Gowling WLG holds long-standing relationships with some of Japan's largest companies and law firms, and helps Japanese clients take advantage of the tremendous business opportunities available in Canada, the UK and other key markets globally.

Japanese clients rely on us to manage their Canadian or UK legal requirements and guide them through a host of issues - from patent prosecution and litigation, cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and corporate commercial matters to transfer pricing,regulatory and competition/antitrust issues.

Our strategic legal guidance covers the sectors impacting your business, including life sciences, manufacturing, electronics, automotive, energy and technology.

Download summary of our services (English)                            Download summary of our services (Japanese)

Experienced, on-the-ground professionals

Our seasoned lawyers - some of whom are native to Japan and speak fluent Japanese - regularly spend time in Japan to gain important insight into our clients' issues, operations and business goals. This dedication has enabled us to maintain close relationships with a long list of Japanese companies for more than 60 years.

Top-tier intellectual property (IP) support

Intellectual property assets are essential to the success of Japanese businesses - which is why protecting, enforcing and defending our clients' industry innovations is our top priority. Gowling WLG delivers a full range of IP services to clients in Japan and around the world, from patents, trademarks and copyrights to brands, industrial designs and IP litigation. Learn more about our Japan-specific IP litigation expertise.

Mergers & acquisitions strength

Through the strength of our global M&A practice, we assist Japanese companies with their transactions across a range of key industries. We're one of the world's busiest law firms in mid-market M&A, and have a keen understanding of the challenges you face - because we're immersed in them every day.

Award-winning transfer pricing expertise

Our Transfer Pricing Group can optimise your global tax position and reduce your exposure to unfavourable audit assessments. With team members who have worked directly with Japanese government officials, we also deliver in-depth tax planning and innovative implementation strategies.

Regulatory, competition & antitrust know-how

We help Japanese clients navigate the complexities of competition and antitrust law, including compliance and strategic opinions, merger reviews, filings and clearances, pre-notifications, pre-implementation compliance issues, investigations and inquiries, regulatory approvals, and internal compliance policies and programs.

Select representative work

Our client service highlights including acting as counsel to:

  • Mitsui Canada since its establishment in Canada over 55 years ago, providing ongoing corporate and commercial services for a range of its Canadian operations.
  • Numerous Japanese corporations on a wide variety of trademark matters over the past three decades, providing strategic advice on selection, registration and enforcement of trademarks in Canada.
  • Eisai Co., Ltd on the European aspects of a US$3.9-billion merger agreement with MGI PHARMA, Inc.
  • A wide range of Japanese manufacturing and distribution companies and their Canadian subsidiaries, providing a full suite of transfer pricing services, including transfer pricing documentation, audit defence, appeal and competent authority representation, and advanced pricing agreements.
  • A Japanese health care products company on the distribution of its products in Canada, including its distribution arrangements with the Canadian distributor.
  • Astellas Pharma Inc. on two strategically important licensing deals with global biopharmaceutical company Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc. for the antibiotic Fidaxomicin, valued at €155 million and US$90 million, respectively.
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. on multiple patent litigation cases launched in Canada over the past 15 years, as well as on various patent prosecution and regulatory matters.
  • Japanese-based innovator pharmaceutical companies, including Kyorin Pharmaceutical Co. and Astellas, on patent disputes at the Federal Court of Canada.
  • Eisai on its acquisition of the European rights to the intrathecal painkiller Prialt from Elan for US$100 million
  • Transfreight Inc., a trucking and logistics company owned by Mitsui with operations across Canada, the US and Mexico, on a wide range of corporate and commercial legal matters for its Canadian operations.
  • Eisai Europe on a cross-border €95-million licence and co-promotion agreement with Bial-Portela & CA, S.A. for the treatment for epilepsy.
  • A Japanese manufacturing company in obtaining a rare "permanent establishment" advance income tax ruling from the Canada Revenue Agency, which provided tax assurances to the company that it did not carry on its business in Canada through a permanent establishment and was, therefore, exempt from Canadian tax under the Canada-Japan Income Tax Convention.

To learn more about how we can help you succeed in Japan and beyond, please contact Seiko Hidaka or Paul Armitage.