Tokyo

Ebisu Prime Square Tower, 16F
1-1-39 Hiroo
Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 150-0012
Japan
F +81 3 5774 1818

One of the first US legal practices in Asia, our Tokyo office brings you a dedicated team to handle any issue you may encounter while doing business in Japan. Global in outlook, we provide general counsel and guidance to many of Japan’s largest companies in their worldwide operations, as well as major companies outside Japan expanding into the country.

Our team has substantial experience, a breadth of industry expertise and the ability to collaborate with our other Asia Pacific offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore.

We first established a presence in Tokyo in 1955 when we operated for a time under the name of Graham & James LLP. We long since reopened in Tokyo in 1988 under the new laws and in 2010 our office merged with the law and patent office of Miki & Yoshida, a renowned intellectual property firm. In July of 2014, our office combined with Mamiya Law Offices, a Tokyo-based corporate and transactional practice firm that specializes in M&A, corporate governance, and financial services, strengthening further our practice in Japan.

Why Choose Us

Truly global, our office is a gaikokuho kyodo jigyo – employing both foreign-licensed and Japan-licensed lawyers. This means that we are perfectly positioned to advise global investors on Japanese legal matters. In addition, we actively protect and enforce the intellectual property rights of companies of all sizes and defend various companies in relation to alleged violations of intellectual property rights. Of the 33 lawyers in our Tokyo office, more than half are licensed to practice law in Japan, with many also licensed in the US. Most of our lawyers speak and read Japanese and many speak other languages, enabling us to perform cross-border work with ease. In addition:  

  • The Legal 500 Asia Pacific recommends our Tokyo office for corporate/M&A: international firms and joint ventures, and lists one of our lawyers as a leading individual for corporate/M&A. 
  • The Best Lawyers in Japan features two of our team for their distinctive M&A work and one for his intellectual property work.
  • Our Tokyo lawyers are frequent lecturers and authors on the legal aspects of doing business in Asia Pacific and resolving cross-border disputes. Several in our office have held positions within Japan-based corporations and Japan-based law firms, including the first foreign lawyer appointed as an outside director of a Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) company.
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Aviation

We provide expert advice on matters ranging from aircraft finance to basic regulatory and business law. Our office represents clients worldwide on aviation issues ranging from securing landing rights and advising on import and export customs clearance and control issues to complex lease and financing negotiations. We work closely with our other practices to serve the diverse needs of our clients, whatever assistance they require.

Intellectual Property and Technology

Offering counsel on a broad range of licensing and brand protection matters, our experience includes licensing, technology transfers and other transactions with respect to all types of intellectual property. Our core strength is our ability to litigate IP matters and, where appropriate, advise clients on strategies designed to avoid litigation. We analyze business risks and offer solutions to them, and analyze and negotiate licenses. We also develop contracts and handle the trademark registration as well as trademark prosecution.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

We can provide efficient handling of any litigation you may encounter in Japan. Our team is experienced in dispute resolution, including adjudication, advocacy, arbitration, dispute prevention, expert determination, litigation and mediation. We have an award-winning ADR practice and a reputation for successful mediation. Combining our experience with expert case management skills, we handle large matters involving complex legal and factual issues, severe time constraints, multiple related cases and numerous parties and documents. We also handle arbitration matters before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA) including breach of contract, intellectual property violations, product liability claims and derivative lawsuits. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

M&A work is the cornerstone of our practice. We have successfully led numerous transactions for foreign acquirers of Japan-based entities through share purchases, asset deals, tender offers and other mechanisms, including the “company split” (kaisha bunkatsu) mechanism under Japan’s Companies Act. We are equipped to handle the Japanese law aspects of any transaction without bringing in any Japan-based law firms. We focus on both transactions for listed Japan-based companies worldwide and on transactions for listed US and Europe-based companies within Asia Pacific.

Regulatory

We have significant experience with the regulatory requirements associated with aviation, construction, competition, energy, environment, finance, facilities, life science, telecommunication, and trade, among others. We provide counsel and serve the transactional needs of public and private companies of all sizes, with particular expertise in Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, the Food Sanitation Act and the Health Promotion Act (for chemical manufacturers), the Civil Aeronautics Act, the Telecommunications Business Law, Radio Law, and the Act on the Personal Information Protection and the Antimonopoly Act. We also have extensive experience with matters involving imports and exports in Japan.

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