Hideki Akiyama works as a trusted advisor to many Japanese companies relating to such client’s business transactions in the U.S, including, without limitation, merger and acquisition transactions, general corporate matters (including negotiating and drafting agreements for joint ventures, strategic alliances, and distributorships) as well as labor and employment issues and dispute resolution matters (both litigation and arbitration). He grew up, studied, and has worked in both the U.S. and Japan and is well-versed in the cultural and structural differences of doing business in Japan and the United States.

Hideki has represented both Japanese and U.S. companies in dispute resolution matters and arbitration proceedings before various tribunals, including the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He has also worked for Japanese and U.S.-listed companies in cross-border energy and infrastructure projects.

Prior Legal Experience

  • Atsumi & Sakai Foreign Law Joint Venture Enterprise (Tokyo), Partner – Head of Cross-Border M&A Group, 2021-2023; Partner – Corporate Group (2009-2012)
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LP (Tokyo), Partner – Head of Corporate & Securities Group (Tokyo), 2012-2021
  • Schiff Hardin (New York), Partner – Corporate Group, 2007-2009
  • Sidley Austin (Tokyo, New York), Associate – Corporate/Business and Financial Transactions, 2004-2007
  • Alston & Bird (Atlanta), Associate – Transactional/International Group, 1999-2004

Representative Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Advice on the acquisition of an American media company by a Joint Venture company of a Japanese government fund, a Japanese major trading company, and a Tokyo Stock Exchange Prime-listed media corporation
  • Reorganization of North American operations and associated legal work of a Tokyo Stock Exchange Prime corporation
  • Advised a major Japanese trading company in its acquisition of a chemical manufacturer in the U.S.
  • Represented a Tokyo Stock Exchange Prime corporation in a breach of contract dispute against an Indian company in an arbitration proceeding before the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association
  • Advice in conjunction with equity participation by major Japanese trading company in an LNG project in Peru
  • Advised a major Japanese trading company in conjunction with a hydrocarbon mining project in Gabon, Africa
  • Advised a major Japanese gas company in its acquisition of an LDC in the U.S., including financing and regulatory approvals
  • Represented a major Japanese electric company in its geothermal energy project in the U.S., including financing and regulatory approvals
  • Dissolution of a U.S. joint venture of two Tokyo Stock Exchange companies
  • Business integration between two of the ten largest Japanese trading companies
  • Alliance agreement between two multinational food and beverage companies
  • Proposed acquisition of a major Japanese manufacturing corporation by a leading U.S. private equity fund
  • Merger of two national U.S. telephone companies
  • Sale of an airline infrastructure outsourcing business unit to a multinational corporation
  • Distribution agreement between a major electronics manufacturing company in the U.S. and Japanese distributor
  • Automobile parts manufacturing joint venture involving two Japanese and one U.S. entity
  • Sale and purchase agreement for a mid-sized New York real estate company selling its operations in Georgia (asset sale transaction)
  • Advised a Japanese metal manufacturing company on the reorganization of its U.S. operations, including incorporation of a holding company for its U.S. operations
  • Prospective acquisition (stock sale transaction) of the largest independent wholesale food distributor in New York by an international food company
  • Advised the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese petrochemicals company in negotiating and drafting a Separation and Release Agreement in conjunction with the termination of its former president
  • Sale of multiple golf courses in Georgia owned by the U.S. subsidiary of Japanese company in conjunction with its bankruptcy (asset sale transaction)
  • Distribution agreement between a U.S. textile machinery manufacturer and a Japanese trading company distributor
  • Buy-out of a leased manufacturing facility from a financing bank for the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese company

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in Japan: Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions Law, 2021-Present

Thought Leadership


  • “Antitrust Counterclaims in Patent Infringement Cases,” International Legal Strategy Vol. IX-7 (ILS Publications), 2000
  • Co-Author, “Theories and Practice of REIT,” Kobundo, 2011
  • “Recent Amendment of Japanese Antimonopoly Law Brings Non-Japanese Mergers Within Jurisdiction of JFTC,” 1 International Antitrust Bulletin 10, 1998


  • Moderator, “The Transformed U.S. Energy Landscape: Shale Gas, LNG Export and Crisis Management,” in cooperation with Japan Institute for Overseas Investment (JOI), June 27, 2012
  • Speaker, “U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Pre-Merger Notification and Approval Process,” June 22, 2012
  • Speaker, “Asset Purchases Under U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Law 363(b) and 363 Sale,” April 2, 2009
  • Speaker, “U.S. Employment Law Seminar,” November 9, 2007
  • Speaker, “Recent Developments Regarding M&A Agreements in the U.S.,” October 30, 2007


  • Japanese