Dr. Inoue is a partner at Baker McKenzie's Tokyo office, and has been handling cross-border antitrust cases for more than 18 years. He is highly respected for his knowledge of antitrust and competition law, giving presentations at numerous events and having authored 10 books and more than 87 articles on the subject. The government frequently seeks his opinions on competition policy and government reports often cite his articles. Dr. Inoue has been serving Japanese companies as lead defense counsel since becoming involved in the international vitamin cartel case. Most recently, he successfully secured compliance credit for only the second time in the history of antitrust practice and won a 40% fine reduction. He is further distinguished as the sole member of the steering committee of Baker McKenzie's Global Antitrust & Competition Group from the Asia Pacific region.
Dr. Inoue has been recognized as a “Leading Individual” by Chambers Asia (2010-2018), Who’s Who Legal (2016-2018) and Best Lawyers in Japan (2017). He is recognized at the lawyer ranking published by Nikkei News Paper (2018).
Akira's focus is cross-border antitrust cases, especially international cartel cases. Starting with the vitamin cartel, he has represented clients in international cartel cases in a variety of industries, including the elevator, sorbic acid, DRAM, auto parts (shock absorbers, steering devices, seat belts, power steering, smart key entry systems, body seals, and halogen lamps), hydraulic device and HDD industries.
Representative Legal Matters
Illustrative International and Domestic Antitrust Experience
International and Domestic Cartel
Lead counsel for a Japanese auto parts company listed on the first section of the TSE in a criminal investigation by the US DOJ and an administrative investigation by the European Commission. Secured compliance credit and a 40% fine reduction from the US DOJ and the Southern District of Ohio, United States District Court.
Counsel for a Japanese construction company listed on the first section of TSE in a series of administrative investigation and hearing by JFTC with regard to a bid-rigging case.
Legal counsel for a Japanese auto parts company listed on the first section of the TSE in an administrative investigation and hearing conducted by the Competition Commission of India.
Counsel for a leading Japanese construction company in an administrative investigation and hearing by JFTC with regard to a bid-rigging case.
Chief coordinating counsel for a US-based, NYSE-listed chemical company in an administrative investigation and hearing by JFTC with regard to an international cartel case. Also acted for the client in a class action lawsuits in the US (in the first trial and the appeal trial).
Chief coordinating counsel for a US-based, NYSE-listed autoparts company in the investigation and successful plea bargaining with US DOJ with regard to an international cartel case. Also acted as lead counsel for a client in a successful submission of leniency application and administrative investigation by JFTC.
Lead counsel for a Japanese oil company listed in the first section of TSE in a bid-rigging case in an administrative investigation and hearing by JFTC, and the successful defense of a criminal trial at TDC.
Counsel for a leading Japanese shutter manufacturer listed in the first section of TSC in bid-rigging, market allocation and price fixing case in a successful leniency submission and administrative investigation by JFTC.
Counsel for leading elevator and lift manufacturer based in Europe in international cartel in administrative investigation by EC DG Comp and litigation at General Court.
Lead counsel for leading elevator and lift manufacturer based in Europe in international cartel in successful leniency submission and administrative hearing by JFTC.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Competition Law Association - Member
- Tokyo Bar Association - Member
- New York State Bar Association - Member
- New York~United States (2006)
- Japan (2000)
- Chuo University (Ph.D.) (2007)
- University of Virginia School of Law (LL.M. with Distinction) (2005)
- Legal Research & Training Institute of Supreme Court of Japan (2000)
- Chuo University Graduate School (LL.M. academic scholar) (1998)
- Chuo University (LL.B. academic scholar) (1996)
Author, "Changes to Legal Risk Management through Use of AI," Risk Management Today, No. 110, 2018
Author, "Review to Non-Guilty Verdict at Tokai Kogyo Case," Fair Trade, Vol. 812, No. 6, 2018
Author, "Quality and Inspection Fraud and Criminal Liability in the U.S. ," Business Law Journal, August 2018
Presenter, "How to Prepare for Japanese Plea Bargaining," September and October 2018
Presenter, "EU Competition Law (Practice and Application)," August 2018