Press Release

Best Lawyers® Publishes 2024 Editions of The Best Lawyers in Japan™ and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Japan™

An image of a gold outline of Japan

AUGUSTA, Ga., 20 April 2023 — In the newly released 14th edition of The Best Lawyers in Japan and the second edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Japan™, fewer than 2,000 lawyers were identified by their colleagues as the most elite and respected lawyers in the country and were presented with recognition by Best Lawyers®.

“For more than 40 years, Best Lawyers awards have been the most reputable guide to professional excellence in the legal field,” said CEO of Best Lawyers Phillip Greer. “Last year we expanded our recognitions in Japan to honor lawyers earlier in their careers, while maintaining the rigor of our respected methodology applied to traditional Best Lawyers recognitions. It is an honor to continue elevating the influential work and efforts of these talented and deserving lawyers.”

The Best Lawyers Purely Peer Review™ methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. This preeminent research philosophy is applied to both “Ones to Watch” honors and the traditional lists. Best Lawyers believes that lawyers are the best resource to provide feedback on the caliber of work performed by their peers.

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Japan awards are presented to lawyers who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice. These recipients typically have been in practice for 3-8 years, whereas the honorees recognized in The Best Lawyers in Japan have on average been in practice for more than nine years. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo a thorough verification process to make sure they are currently still in private practice. Only then will Best Lawyers recognize these top lawyers.

The 2024 editions of The Best Lawyers in Japan recognizes the professional excellence of 1,681 lawyers in 47 practice areas and the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Japan recognizes 315 honorees across 25 practice areas.

In addition to historic individual lawyer recognitions, 48 lawyers were recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” honorees and 10 firms received a “Law Firm of the Year” award in 14 practice areas.

“Lawyer of the Year” awards are bestowed to only lawyers with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. “Law Firm of the Year” awards are country and practice area specific. They are determined based on a handful of factors, including feedback from lawyers recognized by Best Lawyers on individual lawyer and firm-wide work, the size and coverage of the firm in a specific practice area, historical analysis of the firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards in this area and research surrounding the firm’s overall scope and areas of expertise.

“Law Firm of the Year” Honorees:

Abe, Ikubo & Katayama for Intellectual Property Law

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune for Labor and Employment Law

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune for Tax Law

Miura & Partners for Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for Banking and Finance Law

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Morrison & Foerster for Real Estate Law 

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu for Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu for Private Equity, Private Funds & Venture Capital Law

Nishimura & Asahi for Litigation

Nishimura & Asahi for Project Finance and Development Practice

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners for Antitrust / Competition Law

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for Capital Markets Law

Somei, Maeda & Nakagawa Law Offices for Media and Entertainment Law


For research purposes, smaller and more rural cities located within a reasonable distance to larger cities are combined into single geographical regions called “metro areas” to help collect as much feedback and data as possible. Tokyo is the metro area with the largest number of listed lawyers.

Search The Best Lawyers in Japan and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Japan results by lawyer name, firm, region and/or practice area by visiting

About Best Lawyers

For more than four decades, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the lawyers best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Candidates can only be considered for one recognition at a time, either “Ones to Watch” or traditional Best Lawyers awards. Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch is not a seed list to The Best Lawyers and all hopeful candidates must be nominated and vetted by their peers recognized in Best Lawyers. Lawyers are not required nor allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, recognition by Best Lawyers is considered a singular distinction.