former prosecutors with deep antitrust experience, our global team has the experience, knowledge, and everyday understanding of business practices to help clients in all areas of antitrust law.

To learn more about our practice, please visit: https://www.ropesgray.com/practices/antitrust.aspx

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White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) - Competition/Antitrust

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of the department: Toshio Dokei and Arthur Mitchell
- 4 partners
- 1 senior counsel
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly mandated by domestic and international clients in cartel investigations, merger notifications and unfair trade practices in Japan. Also proficient in compliance and US government-led investigations.

Strengths "They were very good. They were very knowledgeable especially in explaining in a Japanese context."

Work highlights Assisted Toys R Us Japan with the JFTC investigation into certain aspects of its business practices concerning its dominant bargaining position and the subsequent appeal.

Acted for Zimmer on gaining Phase 2 approval from the JFTC for its USD13.35 million acquisition of Biomet.

Significant clients Represents Toshiba, and a range of international and domestic corporates in the consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries.

Notable practitioners

Head of the antitrust practice Toshio Dokei is admired for his depth of experience in acting on a variety of matters concerning the JFTC. He is well versed in tackling cartel investigations and merger filings as well as compliance matters.

Counsel Seiji Niwa has a growing reputation for his “deep specialist knowledge” in this sphere. His scope of expertise covers both contentious and non-contentious matters including investigations into abuse of a superior bargaining position and Phase 2 merger filings. He is part of the team advising PhRMA on maintaining its compliance requirements and is both Japan and New York qualified.

Department profile by White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)

To learn more about our practice, please visit: whitecase.com/law

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Band 1

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Hideto Ishida is praised for his depth of knowledge and his ability to draw upon his previous experience as a special investigator with the JFTC. One source states: "He is very knowledgeable and grasps the strategies and understands the politics of business very well."

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Band 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Kenji Ito is a prominent practitioner who is skilled at tackling merger control and government investigations. Of late, he co-led the team supporting Showa Shell Sekiyu in its USD6.5 billion consolidation with Idemitsu Kosan. One source remarks: “Ito is one of the best antitrust lawyers in Japan. He is very smart and has a good strategic sense. His judgement is also excellent.”

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Band 1

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Distinguished as one of the leading figures in this field, Kozo Kawai is credited for his ability to “give accurate advice from a broad prospective with a business judgement.” He is highly proficient in handling the full scope of antitrust matters including bid-rigging, and also advises on unilateral matters. He is regularly instructed to assist with cross-border merger controls and cartel investigations, and of late he acted for GlaxoSmithKline on its acquisition and integration of certain pharmaceutical businesses of Novartis.

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Band 1

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Sources remark that Tetsuya Nagasawa's “skill is very obvious and clear as he is very talented and very experienced.” Further clients add: “He is very frank and says what he thinks, and how best to handle the case for the client.” His scope of expertise in this domain covers abuse of bargaining position and bid rigging as well as an array of other cartel matters.

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Band 1

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Interviewees single out Yusuke Nakano as giving the "best bang for your buck" in antitrust matters. He specialises in merger control and regulatory issues, and is well versed in handling multi-jurisdictional matters for domestic companies.

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Band 1

Hibiya Sogo Law Office

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Commentators are swift to highlight that Tsutomu Nakato is “one of the most respected antitrust lawyers who thinks strategically.” He is able to draw upon over three decades of experience in antitrust matters with a particular emphasis on behavioural prohibition issues.

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Band 1

Hibiya Sogo Law Office

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Toshiaki Tada has vast expertise in antitrust matters and is skilled at handling cartel investigations. Peers note that he is “an extremely good practitioner who is very practical.” 

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Band 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Harumichi Uchida has extensive expertise in handling antitrust matters and currently acts as a Council Member of the Roundtable Conferences at the JFTC. "He has immense knowledge and is a very wise man. He also has an excellent sense of perception and judgement," according to interviewees.

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Band 1

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Eriko Watanabe leads the team and excels at handling merger control matters. In the words of one source, "she is among the premier Japanese competition law practitioners, with a substantial practice advising clients in a global regulatory environment. Her mastery of the law, broad range of experience and sophisticated judgement put her among the very best of the Japanese competition law attorneys with whom we have worked."

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Band 1

Yabuki Law Offices

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Founding partner of Yabuki Law Offices Kimitoshi Yabuki is commended as “one of the top antitrust lawyers in Japan.” He has a wealth of expertise advising on prominent matters and has represented both domestic and foreign clients in cartel investigations.

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Band 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP/ Ito & Mitomi

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Kei Amemiya attracts praise from observers for his depth of knowledge in merger filings and cartel investigations pertaining to Japan, and for his particular strength in supporting corporations seeking approvals of cross-border joint venture transactions. One client remarks: “His advice is extremely technical and easy to understand. His service is also practical.” Amemiya represented Nisshin Steel in the formation of a Taiwan joint venture with Jie Jin Material Technology and Marubeni-Itochu Steel and assisted on the relevant global filing issues.

