Mr. Akiyama is the co-leader of the firm’s Japanese practice and he currently represents more than 100 Japanese-owned companies.
Mr. Akiyama has more than 35 years of experience representing Japanese clients in connection with their operations in the United States. During his career, Mr. Akiyama was a member of the legal department of a leading Japanese trading company for 18 years both in Japan and in the United States. In addition, he has been engaged in private practice in New York for the past 19 years.
Mr. Akiyama’s knowledge of the law in numerous fields and his familiarity with the organization, decision-making system and risk management style of Japanese companies enables him to deliver unique services and results. In his capacity as a team leader, he listens to the client, identifies the critical legal and business issues, selects a team member with necessary experience, and forms and coordinates a team that delivers integrated services as a package.
General Corporate, Corporate Governance and Compliance: Advising a major Japanese manufacturer on sweeping corporate reform initiatives including corporate reorganization, corporate governance and compliance, risk management issues, decision-making system and intercultural communication; acting as an outside board member of a US subsidiary of a Japanese insurance company; representing a multinational corporation in its effort to create a global compliance program with special emphasis on US laws.
Mergers and Acquisitions/Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances: Acting as lead negotiator for Japanese multinational companies in connection with the acquisition of companies and businesses both within and outside the United States; acting as a lead negotiator in connection with joint venture transactions including one having facilities both in Japan and the United States that raised Japanese, US and European tax and antitrust issues; advising a Japanese pharmaceutical company in connection with its co-promotion of drugs with a major UK company and its US subsidiary.
Commercial Transactions and IP Licensing: Negotiating distributorship agreements between Japanese manufacturers and US distributors and advising on US antitrust implications; drafting and negotiating a technology licensing agreement for a Japanese company in connection with a joint venture formation.
Employment and Labor: Advising Japanese clients on day-to-day labor issues; advising Japanese companies in connection with reductions in force and office closings; advising a Japanese bank in connection with claims of employment discrimination on the basis of national origin and sex, which were successfully defeated at trial; advising a Japanese trading company in connection with a major employment discrimination suit.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Representing a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer in connection with a claim for reimbursement of recall-related costs and successful settlement through mediation; representing a Japanese chemical manufacturer in connection with a claim for theft of trade secrets and successfully settling the case before the presiding judge.
Bankruptcy and Insolvency: Advising five Japanese financial institutions in connection with Chapter 11 proceedings of a US subsidiary of a Japanese trading company and their creditors’ rights; advising a Japanese financial institution as a member of the unsecured creditors’ committee in the bankruptcy proceeding of a US subsidiary of another Japanese trading company; advising Japanese financial institutions in connection with the debt restructuring of a US subsidiary in connection with the bankruptcy proceeding of the parent.
Board Member, Management Decision Laboratory, New York University Stern School of Management
President, of Apple Society, NY/NJ Patent Study Group, Josuikai (President of NY Hitotsubashi Alumni Association)
Mr. Akiyama is a frequent speaker before professional and corporate organizations in the United States and Japan, including the Japanese Federation of Economic Organization (Keidanren), the Keizai Koho Center, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japanese Institute of International Business Law (Kokusai Shoji Homu). The topics on which Mr. Akiyama has spoken include product liability, corporate governance and compliance programs, employment law, sexual harassment, corporate restructuring, international joint ventures, discovery and the attorney-client privilege, mergers and acquisitions and related legal and tax issues, US business organizations and LLCs, the US Sentencing Guidelines and related compliance issues, US businesses and their restructuring, arbitration, total risk management, and US Joint Ventures in the form of LLCs and their legal and tax implications.