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弘中 聡浩
弘中 聡浩


  • Partner
  • Tokyo
  • "I think highly of him,"says one client, who goes on to say: "He is really, really candid in giving advice and is always very practical. He is really, really experienced in dispute management and also cross-border and domestic work. He is very solid in Japan and US-related work."

    Chambers Global 2022
  • “[Akihiro Hironaka] enjoys a strong reputation as an 'excellent litigator who leads the Japanese pharmaceutical products market.'”

    Who’s Who Legal 2021
  • “Peers say [Akihiro Hironaka] is ‘extremely strategic and an expert at leading a large team,’ adding: ‘There is no one else on his level.’”

    Who’s Who Legal 2020

Akihiro is a partner in the dispute resolution group, with extensive experience and a track record of success in complex and large scale litigation and arbitration of a cross-border and domestic nature. His experience extends to product liability, contractual claims, mass tort claims, and tax disputes.

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.

Representative Work

Awards & Rankings

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Harvard Law School (LL.M.)
The University of Tokyo (LL.B.)

Professional Experience

Member of List of Arbitrators, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre 
Member, Private International Law Association of Japan 
Councilor, Japanese American Society for Legal Studies 
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 
Member, Japan Association of the Law of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution 
Lecturer, Hitotsubashi University, Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS) 
Member, Japan Association of Arbitrators 
Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington, D.C. 
Member, Japan Association of the Law of Civil Procedure 
Judge of Yokohama District Court