Japan: Foreign

Firms: litigation and transactions

  • Highly recommended
  • Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP 
  • Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo
  • Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
  • Recommended
  • Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)
  • Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Jones Day
  • Paul Hastings Foreign Law Joint Enterprise

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

With 14 bilingual lawyers on the team sheet, Baker McKenzie tackles a hefty contentious caseload for European and US clients – which accounts for over half of its total patent practice. A skilled operator before both US and Japanese courts, as well as in invalidations before the Japan Patent Office, the set is also sought after for its comprehensive due diligence and licensing know-how. With valuable experience from working at US firms, Kei Matsumoto is a trusted rights guardian for Japanese companies and deftly asserts their rights in whichever of the two countries they are challenged; like many of his teammates, he possesses a penchant for corporate and M&A matters.

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP 

Following a vibrant year representing big-name pharmaceutical outfits and domestic operations, Finnegan’s Tokyo bureau shows no sign of slowing down. Utilising its contentious nous in patent litigation and inter partes review/opposition proceedings before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the local team has demonstrated its worth to both the wider group and its clients time and time again. If further proof was needed; the troop add value through patient, reasoned and commercially attuned guidance in complex licensing negotiations. Managing partner Naoki Yoshida bestows his sound advice and opinions on grateful clients, for whom he always comes home with a bargain. He carves out a niche for himself overseeing the sale and licensing of Japanese technology to European and North American buyers. When he is not at the table or arguing in the courtroom, his strategic foresight is essential to maintaining and developing prized portfolios.

Foley & Lardner LLP

While Foley & Lardner’s Tokyo office boasts only three decades of history in comparison to its parent’s 175 years, the local line-up tackles IP and corporate challenges with the same singular determination the group demonstrates elsewhere. An ardent domestic fan club relies on the set when facing disputes on both sides of the Pacific, knowing that its grasp of commercial issues and both US and Japanese systems will ensure smooth sailing in choppy waters. Great when batting away challenges or navigating the path to agreements, the set boasts flexibility, exemplified by partner Etsuo Doi. A former in-house counsel in both major multinationals and modest start-ups, who also boasts time in private practice, Doi possesses experience that has imbued in him a sixth sense for commercialisation opportunities.

Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo

Characterised by an end-to-end service that is both potent and culturally sensitive, Hogan Lovells’s Tokyo office marries scientific and regulatory talents with sharp legal knowledge to deliver tour de force performances on both side of the contentious/non-contentious divide. A superb life sciences and technology outfit is fronted by dynamic duo Frederick Ch’en and Hiroto Imai; armed with a background in medical sciences, Ch’en tackles his instructions in a “responsive and timely” manner, “cooperating seamlessly with both local and foreign peers. He’s never afraid to tell you if he thinks you’re wrong” and combined with his “practical and prompt advice, and his experience in overseeing international arbitration, represents exceptional value for money”. He has embarked on campaigns for pharmaceutical titans with colleagues in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands, including Merck, for which he stepped in to defend its HIV drug Isentress from infringement claims brought by a rival. “An excellent deal maker” to boot, he is routinely entrusted with high-value, cross-border licensing instructions. Formerly with a London-based Magic Circle firm, the engineering master Imai is a rarity on the domestic scene; few Japanese attorneys at law so effectively combine cross-cultural sensitivity, immense technical depth and astute legal insight. Overseeing all activities is IP practice head Lloyd Parker, whose instrumental role in IP strategy, coordination and client liaison secures the office’s place in the annals of Japanese patent work.

Jones Day

Honing its craft over 30 years on the Japanese market, Jones Day renders an internationally attuned comprehensive service both globally and locally. Focused on asserting the rights of Japanese electronics and life sciences players across the planet, the set nimbly traverses infringement, licensing and advisory instructions; NEC and Canon are just two of the domestic industrial alphas to which the set’s capacity in these areas is immensely valuable, and for which Maxwell Fox is a vital ally. The partner is a familiar face at the US International Trade Commission and on the Federal Circuit. He boasts supplementary knowledge in contract and unfair competition laws, which only make his argumentation at the negotiating table more impressive to witness.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

“The most successful representative of Japanese clients in US patent litigations”, Morrison & Foerster is home to one of the largest IP teams in an international firm in Japan. Such a reputation results in a loyal client base, and – among many other major name brands – domestic giants Fujitsu and TDK proffer the ensemble with repeat business, fuelling a roaring contentious trade. The recent promotion to partner of a computer scientist and attorney at law bears testament to the collective’s strong suits. At the head of the patent table, Robert Hollingshead excels in the representation of electronics and semiconductor companies in US proceedings; the far-reaching technical knowledge covering telecoms, mechanical technologies and medical devices guarantees the chair of the Tokyo IP American Inn of Court and former USPTO examiner’s clients receive a technically rounded representation. With executive positions in both the Los Angeles and Tokyo offices under his belt, Max Olson now concentrates his remarkable talents on delivering patent litigation victories for his devotees. On request, he fits his skills neatly into a remarkable transaction unit, led by Stuart Beraha, a sage counsellor through any complex life sciences or IT negotiation. A partner in Beraha’s licensing line-up, Masato Hayakawa is a transactional maven whose counsel is highly valued by global industrial players.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Having advised Japanese clients on the national stage for more than two decades, Orrick has earned a reputation as a stalwart champion in patent infringement proceedings in both US and Japanese venues. Springing to the aid of Canon, Yamaha and Nintendo, the IP division of this legal goliath exhibits renowned commercial acumen in every instruction and infuses all IP advice with insight from colleagues in corporate and M&A departments. As a result, a booming transactional practice continues to hold considerable appeal for technology patrons, for which David Case is an “extremely well-respected transactional lawyer possessing an excellent command of the Japanese language”.

Paul Hastings Foreign Law Joint Enterprise

A long and impressive track record in district court litigation and post-grant proceedings guarantees Paul Hastings’ primarily Japanese client base a reliably top-notch performance in US infringement cases. With a muscular understanding of the life sciences and technology domains, the group dispatches its instructions with resounding finality. A former Ropes & Gray litigator with 20 years of experience in Japan and the United States, Hiroyuki Hagiwara acts as a bridge between the Tokyo and US offices of the group; fostering remarkable inter-office simpatico, he oversees proactive enforcement and commercialisation strategies and executes them wherever required.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP

Boasting “a broad footprint in the global dispute market”, Quinn Emanuel is a “significant player” on the Japanese market. The Tokyo office boasts a privileged status in the litigation powerhouse’s empire, maintaining astonishing contentious manpower and close ties with US offices. Ryan Goldstein heads this up with confidence and guile. Fluent in Japanese, he is a courtroom sharpshooter who is also well-versed in International Chamber of Commerce arbitration proceedings.

Individuals: litigation

  • David Case - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Frederick Ch'en - Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo
  • Etsuo Doi - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Maxwell A Fox - Jones Day
  • Ryan S Goldstein - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
  • Hiroyuki Hagiwara - Paul Hastings Foreign Law Joint Enterprise
  • Robert J Hollingshead - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Hiroto Imai - Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo
  • Max Olson - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Individuals: transactions

  • Stuart S Beraha - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Frederick Ch'en - Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo
  • Etsuo Doi - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Maxwell A Fox - Jones Day
  • Hiroyuki Hagiwara - Paul Hastings Foreign Law Joint Enterprise
  • Masato Hayakawa - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Kei Matsumoto - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)
  • Max Olson - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Lloyd Parker - Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo
  • Naoki Yoshida - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP