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Nishimura & Asahi Receives Top Rankings in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2024

Nishimura & Asahi is pleased to announce that our firm and lawyers have been recognized in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2024, a definitive guide to the world's leading dispute resolution law firms and lawyers.  

We received multiple top tier rankings for Japan, including Tier 1 rankings for “International Arbitration” and “Commercial and Transactions,” and a top ranking for “White Collar Crime.” Our capabilities in intellectual property litigation are also recognized in the “Intellectual Property” ranking.  

Our Bangkok office has been recognized in the Thailand rankings for “Commercial and Transactions,” “Government and Regulatory,” “Intellectual Property” and “Trade and Customs.” 

Furthermore, 10 of our partners have been recognized as “Litigation Stars”

Hiroyuki Tezuka (International Arbitration, Commercial and Transactions)
Hiroshi Kimeda (White Collar Crime)
Akihiro Hironaka (International Arbitration, Commercial and Transactions)
Kei Umebayashi (White Collar Crime)
Kaku Hirao (White Collar Crime)
Yutaro Kawabata (International Arbitration)
Lars Markert (International Arbitration)
Chie Nakahara (International Arbitration)

Chavalit Uttasart (Intellectual Property, Commercial and Transactions)
Vira Kammee (Commercial and Transactions)

The publication’s review of our firm states: “Nishimura & Asahi offers unparalleled strength in a range of dispute resolution areas including financial disputes, general commercial and product liability.”


手塚 裕之

Hiroyuki heads our international dispute resolution practice. He specializes in international commercial litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He has represented many international clients, including multi-national manufacturers, banking and securities firms, insurance companies, and news media in disputes involving M&A, antitrust laws, corporate governance, insurance laws, intellectual property, defamation, joint ventures, licensing, construction, and other commercial matters, as well as international bankruptcy. He has been involved in a number of international arbitrations as counsel, sole arbitrator, and co-arbitrator (including chair) before the ICC, JCAA, AAA-ICDR, VIAC, KCAB, and SIAC.
Hiroyuki serves as Vice President of the Japan Association of Arbitrators and as Chief Director of the Japan International Mediation Center in Kyoto, was Vice Chair of the Arbitration Committee of the IBA Legal Practice Division, and was Co-Chair of the Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Committee at the IPBA from 2016 to 2020. From 2013 to 2016, he taught international arbitration and international dispute resolution at the University of Tokyo, School of Law as a visiting professor. Since 2013, he has been a member of the SIAC’s Court of Arbitration. He is also a member of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC, and since 2018, he has been a Council member of the ICC Institute of World Business Law.

弘中 聡浩

Akihiro’s experience covers product liability, contractual claims, mass tort claims, and tax disputes, in various industries, in particular in the pharmaceutical and automotive industries. He has also handled disputes arising from M&A transactions, disputes involving construction sites in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and disputes arising from the termination of distribution agreements. He has achieved significant results in international arbitrations, including emergency arbitration proceedings under the rules of the ICC, SIAC, AAA-ICDR, and JCAA. He also advised clients in connection with US civil actions, including class actions, and Japanese judicial assistance for foreign court proceedings.

In one notable case, he successfully defended a Japanese trading company against six large vicarious liability lawsuits, involving claims totaling JPY 48.3 billion, filed by claimants including an affiliate of a US-headquartered investment bank and a US hedge fund. He also recovered JPY 13.3 billion for Shionogi & Co. in an action challenging a tax assessment relating to an in-kind contribution of a partnership interest in a cross-border reorganization for the development of a drug for AIDS. He is currently representing a pharmaceutical company in one of the largest product liability lawsuits in Japan.

He is a graduate of The University of Tokyo (LL.B., 1993) and Harvard Law School (LL.M., 2003), and is licensed to practice law in Japan and New York. He served as a Japanese district court judge from 1998 until 2000, and worked at Arnold & Porter (Washington, D.C.) from 2003 until 2004. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He is the author of various books and articles in the areas of litigation and international arbitration, including Yasuhei Taniguchi et al. eds., Civil Procedure in Japan (contributor, Juris Publishing). He was awarded the "Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year" at the ALB Japan Law Awards in 2022.

梅林 啓

Kei Umebayashi is a partner at Nishimura & Asahi and previously worked at the Special Investigative Section of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, where he obtained extensive experience and know-how in criminal investigations.
 He is expert at gathering evidence and conducting hearings.
 He mainly handles cases in which the executives or officers of a company leaked, intentionally or accidentally, the company’s confidential information, including customer data and business secrets.
 He deals with matters conducted by Japanese authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) and the Fair Trade Commission.
 Additionally, he gives valuable advice concerning a variety of other matters, such as insider trading, antitrust law, leniency applications under antitrust law, and inquiries by the US Department of Justice, European Commission and other foreign authorities when a company is targeted by them due to alleged violations of antitrust laws.

平尾 覚

His main practice area is corporate crisis management and litigation. He is also highly knowledgeable and experienced on matters involving foreign investigations and regulatory authorities. He has dealt with many cases in relation to investigations by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, the Japanese Fair Trade Commission, the Japanese Public Prosecutor’s Office, etc., as well as foreign authorities such as the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also dealt with a variety of cases such as misconduct by executives and employees, violation of environmental regulations, violation of the regulation regarding pharmaceutical and medical equipment, etc. In addition to cases that require emergency responses, he has advised many companies to build effective whistleblowing systems and anti-bribery compliance programs, and he has assisted with due diligence procedures from a compliance perspective.


With more than forty years of experience, Chavalit is highly regarded as a leading figure in Thailand. His areas of specialization include dispute resolution, intellectual property, TMT and e-commerce, as well as M&A, foreign investment and corporate law. His extensive experience also includes advising on trade competition, corporate recovery and business reorganization. In particular, Chavalit is renowned in the areas of dispute resolution and intellectual property. He was selected as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation Thailand 2021 and is ranked as a leading individual for intellectual property in Thailand by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021.


Vira Kammee, with over 4 decades of practice, has been adeptly advising and handling advocacy matters for both domestic and foreign clients arising from breaches of fiduciary duty and corporate governance by the director, violations of foreign business laws (nominee issue), corporate and commercial dispute resolution matters, real estate and construction disputes and cancelation of power and mining licenses arising from allegations that the clients are in breach of the environmental laws, including, but not limited to, bankruptcy, business reorganisation, labour, Intellectual Property and administrative matters. He has also been handling various white-collar crime cases arising from securities fraud, etc. He has represented clients, such as a cement manufacturer, electricity generation from waste heat and RDF power plant, electricity utility manufacturer, industrial business, property management for wholesale agriculture market, retail and wholesale business and other business operators, including, but not limited to, securities, insurance, general trading and manufacturing service providers. Before his appointment as foreign local partner, he was one of the founding partners of SCL Law Group. Prior to the group’s establishment, he was a partner and member of the Litigation & Arbitration Department at International Legal Counsellors Thailand Ltd. (ILCT) (Russin & Vecchi). Vira Kammee is often invited as a speaker at conferences, both in Thailand and abroad, in the areas of business re-organisation relating to cross-border joint venture transactions, compliance with the Foreign Business Act, as well as real estate and dispute resolution. His local expertise has contributed greatly to the legal development in the areas of litigation, including anti-corruption and real estate matters in Thailand, over the last four decades. He has been regarded as a leading authority in the litigation process and has set precedents for several matters in The Supreme Court of Thailand. In addition to practicing law, Vira Kammee has gained experience in teaching law students and supervising lawyers of the firm.

[Browser Test] JA 河端 雄太郎

Focusing on disputes arising out of the termination of contracts, in particular for clients in the automotive, pharmaceutical, electronic devices, apparel, and food & beverage sectors, Yutaro Kawabata is a “divorce lawyer” for companies. Since joining Nishimura & Asahi in 2004, he has been involved in a number of major international arbitration and commercial litigation cases.


Lars’ practice is focused on commercial and investment arbitration. He has particular expertise in contentious proceedings involving post-M&A, commercial, manufacturing, construction, and distribution matters, in areas such as life sciences, automotive, and energy. Lars also deals with cases involving governments, and has advised foreign investors and sovereign states on issues of foreign direct investment and public international law, including related negotiations and investor-state disputes. He has been involved in more than 50 international arbitrations as counsel and arbitrator under the arbitration rules of institutions such as the ICC, DIS, SAC, NAI, ICDR, KCAB, JCAA, SIAC, and ICSID, as well as under the UNCITRAL Rules.

中原 千繪

Chié Nakahara specializes in international litigation and arbitration. The disputes she typically handles relate to M&A, distributorship, licensing, franchising, and the termination of such continuous contracts, construction, product liability, corporate governance, intellectual property, finance and other commercial matters. She has acted in a large number of complex and high profile litigations and arbitrations. She serves as a panel of arbitrators at Korean Commercial Arbitration Board International, Singapore International Arbitration Centre, and also as a registered arbitrator at the Daiichi Tokyo Bar Arbitration Center.