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Awards Report 2023: Japan


Legal awards acknowledge the market recognition of a law firm and lawyer’s success, ability, effort and, above all, excellence.

While rankings consider the accumulation of a firm or lawyer’s efforts year-on-year, awards represent the achievements of firms or lawyers during the past 12 months. Awards can be viewed as being more significant than rankings because being shortlisted or winning an award means a firm or lawyer is one of a very select number of parties considered to be “the best”.

Legal Media 360’s Awards Reports consolidate the nominations and winners of the most reputable international and regional awards, showcasing the top performers by jurisdiction.


Atomic awards data is categorized, and naming conventions standardized. This highlights which firms, lawyers, cases and deals are receiving the greatest recognition via a nomination/win ratio.

Awards data from the following sources are used in our research:

Asian Legal Business, ALM, asialaw, Benchmark Litigation, China Business Law Journal, Chambers and Partners, China Law and Practice, India Business Law Journal, International Financial Law Review, In-house Community, Legal 500, Managing IP.

The awards period used for our research is January to December 2022.

Legal Media 360’s awards analysis splits firm awards into two distinct categories: Firm awards and Case/deal awards.

Award Categories

Firm awards

Firm awards include categories such as practice area specific awards, practice management, diversity and inclusion and firm-wide awards (such as firm of the year).

The following data for Japan is for domestic firms only.

Table 1: Top firms by highest number of firm award nominations


Commentary: The above tables show that while Mori Hamada & Matsumoto had the highest number of firm award nominations. However, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Nishimura & Asahi scored more wins and had a much higher win to nomination ratio. Anderson Mori & Tomotsune had the lowest number of award wins and their nomination to win conversion was also the lowest out of the big four Japanese law firms.

Case/deal awards

Case/deal awards recognise the firms working on the most significant matters in the past 12 months.

Table 2: Top firms by highest number of case/deal award nominations

Commentary: Nishimura & Asahi was nominated the greatest number case/deal awards nominations and wins in 2022. The above data shows all the award wins were only shared between the big four Japanese firms.

Lawyer awards

In the 12 publications examined, a total of 45 lawyers in Japan were nominated for awards.

30 male lawyers were nominated, compared with 15 female lawyers. The gender ratio of male-female lawyer nominations is 66 to 34 percent.

Six out of the 46 lawyers won awards. Three were male and three were female.

Nomination Statistics

 Table 3: Firms with the highest number of lawyer award nominations


Table 4: Lawyers with the highest number of award nominations

Winner Statistics

Table 5: Firms with the highest number of lawyer award wins


Table 6: Lawyer award winners 

Commentary: 12 firms had lawyers nominated for awards in 2022. The six lawyers that won awards were from two firms, Nishimura & Asahi and Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.

Download report in PDF format.