IEL Elite

Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo

Market-leading boutique



Employment boutique Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo is described as “fantastic” by peers, who also praise its international nous.

They understand the needs of foreign clients in Japan.

The very smart” Akiko Yamakawa is a name of note within the firm.

Clients include global and US companies with activities in the manufacturing, financial services, and technology sectors.


The group is well-versed in assisting clients with issues impacting large workforces, including day-to-day matters.

Experience includes representation in front of the labour authorities, and in litigation proceedings over sexual harassment, overtime, and reinstatement claims. In addition, it is able to support clients in disputes with trade unions.

The teams expertise in particularly sensitive issues extends to acting on investigations, including those with a criminal angle.

The firm also advises clients on the labour and employment aspects of corporate transactions, including joint ventures, from due diligence and negotiations with unions through to integration of new workforces.

Other areas of activity include how to structure executive pay and incentives schemes or non-compete clauses, and the management of disciplinary proceedings. 

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