Every year for 40 years we highlight the extraordinary accomplishments of those in the legal profession; completely unbiased legal referrals from the best attorneys in the world.

The 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Japan recognizes the professional excellence of more than 1,500 lawyers in 43 practice areas, including more than 40 “Lawyer of the Year” recipients. For the 12th Edition, Best Lawyers honored approximately 4% of practicing lawyers in Japan*. “Lawyer of the Year” honors are awarded annually to only one lawyer per practice area in each region with extremely high overall feedback from their peers, making it an exceptional distinguishment.

Lawyers who are nominated for consideration are voted on by currently recognized Best Lawyers working in the same practice area and located in the same geographic region. Our awards and recognitions are based purely on the feedback we receive from these top lawyers. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo a thorough verification process to make sure they are currently still in private practice. Only then can these top lawyers be recognized by Best Lawyers.

“Law Firm of the Year” awards recognize a single top firm for its work in a specific legal practice area nationwide. Awards are determined based on a handful of factors including lawyer feedback, the number of lawyers included in Best Lawyers for that firm and practice area, the number of office locations a firm has, historical analysis of the firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards, materials submitted by firms, and the firm’s overall scope and areas of expertise.

Publication Statistics

Here are highlights from the 2022 12th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Japan:

  • 1,548 Lawyers Recognized
  • 304 Firms with Listed Lawyers
  • 43 Number of Practice Areas
  • 12 Number Law Firm of the Year Awards

Top 2 metro areas (by number of listed lawyers):

  • Tokyo (1,349)
  • Osaka (199)

Top 10 practice areas (by number of listed lawyers):

  • Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Law (394)
  • Intellectual Property Law (227)
  • Litigation (147)
  • Banking and Finance Law (134)
  • Insolvency and Reorganization Law (116)
  • Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice (95)
  • Real Estate Law (95)
  • Antitrust / Competition Law (87)
  • Capital Markets Law (87)
  • International Business Transactions (73)

Top 10 most searched practice areas in Japan in 2020 on bestlawyers.com:

  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Litigation
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Capital Markets Law
  • Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • International Business Transactions
  • Arbitration and Mediation

Law Firm of the Year

“Law Firm of the Year” awards recognize a single top firm for its work in a specific legal practice area nationwide. Awards are determined based on a handful of factors including lawyer feedback, the number of lawyers included in Best Lawyers for that firm and practice area, the number of office locations a firm has, historical analysis of the firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards, materials submitted by firms, and the firm’s overall scope and areas of expertise.

The 2022 “Law Firm of the Year” recipients are:

  • Antitrust / Competition Law
    • Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Banking and Finance Law
    • Anderson Mori & Tomotsune
  • Capital Markets Law
    • Clifford Chance
  • Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Law
    • Nishimura & Asahi
  • Insolvency and Reorganization Law
    • Nishimura & Asahi
  • Intellectual Property Law
    • Nakamura & Partners
  • Labor and Employment Law
    • Anderson Mori & Tomotsune
  • Litigation
    • Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
  • Media and Entertainment Law
    • TMI Associates
  • Private Equity, Private Funds and Venture Capital Law
    • Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
    • Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Interested in seeing Best Lawyers honorees in Japan? Use our Find a Lawyer tool to search by location and specialty.

Access the full report of Best Lawyers international releases, updated continuously.

*Based on information published by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.