Disputes and Investigations
Always Aiming to Help our Client Prevail
➢Band 2 – Dispute Resolution: Domestic in Japan
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022
➢Tier 3 – Dispute Resolution: Independent local firms
The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2022
What does dispute resolution in Japan look like?
Japan has well established and efficient dispute resolution systems, including both court and ADR procedures. The court process is considered to be relatively sophisticated as the judges are “career judges” and are thus generally reliable in relation to technical legal issues and judgments are reasonably predictable. There are no jury trials in civil cases, and there are no pre-trial discovery or pre-trial deposition procedures. Court proceedings are therefore relatively simple and quick. There is no concept of privilege in Japan but the absence of privilege raises limited practical concern since there are only limited means to compel counterparties and third parties to produce documents in court.
Each party needs to bear its own attorney fees and punitive damages are not allowed. These and other characteristics of the Japanese legal system need to be considered when working out how to deal with various disputes that international corporations operating in Japan may face.
A strong record of success in court
We have represented clients in Japanese courts in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation, many of which involved cutting-edge legal issues. These include representing a global financial institution in various derivative products related litigations, representing a global news agency in various litigations involving complex legal issues such as the freedom of the press, privacy, defamation and the right to be forgotten, and representing a global client in a high profile litigation relating to the Fukushima nuclear accident.
We always strive to win in court, and carefully strategize what to argue, what kind of evidence to submit and who to call as witnesses. We have first class techniques in witness examination. While many cases end in settlement, we always ensure that we put our best arguments forward in order to reach the most favorable outcome in settlement negotiations.
Investigations in Japan
We have extensive experience in assisting clients in internal and external investigations on a wide variety of issues from employee misconduct to regulatory investigations. There is no concept of privilege in Japan so internal investigations can be conducted expediently without the need to worry about preserving privilege as long as the issues are contained in Japan. However, many cases involve cross-border issues, in which case preserving privilege may be very important. Investigations by regulators in Japan will further complicate matters in cross border investigations because the Japanese regulators generally do not recognize the concept of privilege. We have extensive experience in assisting clients navigating these difficult situations, and always ensure that investigations are conducted in the most costly and time efficient manner considering the ultimate goal.
Our experience includes:
- ・representing a major investment fund on an epoch making litigation in Japan, successfully obtaining an injunction to prevent the issue of moving strike
- ・warrants for the purpose of diluting shareholding
- ・conducting internal investigations and successfully representing a major multinational firm in large commercial litigations relating to a series of fraudulent transactions
- ・representing a global investment bank in litigations concerning disputes over large derivatives transactions
- ・representing a global news agency in various litigations involving issues such as the freedom of the press, privacy, defamation and the right to be forgotten
- ・representing a foreign government in various litigations concerning various rights held by the government over real estate in Japan
- ・representing an international investment management firm in court to successfully recover investment management fees
- ・representing a global firm in a high profile litigation relating to the Fukushima nuclear accident
- ・conducting internal investigations and dealing with the Japanese regulators in relation to a large scale expense abuse matter
- ・conducting internal investigations and advising on strategies for a global investment bank which was the victim of a series of fraudulent transactions
- ・conducting internal investigations and advising on strategies for various multinational companies in relation to executive and employee misconduct; and
- ・conducting internal investigations and dealing with the financial regulators on behalf of various international financial institutions