1. TOP
  2. Our Practice
  3. Practice Areas

Practice Areas


Antitrust and competition laws and regulations for corporate activities, both domestically and internationally, have become increasingly important. As anti-trust laws and regulations in Japan have become stricter and tightened, which has also led to more vigorous enforcement of them, a number of Japanese companies have been involved in cartel and bid-rigging cases suffering enormous amount of surcharges imposed by the authorities. As the economy has become global, the number of Japanese companies heavily fined by the competition authorities of foreign countries for violation of antitrust laws there has also risen, and so has the number of countries and regions that favor an extraterritorial approach in enforcing their competition laws as those in the US and EU do. For cross-border transactions, it is essential for Japanese companies to conduct their business operations in a manner that is mindful of overseas antitrust/ completion laws and regulations. We have a proven track record of offering clients a wide range of legal services rendered by our solid working team so as to meet their every need in this ever-changing business landscape. Our specialties among others are summarized as follows:


Companies and individuals involved in cartel/bid-rigging cases will have to face severe consequences; they could be subject to cease and desist orders and surcharge payment orders by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) and administrative fines or penalties by competition authorities around the world, and in some cases, they may end up with facing criminal charges. We provide a full range of legal services based on our abundant experience in handling investigations conducted by the JFTC and overseas competition authorities. We help clients promptly carry out their in-house inspection, usually within a constrained time frame, so that we can accurately grasp the facts about the situation before providing them with coherent advice or the best strategy for responding to the authorities’ probes. Depending on the cases, we further apply for an immunity or leniency program (for exemption or mitigation of fines or penalties) on behalf of clients, consult and negotiate with the relevant authorities, and in domestic matters, we typically deal with the hearing of opinions or interviews conducted by the JFTC. We also handle post-investigation dispute and litigation. (In Japan, we were the first law firm to represent the client company in a litigation case of this kind: the case seeking revocation of the JFTC order, which has been newly implemented in the 2013 revision of the Anti-monopoly Act of Japan). As the number of international cartel cases has continued to increase, and Japanese companies have faced investigations or penalties from competition authorities in overseas jurisdictions, we exert a leading role working together with international law firms with a considerable experience around the world, whether Western nations such as US and EU or emerging countries such as the BRICS and Southeast Asian countries, so as to ensure our global support for clients who need to respond to such foreign authorities’ inquires and investigations.


The Anti-Monopoly Act prohibits, as “Unfair Trade Practices”, abuse of dominant bargaining position, resale price restriction, concerted refusal to trade or unjust low price sales as well as “Unreasonable Restraint of Trade” such as cartel/ bid-rigging. Companies must develop their prudent business schemes as the Act revised in 2009 provides for surcharges to be imposed on enterprises in case of abuse of dominant bargaining power or unjustly low price sales. We provide clients with legal advice on their corporate activities and appropriate forms of business so that they will not violate such “Unfair Trade Practices” or any other regulations on private monopolization.


In the cases relating to the violation of antitrust and competition laws, whether domestic or overseas matters, defendant companies could face damage claims brought by their trading business partners, from which sometimes civil litigation for injunction order or a shareholders’ derivative actions ensues. Especially in case of US class action cases, the defendant companies must bear considerable burden responding to discoveries and depositions procedures. We precisely and aptly handle such litigation cases with collaboration from overseas law firms as appropriate.


As companies’ worldwide M&As accompanied by more globalized business operations have been increasing, values of Japanese enterprises’ cross-border M&As as their growth strategies have been also enhanced, which makes it even more important for them to comply with corporate merger-control regulations required by each country’s competition authorities such as the Japan Fair Trade Commission. When requested for counsel on cross-border M&A matters, we offer clients pertinent instructions and advice on the necessary steps such as filing notifications with the JFTC and competition authorities in other jurisdictions. We further provide clients with consultations and address various issues relating to the “gun-jumping” rules against premature integration of companies before closing M&A transactions, responding to the local authorities in collaboration with overseas law firms, if necessary.


In handing a case relating to the violation of antitrust and competition laws, “after-the-fact” follow-up measures are, needless to say, important, but taking preventive measures from a perspective of the preventive law practice is of the same importance as well. We offer clients legal support and services based on such preventive-law approach, providing practical advice backed by our ample experience to help them develop and draft an in-house competition law compliance manual, a whistle-blower protection policy and other necessary compliance rules and systems. We also hold competition law compliance trainings for their employees and board members.


The Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has been aggressively enforcing the Subcontract Act reflecting the recent governmental move toward strengthened policies to protect small and medium-sized enterprises. In the amended Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, surcharges to be imposed on misleading representations have been introduced. Accordingly, the need for business companies to take heed of these two Acts when engaging related business activities has been ever increasing. With regard to the Subcontract Act/ Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, both of which are special and related laws under the Anti-Monopoly Act, we also provide legal advice for clients and respond to the requests and inquiries (including investigative interviews) from the authorities (i.e. the JFTC and the Consumer Affairs Agency) on their behalf.