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International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

These days, more and more cross-border contracts specify arbitration as a means of settling disputes in the event of conflicts with local firms and other entities after entry into overseas markets. When Japanese companies enter into the overseas markets, it is nearly impossible to avoid various kinds of disputes, including disputes that involve accounts receivable with suppliers, the interpretation of joint venture agreements with joint venture partners, infringement of intellectual property rights, consumer claims, regulations by the authorities, criminal cases involving employees, and antitrust and anti-corruption laws. Litigation costs in such overseas disputes are often large, for example in the US where the costs may range from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of yen if a lawsuit proceeds to the discovery and trial stages. As legal departments of local subsidiaries are not always familiar with the local legal environment, it is essential that legal matters are directly handled from the headquarters in Japan. It is also necessary to understand and respond to the characteristics of the judicial system in the country of dispute. For example, in the PRC, litigation may require a short and concise complaint, and in developing countries, corruption in judicial systems may also need to be addressed. We have extensive experience in overseas disputes and have been involved in many cases, primarily representing Japanese companies, and when necessary we have worked in collaboration with specialist dispute lawyers who are familiar with the local law. In many cases, we achieved satisfactory resolutions through negotiations with the other party before proceeding to litigation or arbitration.

In addition, in recent years, our clients have increasingly selected arbitration as a method of dispute resolution in cross-border contracts.

Arbitration is undertaken by an arbitrator or arbitrators chosen by the parties concerned and may be more flexible than the courts. The rules on arbitration vary depending on the country or arbitration association. It is necessary to be thoroughly aware of the various rules on arbitration proceedings. A company in any country in the world may become an adversary in a conflict. It would be difficult to seek a settlement without expertise in international operations, such as knowledge of the legal systems of different countries and networks of lawyers in various countries, in addition to general conflict settlement capabilities.

Through their networks with overseas law firms, our lawyers have experience acting as chief attorneys for Japanese manufacturers, trading companies, and other corporate clients at their request in arbitrations at the International Court of Arbitration (ICC), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA), and other international arbitration organizations. In all the cases we have dealt with, we have achieved arbitration awards and reconciliations in favor of our clients.

These arbitration cases have involved many different countries such as the US, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. We are familiar with local legal systems and the circumstances surrounding execution. This means that we not only act as attorneys in arbitration cases but also offer comprehensive support services including subsequent execution and debt collection.

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