CONFLICT AVOIDANCE AVOIDANCE - A host of unforeseen legal disputes triggered by COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine has pushed conflict-averse Japanese companies to become more litigious, with law firms in Japan benefiting from an increase in the use of international arbitration among their clients for settling disputes with foreign counterparts.  As International’s Brian Yap reports, law firms in Japan have been pouring money into expanding their dispute resolution practices through the active hiring of international arbitration experts, both in their head office and regional offices in Asia. International arbitration, which traditionally was not a popular method of dispute resolution in Japan, has come to account for a larger share of revenue for law firms in Japan, with some saying the increase has been dramatic. The number of traditional litigation cases, meanwhile, has been steadily falling since 2011. A change in the nature of disputes brought about by the pandemic and geopolitical upheaval, coupled with the option of online evidentiary hearings in international arbitration cases, have been driving the trend toward the use of international arbitration, lawyers say. “With the increase in international arbitration cases, particularly in lucrative energy and construction projects, we are now eagerly searching for an arbitration partner with strong expertise in arbitration and excellent client relationships for our Tokyo office,” said Shinsuke Yakura, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Tokyo office head, who also leads Orrick’s complex litigation and dispute resolution group in Tokyo.


“This should send chills to all lawyers across Florida that you could be forced to pay attorney fees to the banks that are committing fraud on the court.”

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