• Share
  • Email
  • Print

Naoki Watanabe

Fax +81.3.3597.6421
Mr. Watanabe is a partner in the firm’s Tokyo office. Mr. Watanabe focuses on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other corporate alliances in Japan and/or Japanese public and private companies. He advises on a broad range of commercial transactions including distributorships, licensing agreements; employment issues including redundancies, sexual harassment, data protection advice, for Japanese and international manufacturers, retailers, distributors, insurance and other service providers. This includes compliance issues as well as the implementation of various company policies.

Mr. Watanabe is recognized as a leading lawyer for M&A and employment in Legal 500, 2015, which states "at K&L Gates, Naoki Watanabe’s deep and practical focus on M&A, commercial and employment advice makes him one of the most sought-after professionals in these fields."

Mr. Watanabe is also recognized for his skills and knowledge in the healthcare sector, and has represented a number of healthcare companies. This includes regulatory and compliance advise for Japanese and non-Japanese pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Mr. Watanabe serves as an external member of the Internal Clinical Review Board, Indemnification Committee, and Ethical Committee of several healthcare companies.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Keio Law School, Lecturer, teaching Advanced Corporate/Commercial Law (2010 - 2013)
  • Tokyo Summary-claim Court, Civil Mediator (minji chotei iin)
  • Dai-ni Tokyo Bar Association, Arbitrator, Arbitration Center
  • Japan Federation of Bar Association, Vice-Chair of Corporate Compliance Project Team, Practice Committee (2008 - 2013)
  • Ministry of General Affairs, Arbitrator, Digital Broadcasting Support Center

Speaking Engagements

  • “2015 Amendment to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures”, Japan Pharmaceutical Industry Legal Affairs Association, January 2016
  • “Business Risks and Mitigation Strategies for Japanese Companies in an Era of Increased Antitrust Enforcement,” K&L Gates Event, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, September 2016 (co-presenter)
  • “Market trend of contractual provisions for international M&A and meeting points for agreement ~ focusing on M&A deals of the U.S. private companies~” FN Communications seminar , September 2014
  • "EU Data Protection & Data Transfers to Countries outside EU", Japan Pharmaceutical Industry Legal Affairs Association, August 2010 
  • "Practical Tips on Convention of International Sales of Goods", Financial Management Forums, September 2009
  • "Recent Changes to Pharmaceutical Legislation in Japan", Japanese Pharmaceutical Market Conference (London), February 2009
  • Represented a Tokyo -based leading telecommunication facilities service provider, in its acquisition of a majority stake in a holding company for various Massachusetts-based companies which provide data center engineering, construction and maintenance services.
  • Represented a global manufacturer in its strategy on merger filing and examination with JFTC, DOJ and other competition authorities.
  • Represented an European confectionary manufacturer and successfully defended against an injunction filed by its nation-wide distributor alleging wrongful termination.
  • Represented global solar power manufacturer and investors in relation to Japanese renewable energy regulations as well as projects.
  • Represented a Japanese manufacturer on a joint venture with an European developer in the field of cell and gene therapy.
  • Advising on preparation of public comment in respect of the reform of the Enforcement Regulation of Regenerative Medicine Law.
  • Represented a TSE-listed company in its acquisition of a CMO biologics business in North Carolina and UK from the US pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Represented a private equity house on its potential acquisition of a super market chain company in Japan.
  • Advising on an acquisition by Lenovo Group of the personal computer business of IBM Japan.
  • Advising a private equity house on its acquisition of a global agriculture-chemical company for an enterprise value of US$2.2billion.
  • Advising a Japanese optical manufacturer on its joint venture with a French optical manufacturer.
  • Advising a Japanese telecommunication carrier on the sale of its 35% shareholding in Sri Lanka Telecom to a Malaysian telecommunication provider.
  • Advising a Japanese IT system integrating company on its acquisition of a Japanese subsidiary of a Dutch system integrator.
  • Advising on a disposal of a Japanese financial information providing business by a Japanese IT system integrator to a US company.
  • Advising on a joint venture between Nexans and VISCAS on power cable business.
  • Advising a Japanese imaging company on an acquisition of the medical system business of endoscopes, supersonic waves and pathologies from a Japanese trading company.
  • Advising a Japanese listed company on a cross-border share-for-share exchange with a UK unlisted company.
  • Advising international private equity houses in their sale of a Japanese logistics company.
  • Advising an international private equity house on its potential acquisition of Kanebo Group from the Industrial Reutilisation Company of Japan.
  • Advising a Japanese consulting service company in its joint venture with a Japanese sewing machine manufacturer.
  • Advising a global bank of its potential acquisition of a Japanese consumer finance company.
  • An active member of Clinical Trial Internal Review Board and Indemnification Internal Review Board of Mundipharma KK.
  • An active member of Internal Ethical Review Board of Nihon L'Oreal KK, R&D Center.