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Band 2

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Kaoru Hattori "is expertly knowledgeable about international cartel investigations and has a very good rapport with clients," highlights one commentator. She is also highly involved in merger control and has supported international companies in securing Phase 1 clearances from the JFTC.

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Band 2

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Vassili Moussis remains a popular choice for domestic companies facing issues concerning merger controls and cartel matters arising in Europe. Of late, he played an integral role in assisting LimaCorporate on the acquisition of the artificial joint business of Zimmer which included Phase 2 reviews in numerous jurisdictions. One commentator reports: "I was impressed by his proactive approach and dedication to closing the issue with the Japan Fair Trade Commission."

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Band 2

Momo-o Matsuo & Namba

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Nobuaki Mukai enjoys a robust reputation for his expertise in handling international cartel investigations. He has worked on a number of investigations including those centring on shipping and the auto parts manufacturing industries.

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Band 2

Atsumi & Sakai

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Setsuko Yufu is a seasoned practitioner who "provides hands-on advice and has a very wide contact network." Sources are also swift to highlight her ability to tackle cross-border competition matters, noting: "She has an EU law background, which makes it particularly easy to address competition law issues for EU-based clients."

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Band 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP/ Ito & Mitomi

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Kentaro Hirayama has an impressive track record in acting for blue-chip corporations in cartel matters. His roster of work covers providing assistance in civil litigation relating to competition law, and he is also proficient in advising on Phase 2 merger reviews.

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Band 3

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Head of the antitrust practice Akira Inoue is frequently instructed to assist with cartel matters pertaining to the USA. Of late, he represented Autoliv and its Japanese counterpart at the Federal District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan in the class action triggered by its involvement in the US DOJ's price-fixing investigations.

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Band 3

Hiromitsu Miyakawa

Jones Day

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Hiromitsu Miyakawa is routinely instructed to assist with bid-rigging and price-fixing investigations in the USA. He is endorsed by clients, who state: “He offers explanations on anti-bribery laws throughout the world in an easy-to-understand manner.”

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Band 3

Atsumi & Sakai

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Tatsuo Yamashima is "very dynamic, intelligent and smart," according to sources. His key area of focus lies in cross-border cartel investigations, with additional proficiency in merger control and dominant position matters.

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Band 4

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Head of the antitrust practice Toshio Dokei is admired for his depth of experience in acting on a variety of matters concerning the JFTC. He is well versed in tackling cartel investigations and merger filings as well as compliance matters.

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Band 4

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Yoshitoshi Imoto continues to play a key role in the firm's competition practice and is often entrusted with Phase 1 clearance issues. He handles government investigations, and also has a wealth of knowledge of US and EU competition laws.

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Band 4

Momo-o Matsuo & Namba

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Makoto Matsuo is skilled at handling competition matters as part of his broader general corporate practice and is able to leverage some four decades of experience in providing insights into a range of cartel investigations.

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Band 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Takeshi Nakao heads the practice and is well versed in assisting Japanese trading houses and other corporations with merger filings. Of late, he represented Mitsui & Co in merger filings and behavioural issues with regard to two joint ventures with Vale, and with Mozambique government entities.

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Band 4

Ropes & Gray

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Kaede Toh is favoured by Japanese corporations and their subsidiaries as she holds “deep knowledge and a broad base of experience” in US antitrust investigations. She focuses on US government-led investigations and is called upon to act on matters involving price-fixing, collusion and corruption.

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Band 4

Hideki Utsunomiya

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Hideki Utsunomiya has established a reputation as a practitioner who is "intelligent and has strong knowledge and confidence in antitrust law." His sphere of expertise covers mergers as well as government investigations, and he is a key adviser on the multi-jurisdictional merger filings for Hitachi's establishment of a joint venture with Johnson Controls.

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Band 4

Jones Day

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Shinya Watanabe is a seasoned practitioner who is  talented in handling international cartel investigations. He is also trusted by domestic corporations for his depth of knowledge in regulatory matters.

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Band 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Counsel Kaori Yamada is most noted for her expertise in dealing with merger filings for international corporations. Her roster of work includes acting for the BG Group in securing clearance without remedies before the JFTC in its merger filing following the USD70 billion acquisition by Shell. One delighted client highlights: “She has a very rich experience dealing with antitrust authorities and always gives very good practical advice.”

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Up and Coming

Atsumi & Sakai

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Observers point to Saori Hanada's "incredible dedication to clients" as one of her key strengths. She is frequently called upon to work on major international cartel investigations involving the EC, the US DOJ and the JFTC.

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Up and Coming

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Tsuyoshi Ikeda is viewed by interviewees as “a young practitioner with an expanding client base.” He has been promoted to counsel and is adroit at working on competition matters backed by his previous experience working at the JFTC.

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Up and Coming

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Counsel Seiji Niwa has a growing reputation for his “deep specialist knowledge” in this sphere. His scope of expertise covers both contentious and non-contentious matters including investigations into abuse of a superior bargaining position and Phase 2 merger filings. He is part of the team advising PhRMA on maintaining its compliance requirements and is both Japan and New York qualified.

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