- Japanese English
- Practice areas:
- Corporate DisputesSecurities Litigation/Disputes Related to Financial ProductsCivil LitigationTax DisputesConsumer Contract DisputesPL LitigationInsurance Related DisputesAlternative Dispute ResolutionCivil Disputes Arising from Corporate ScandalsInvestor-State Dispute SettlementInternational LitigationInternational ArbitrationInternational TaxationProduct Liability Act, Product Safety & the Recall of ProductsCross-border Transactions (General)Infrastructure/PPPNatural Resources & EnergyMedicine/Medical DevicesAutomotive & Auto PartsUnited States
- Admitted in Japan (1996, voluntarily deregistered in 1998 and readmitted in 2000)
Admitted in New York (2004)
Akihiro Hironaka has been a partner in the dispute resolution group of the firm since 2007. He has extensive experience dealing with various large-scale and complex dispute resolution matters, both cross-border and domestic.
Mr. Hironaka is particularly renowned for his successful representation of clients in multiple large-scale disputes. For example, he succeeded in defending a notable Japanese corporation in six large lawsuits amounting to JPY 48.3 billion in total damages, filed by claimants including an affiliate company of a US-headquartered investment bank and a prominent US hedge fund. He also represented Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance in contesting a tax assessment concerning complex cross-border reinsurance transactions that transferred earthquake-related risks, and succeeded in recovering JPY 6.7 billion for his client. Furthermore, while representing the Sumitomo Trust & Banking Corporation in challenging a tax assessment related to cross-border securities repurchase transactions, he succeeded in recovering JPY 8 billion for his client.
Mr. Hironaka has also represented and advised major Japanese and international corporations, and achieved results in large scale international arbitrations (including emergency arbitrator proceedings) in Japan and elsewhere, under the rules of ICC, SIAC, AAA-ICDR and JCAA, as well as in complex product liability lawsuits, mass tort claims, cross-border disputes concerning M&A transactions and termination of distribution agreements, insurance claims, and construction disputes relating to delays at foreign construction sites located in Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries, among others.
In addition, his experience extends to advising Japanese and international corporations with respect to US discovery proceedings, Japanese judicial assistance for foreign court proceedings, Japanese legal issues pertaining to foreign court and arbitration proceedings, and US civil actions, including class actions.
Mr. Hironaka is a graduate of the University of Tokyo (LL.B., 1993) and Harvard Law School (LL.M., 2003), and he is admitted to the bars of Japan and New York. He served as a Japanese district court judge from 1998 until 2000. Furthermore, he has authored books, book chapters, and articles in the areas of litigation, arbitration, cross-border dispute resolution, product liability and tax controversy, and his representative publications include Yasuhei Taniguchi et al. (eds.), Civil Procedure in Japan (contributor, Juris Publishing), International Arbitration and Corporate Strategy (Co-author, Yuhikaku), and Frontlines of International Tax Litigation (Co-author, Yuhikaku). He is an individually ranked lawyer in the category of Dispute Resolution in Chambers Global/Asia-Pacific and the Legal 500, and in the categories of Litigation / Arbitration / Product Liability Defence / Life Sciences (Product Liability) / Professional Negligence in Who's Who Legal. Who's Who Legal Japan 2015 described him as an “experienced litigator who ‘is one of the first names that come to mind for high-stake lawsuits’”, and Who's Who Legal Japan 2016 described him as an “internationally renowned and universally respected lawyer.” Who's Who Legal 2020 said that “Peers say he is ‘extremely strategic and an expert at leading a large team’, adding: ‘There is no one else on his level.’” Asian Legal Business named him as “one of the firm’s many ‘go-to’ partners to perform strongly.” He was awarded the “Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year” at the ALB Japan Law Awards by Asian Legal Business in 2022, was selected among the “Asia Super 50 Disputes Lawyers” by Asian Legal Business in 2021, and was awarded Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards: Disputes Star of the Year, Japan, in 2015 and 2016. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
- Harvard Law School (LL.M.)
- The University of Tokyo (LL.B.)
- 2022 -
- Member of List of Arbitrators, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
- 2021 -
- Member, Private International Law Association of Japan
- 2019 -
- Councilor, Japanese American Society for Legal Studies
- 2019 -
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- 2016 -
- Member, Japan Association of the Law of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Lecturer, Hitotsubashi University, Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS)
- 2006 -
- Member, Japan Association of Arbitrators
- 2003 - 2004
- Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington, D.C.
- 2001 -
- Member, Japan Association of the Law of Civil Procedure
- 1998 - 2000
- Judge of Yokohama District Court
- 2015 - 2018
- 2015 - 2021
- 2012 - 2014
- 2012 - 2014
- 2011 - 2013
- 2011 - 2013
- 2010 - 2014
- 2009 - 2010
- 2009 - 2010
- 2008 - 2013
- 2008 - 2012
- 2006 - 2013