Yoshiaki Muto has more than 25 years' experience handling matters related to international disputes and corporate transactions. He is currently head of the Dispute Resolution Group at the Firm's Tokyo office and a member of the Firm's Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution Group Regional Steering Committee. Yoshiaki is also a member of the Registered Foreign Lawyers & International Legal Practice Committee, chair of the International Legal Service Promotion Centre and a member of the SME Outbound Legal Support Working Group of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
Yoshiaki has been recommended as a dispute resolution practitioner in Japan by PLC Which Lawyer and Global Counsel 3000, and has been recognized as a leading individual in the dispute resolution and crisis management categories by Asia Pacific Legal 500 and Chambers Asia Pacific.
Yoshiaki focuses his practice in the areas of domestic and international dispute resolution, including litigation and arbitration, alternative dispute resolution and corporate investigation and compliance. He also regularly advises clients on crisis and risk management, corporate transactions and general corporate and commercial matters. Yoshiaki's diverse client base includes companies in the automotive, banking and finance, construction, consumer products, electrical device and machinery, electronics, professional services, and aerospace and defense industries. He has particular expertise and represents a number of clients in the information technology and commerce businesses and in the healthcare, medical device and pharmaceutical industries.
Representative Legal Matters
- Corporate governance disputes: Represented clients in Japanese litigation over shareholders' rights and other corporate law issues, such as management team replacement, battles over new share subscription rights and corporate governance controversies involving listed Japanese companies and major shareholders.
- Corporate transaction disputes: Represented parties to cross-border corporate transactions in breach of contract, breach of warranties and purchase price controversies.
- Joint venture disputes: Represented parties to cross-border joint ventures in disputes concerning venture company management, profit and loss sharing, capital and debt infusion, conflicts of interest, share purchase options and price determinations and assisted in the dissolution and termination of joint ventures.
- Construction disputes: Represented major construction and engineering firms concerning project management and dispute issues, including cost/profit sharing, liability for damages and regulatory issues arising from multinational construction and infrastructure projects, many in emerging countries.
- Financial transaction disputes: Represented global and local financial institutions in Japanese and foreign courts concerning investment loss damages and marketing misrepresentation claims arising from sophisticated financial transactions, such as derivatives and structured products
- IT system and software disputes: Represented major systems integration and software companies in disputes arising from product defects, project delays and technical difficulties.
- Product recalls: Advised multinational companies — including computer hardware manufacturers, IT device and equipment vendors, pharmaceutical and medical device firms, food and drink producers and sporting equipment manufacturers — on product recall-related regulatory compliance issues and represented them in related administrative, civil and criminal actions.
- Internal investigations: Helped clients investigate allegations of fraud, misrepresentation and regulatory violations, including forensic review, on-site interviews and research, and represented them in related administrative, civil and criminal matters.
- Corporate compliance: Advised and assisted clients in the creation, implementation and maintenance of corporate compliance programs, including policy making by top-level management, reviews of risk assessments, drafting of internal rules and in the conduct of internal seminars and training and follow-up audits concerning anti-corruption, antitrust and anti-bias issues.
- Provided regulatory advice and assistance to global pharmaceutical and medical device companies concerning anti-corruption, fair competition, industry code compliance and medical regulatory compliance issues.
- Provided general corporate and commercial law advice to global companies engaged in business in Japan on product recall-related regulatory compliance issues arising from local business operations and transactions.
- Ranked as Band 2 in Dispute Resolution: Domestic - Japan, Chambers Asia Pacific, 2021
- Ranked as Spotlight table in Crisis Management: Domestic - Japan, Chambers Asia Pacific, 2021
- Ranked as Leading Individual in Dispute Resolution: International Firms and Joint Ventures - Japan, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2021
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Tokyo Bar Association - Member
- New York State Bar Association - Member
- Japan Federation of Bar Associations - Member, Registered Foreign Lawyers & International Legal Practice Committee; Member, Registered Foreign Lawyers Disciplinary Action Committee; Chair, International Legal Service Promotion Centre; Member, SME Outbound Legal Support Working Group
- New York~United States (1998)
- Japan (1992)
- University of Illinois College of Law (LL.M.) (1996)
- Tohoku University (LL.B.) (1988)
- Co-author, "Legal Risk Management for Global Subsidiaries," Chuokeizai-sha, September 2019, Language: Japanese
- Author, "Global Counsel Support for Japanese Multinationals," Business Law Journal, March 2018, Language: Japanese
- Co-author, "Reports on the 2017 LAWASIA Tokyo Meeting," The Japan Bar Association Periodical, January 2018, Language: Japanese
- Author, "Legal Support for Cross-border Transactions by Emerging Japanese Companies," The Japan Bar Association Periodical, April 2016, Language: Japanese
- Author, "Third Party Risks," Business Law Journal, November 2014, Language: Japanese
- Co-author, "Risks and Solutions on Disclosure of Internal Investigation Reports in International Commercial Arbitration Cases," New Business Law Journal, October 2013, Language: Japanese