Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Japan

Review

Dispute resolution

One among Japan’s ‘Big Four’ law firms, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s dispute resolution team boasts 45 partners and over 50 other qualified attorneys. The team is experienced in handling the full range of domestic and cross-border disputes, notably active in corporate, employment and real estate disputes. The firm has a strong presence in East Asia with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Yangon and Jakarta.

Mugi Sekido and Kana Manabe are key figures in the team. Sekido is highly respected for his commercial litigation expertise. Yutaka Miyoshi is a notable IP litigator.

In one work highlight, the firm represented Japan Post in defence of claims brought under the Labour Contract Act by a high number of fixed-term employees over differences between the terms and conditions of their employment contracts and those of employees employed permanently. This case is being widely covered by the media because of the similarity of the plaintiffs’ arguments to the new policy of ‘equal pay for equal work’ that the Japanese government has introduced.

In other work samples, the firm acted for Daio Paper Corporation against one of its biggest shareholders in a lawsuit alleging that convertible bonds issued by the company violated Japanese laws and regulations; and defended Toshiba in claims brought by former and current shareholders in a tort alleging ‘improper’ disclosure of financial information by the client in past years.

In the white-collar crime space, the firm is representing Japan Display (JDI) in an investigation following the confession of an ex-employee claiming his involvement in accounting fraud for more than five years. The firm’s partner, Yasuhiko Fujitsu, was appointed as the chair of the special investigation committee in support of the investigation. The team acted for JDI to facilitate the investigation and address regulatory issues including the administrative inspection by the SESC and the disciplinary action by JPX-R. This case is one of the biggest accounting scandals in Japan in the past decade. The amount of the administrative monetary penalty imposed on JDI is the third largest in Japanese history.

Client feedback

“The firm assisted in our decision-making, and provided risk analysis together with the identification of risks.” – Commercial and transactions

“The quality of the lawyers’ work is very good and communication skills are also good.” – Intellectual property

“The firm’s lawyers are always capable of giving us useful and informative advice, as well as developing and implementing appropriate and effective litigation strategies.” – Product liability and recall

Mugi Sekido

“With high level language skills, a deep understanding of and extensive experience in handling international conflict for many Japanese clients, he conveys our messages to US attorneys quite accurately and digests their complicated legal languages into simplified terms for our easy understanding.”

Hideaki Umetsu

“Excellent understanding of risks clients face, and a wide and deep understanding of how to team up with a  variety of experts in order to deal with clients' problems or issues. He has an attitude where he wants to understand clients.”