Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2023
Nishimura & Asahi has been recognized as a “Tier 1” firm in Japan for Commercial and Transactions, “Highly Recommended” for International Arbitration, and “Recommended” for White Collar Crime, by Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2023, published by Delinian Limited, London, UK.
In addition, Hiroyuki Tezuka, Hiroshi Kimeda, Akihiro Hironaka, Kei Umebayashi, Kaku Hirao, Yutaro Kawabata and Lars Markert have all received the “Litigation Stars” distinction.
Furthermore, our Bangkok office has been recognized in the Thailand ranking in a number of areas, and Chavalit Uttasart was selected as a “Litigation Star”.
The publication’s review of our firm states: “Nishimura & Asahi offers unparalleled strength in diverse dispute resolution areas including financial disputes, general commercial and product liability.”
- 1st ICC Tokyo Arbitration Day
Mr. Kimeda’s main areas of practice are Corporate Crisis Management and Litigation. As for Corporate Crisis Management, he has extensive experience in corporate scandal cases, including window-dressing, misrepresentation of financial statements, insider trading, antitrust (bid rigging, price cartels, and abuse of dominant position), product defects, misleading representations of products, divulging confidential information, bribery, political funding, money laundering, breach of industrial regulations, and factory accidents. In these types of cases he has specific expertise on the issues of internal investigations, third party committee investigations, defending against criminal and administrative investigations, public relations, rebuilding compliance systems, reforming corporate governance, and handling the related civil litigation. He also serves as an outside whistleblower hotline channel for a number of companies. As for litigation, he has considerable experience in tax disputes, shareholders disputes, and other types of corporate litigation. He is the author of numerous legal articles and has also been involved in the process of making laws and regulations. He has been recognized as one of the “Most successful lawyers” by the NIKKEI for the last several years as below.
2021 Corporate Crisis Management category 1st
2020 Corporate Crisis Management category 1st
2018 Corporate Crisis Management category 2nd
2014 Corporate Crisis Management category 2nd
2011 Corporate Crisis Management category 3rd
2022 Corporate Legal Affairs category 9th
2016 Corporate Legal Affairs category 10th
2015 Corporate Legal Affairs category 8th
2013 Corporate Legal Affairs category 2nd
2012 Corporate Legal Affairs category 4th
Corporate Crisis Management
- Corporate Crisis Management Newsletter (April 2018) UK Bribery Act: First Case on “Adequate Procedures” under the UK Bribery Act
Natural Resources & Energy
- UK Bribery Act: First Case on “Adequate Procedures” under the UK Bribery Act (April 2018)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Competition Law / International Trade
- Credit Suisse takeover：protecting Japanese investments under the Japan-Switzerland EPA
Nishimura & Asahi Seminars
- ICC YAAF: 100 years of the ICC Court: The changing face of dispute resolution
- Speaking engagement: Arbitral case management in the digital economy
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.
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.