U.S. businesses looking to enter the Japanese market and Japanese companies expanding operations in the U.S. benefit from counsel with an understanding of the laws and regulations, as well as the governmental and cultural nuances which impact business on both sides of the Pacific.

Michael Best provides just that counsel. We are a full-service law firm, with deep ties in the U.S. and Japan. We have provided Japanese companies with operations in the U.S. – and U.S. companies working in Japan – a range of legal services for decades. Our team is bilingual and multicultural, we are licensed to practice in both countries and are knowledgeable about underlying market conditions affecting the business climate.

We handle a complete range of legal matters, including labor & employment, corporate, immigration, intellectual property, regulatory, and tax, which are of particular importance to multi-national organizations. We provide services for startups and emerging companies through our Venture Best® Group and government relations assistance through our subsidiary Michael Best Strategies LLC. We work in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams to anticipate and meet our clients’ needs on the international, federal, and state levels.

We have experience in industries which represent significant portions of the Japanese and U.S. economies and are subject to unique regulatory schemes and rapidly changing market conditions in both countries. We have a dedicated group of attorneys representing both established and startup clients in the healthcare industry. Our Digital Technology team assists companies navigating the new world of Surveillance Capitalism, including FinTech regulations, the nuances of intellectual property, and company formation and licensing agreements. Our Life Sciences specialists provide a range of services, backed by technical expertise and advanced degrees, to businesses and universities developing and working with these technologies. We represent companies in long-established industries, and have deep ties in logistics and manufacturing, including automotive manufacturing. We provide these companies a range of services including navigating the complications of employing world-wide blue and white collar workforces, protecting mechanical intellectual property and trade secrets, and other business concerns.

Ways We Can Assist

Opening and Operating a Business in the U.S. Market  

Whether already established or entering the market for the first time, we assist Japanese companies expand their business operations in the U.S. Our services include working with clients growing through organic expansion as well as through mergers and acquisition. We advise on issues including:

  • Appropriate filings to The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
  • Guidance on, and logistical support, related to where to open facilities, based on economic, workforce and logistical factors
  • Provide counsel on labor and employment concerns, including labor relations
  • Assist companies understand the intellectual property landscape they are entering, including both patents and trademarks
  • Securing U.S.-based venture capital to promote business growth
  • Working through environmental regulations, of particular importance to manufacturers

Selling a Product or Service in the U.S.  

Japanese companies selling products in the U.S. are required to comply with a wide-range of local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Michael Best’s experts assist with compliance across state boarders and at the national level, as well as other a wide range of issues inherent to the production and sale of a products:

  • Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulations as well as a variety of state and federal energy and environmental regulations
  • Vendor agreements when a third party is selling goods and services and other contracts
  • Working with interstate distributors
  • Protecting trade secrets from leaving a facility

Navigating International Commerce

Michael Best assists with a broad array of issues which affect a company’s ability to seamlessly export their U.S.-manufactured products and more easily reach their global customers, our services include:

  • Privacy & cybersecurity, and protecting consumer data around the globe
  • Utilizing user and consumer data to create revenue streams, including licensing agreements and protecting Artificial Intelligence and inventions derived from data collection
  • Government relations assistance related to federal trade and tariff regulations
  • Tax guidance on the state and federal level


Service Areas 

Labor & Employment Relations

Our Labor & Employment Relations group helps clients make employment-related decisions and plan for the future. We have experience with all kinds of employers and work forces, whether national or international, private or public sector, large or small, white- or blue-collar, unionized or union-free.



Clients turn to our Corporate group for strategic legal counsel covering the entire business life cycle—from organization, financing, and operation through mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and liquidation. Our lawyers provide guidance on contract negotiations, corporate formation, deal structuring, tax planning, regulatory compliance, dispute resolution, and much more, in these areas:

  • Securities and capital markets: Public and private company financings; public company reporting and compliance; mergers and acquisitions for public companies; broker-dealer/ FINRA matters; investment adviser; securities enforcement and litigation; derivatives
  • Transactions: M&A for private companies; joint ventures; commercial finance and lending; derivatives; creditors rights, bankruptcy, reorganization, and workouts
  • General corporate counsel: BEST Corporate Counsel; corporate governance; commercial contracts; business succession planning and retirement planning



Our immigration attorneys assists clients with employee mobility, hiring, and the retention of international workers while staying compliant with all relevant regulations. Michael Best provides the full spectrum of immigration-related legal services.


Intellectual Property

Michael Best’s IP practice offers three key advantages: we know our clients business; we understand their technology; and we have the advocacy skills to help develop, manage, and protect intellectual assets.

With more than 150 lawyers and IP professionals—including more than 25 patent engineers, scientists, and registered agents—our IP group provides a full range of legal services, including prosecution, portfolio management, and litigation.


Venture Best®

Our Venture Best® group works closely with entrepreneurs, and with their VC and angel investors, to help new, rapidly growing companies find financial backing and expand their businesses. In addition to transactional work, we counsel early-stage businesses on their financial, organizational, and regulatory needs as they grow. We also provide crucial value-added services to startups, such as advising on business plan and pitch development, making investor introductions, and team-building referrals. Our extensive network of contacts enables us to help each entrepreneur find the right investors — and vice versa.



Our team emphasizes proactive tax planning, enabling our clients to optimize the structure of transactions and other business ventures, achieving maximum tax efficiency


Life Sciences

Our cross-practice group has decades of experience providing counsel to agribusiness, biotechnology, chemical, food & beverage, health care and health technology, higher education, pharmaceutical, and water.



Our Regulatory practice is designed to serve clients in heavily regulated industries, such as manufacturing and utility services, as well as in regulatory areas that impact business as a whole, such as environmental regulation. We have deep experience assisting clients with virtually all aspects of regulatory compliance and defense, combined with the capability to deliver a broad range of legal services.



Our Reach

Michael Best has 13 offices, and our attorneys are admitted to practice in jurisdictions across the country.

We are a member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms in 100+ countries worldwide. As part of the Lex Mundi global network, we provide our clients with preferred access to more than 21,000 lawyers around the world—all from a single point of contact.  Lex Mundi firms provide global legal resources with unmatched depth and breadth. Working with other Lex Mundi firms, we are able to seamlessly handle our clients’ most challenging cross-border transactions and disputes.

Primary Contacts


Primary Contacts

back to top