Lawyer profile for Asia-Pacific 2021
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Competition/Antitrust - Japan
This content is provided by Kentaro Hirayama
Hirayama Law Offices is a boutique antitrust/competition law firm, which advise clients on a wide range of antitrust matters, including transactions and agency investigations. Founding partner Mr. Hirayama is well known by peers and clients as "very practical and familiar with both the international and domestic practice" and "very knowledgeable on competition laws both inside and outside Japan."
His skill and experience in competition and antitrust law is widely recognised, and in 2016 he was named as the only Japanese attorney named in Global Competition Review’s “40 Under 40” list of the world’s leading antitrust lawyers under the age of 40. His firm is introduced in "GCR 100" as one of the recommended Japanese competition law firm.
Mr Hirayama also serves as an associate professor of one of the oldest traditional national university, and thus the Firm has been able to provide advanced strategies, such as retention of renowned professors for expert opinions on cutting-edge issues, in civil antitrust litigations and the Japan FTC’s investigations.
The Firm’s client includes the following, which demonstrates his expertise in Japanese antitrust/competition law.
-one of the largest Japanese commercial bank
-one of the largest Japanese credit card issuer
-one of the largest electronics and electrical equipment manufacturer
-one of the largest Japanese online platform operator and its subsidiaries
-one of the largest copier manufacturer in the world
-one of the largest Japanese electric power company
-Japanese subsidiary of one of the largest pharmaceutical company
He is especially experienced in negotiations with the regulator, the Japan FTC. His advice on strategies regarding negotiation and discussion with the Japan FTC is based on his experience as an investigator, and thus is deemed by clients and peers as "practical and to the point".
He recently succeeded in persuading the Japan FTC to open several separate formal investigations against dominant companies, by submitting complaints to the Japan FTC. He was also successful in negotiation of an informal settlement with the Japan FTC and in making its formal investigation terminated without any formal prohibition decision or administrative fine. These successful outcomes can rarely be achieved in Japan and therefore is quite unique compared to other private practitioners.
He also advised clients in multiple civil patent litigations in Japan where issues related to abuse of patent rights were discussed, and he is therefore well known among IP attorneys for his expertise in complex issues related to “IP and antitrust.”
Mr Hirayama worked for the Japan Fair Trade Commission from July 2007 to June 2010, during which time he was a case manager in the Marine Hose case, among other high-profile international cartel cases, and led an abuse of dominance case. During these worldwide parallel investigations, he collaborated with foreign competition authorities in engagements such as information exchanges and coordination of simultaneous dawn raids, among others.
Following his return to private practice, he serves as an associate professor at Kyushu University, one of Japan’s oldest national universities, and is a member of the Japan Bar Association's antitrust committee.
Hirayama Law Offices