Government Investigations

Our law firm has extensive experience in handling investigations conducted by various regulatory authorities such as the Japan Fair Trade Commission, Public Prosecutors Office, Consumer Affairs Agency, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency and foreign competition authorities.

To illustrate, when a potential violation of competition law/consumer protection law is found (e.g. when the investigation by the regulatory authorities is commenced), the enterprise needs to immediately respond to such emergency situation by, for example, conducting an internal investigation to determine the relevant facts. Our lawyers, who have a very precise understanding of what types of conducts would be targeted by regulatory authorities, are able to promptly conduct an internal investigation (in some cases, in very limited time) while managing the relevant records appropriately. In parallel with the internal investigation, our lawyers will also suitably deal with the press, the stockholders/investors, clients and/or consumers, etc. Our lawyers, who belong to our firm's competition/consumer protection practice group, are based in each of our offices in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, and are thereby able to provide prompt and suitable legal support in a time-sensitive manner.

The most important point to successfully handle an investigation by the regulatory authorities is to decide, in a timely and proper way, how a case should be handled based on the facts determined in the internal investigation, paying considerable attention to the client's stakeholders. We are able to take a far-reaching view of what will likely happen based on the extensive experience we have acquired so far and provide the clients with the best solution suitable for their case, including the possibility of applying for leniency.

When the subject enterprise decides to admit the violation, we will exert our best efforts in negotiating with the regulatory authorities to minimize any monetary sanction, such as surcharges, and arrive at a reasonable resolution. On the other hand, if the subject enterprise decides to challenge the charge of violation, we will ensure that we put up an effective defense to steer the investigation by the regulatory authorities in the direction most favorable to the client. In either of these two options, we will handle the investigation leveraging the trustworthy relationships that we have developed with the regulatory authorities.

In antitrust cases, a case which otherwise appears to be a domestic matter may potentially develop into an international case and be subject to huge monetary sanctions. The handling of international antitrust cases is one of our specialties and we are capable of taking the lead in such cases, meticulously gauging how likely they would develop into international cases at a very early stage and, as necessary, quickly reaching out to the relevant foreign attorneys.

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