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Over the past 13 years, Japanese companies have faced an unprecedented level of cross-border litigation. The Justice Department’s probes into interbank lending rates and Japan’s auto parts industry constituted two of the largest and most costly antitrust investigations in history, resulting in a wave of private litigation and regulatory inquiries from claimants and governments around the world. These events, coupled with the rise of patent infringement litigation in the United States, entangled hundreds of Japanese companies in costly litigation. In a country without a formal system of pretrial discovery, Japanese businesses have struggled to adapt their legal resources to these challenges. In-House Advisory Group has been at the forefront of these developments, assisting clients in establishing processes for conducting e-discovery while providing accurate, low-cost document review, reporting, and translation.


Since launching our Japanese e-discovery business in early 2012:

  • Over 6 million Japanese documents reviewed 

  • Managed over 30 Japanese review projects

  • Developed a network of over 200 Japanese reviewers and translators worldwide


Competition & Antitrust: While each matter is unique, knowledge of prevailing Japanese business practices and sales methods are critical to identify the most troublesome and beneficial materials in a competition review. In-House has conducted several long-term antitrust reviews for both civil and regulatory matters. Our case managers and reviewers bring a nuanced understanding of anti-competitive conduct among Japanese companies.  We have consistently demonstrated an ability to quickly determine the presence and scale of alleged activity, isolate related product lines, and identify additional areas of concern. We place equal emphasis on highlighting evidence of pro-competitive practices, consumer leverage, distinctions from co-defendants, and all factors that serve to mitigate the impact of antitrust claims.

Banking & Finance: The In-House management team brings a wealth of experience in financial markets, securities laws, and the mechanics of equity, currency, futures, and fixed income trading. This background, coupled with our experience in reviewing Japanese financial materials, make us uniquely qualified to assist in discovery for internal financial investigations, annual exams, and securities related litigation. 

Intellectual Property: In-House has conducted reviewers for a number of  intellectual property cases, most notably patent infringement cases involving Japanese holders of US patents. Our review teams have assisted in several successful defenses and enforcement of infringement claims in both US district courts and IPR reviews before the USPTO.

Product Liability: In-House has conducted product liability reviews on behalf of Japanese defendants in various industries, particularly for claims of product design defects, off-label marketing promotion, and failure to warn. Our case teams have experience in analyzing and translating materials involving pharmaceuticals, auto-parts, aviation components, chemicals, and handheld electronic devices.


  • End to end review service, coordinate data collection, processing, and hosting   

  • Retain and manage document reviewers  

  • Draft and implement review protocols, conduct review, and manage document production

  • Report on findings, substantive research assistance, key document summaries, and translations

  • Withhold and redact materials for privilege / privacy and generate privilege logs

  • Assist in deposition preparation, damage assessments, and research for expert witnesses

Technical & Linguistic Expertise

Conducting discovery in Japan presents a unique set of challenges. Unlike the relatively mature environment for e-discovery in the United States, Japanese companies often employ antiquated programs and methods for data storage and retention, potentially expanding the scale of discoverable  materials to large numbers of hard copy files and non-searchable data. In-House Discovery analysts and forensic specialists are adept at retrieving data from outdated Japanese software programs and employ the most advanced optical recognition tools available for navigating scanned documents. 

Aside from technical hurdles, information pivotal to the disposition of a given claim may be obscured in documents containing several hundred pages of handwritten notes and conveyed using industry short-hand or intra-company terminology. In-House Discovery reviewers and managers bring a wealth of institutional knowledge in deciphering opaque Japanese communications, enabling our team to deduce crucial information within a single review.

Attorney Client Privilege and  Work Product in Japan

Japanese companies have unique relationships with their law departments and legal advisors. Corporate law departments in Japan are often staffed and managed by non-attorneys who assume the traditional role of inhouse counsel. Similarly, legal representatives in Japan often comprise a number of specialists who are not always licensed attorneys. In-House Discovery can assist in determining what relationships and communications are defensibly characterized as privileged under the standards applied in the relevant jurisdiction or Rule 26 agreement governing your matter.​ As attorney-client privilege differs significantly in Japan, Japanese reviewers often lack experience in making determinations on privilege grounds. Each of our reviewers has a minimum of two years experience making privilege designations according to prevailing US standards and preparing privilege logs according to client specifications.

Privacy and Extraterritorial Production

Japan has strict privacy laws governing the export and production of personal information. Certain types of data may need to be withheld or redacted before being transferred to third-parties or transmitted abroad. In-House Discovery can help determine whether your end client has made appropriate releases on behalf of their employees, and assist in implementing reasonable privacy protections in compliance with Japan’s Personal Protection and Privacy Act

Technology & Security

In-House Discovery’s review facility is located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Our reviewers work in a secure case room and are prohibited from downloading, installing, uninstalling, or accessing any peripheral ports from their workstations. Cell phones, tablets, private laptops, and other communication devices are prohibited inside the case room. Each reviewer uses a desktop PC with Intel i5 4Cores @ 3.1GHz , 4Gb of RAM, and a 250Gb hard drive with a Windows 10 Professional and 128 bit operating system. Our systems have been successfully tested with most major review platforms and can access remote desktops worldwide to interface with a client’s network.

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