Major Practice Areas
Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions / Risk Management and Compliance / Dispute Resolution
Other Practice Areas
Restructuring and Insolvency / Manufacturing / Trading Companies


Toru Watanabe is a Partner specializing in corporate law matters. Mr. Watanabe has provided corporate clients with support, proactive and defensive, from many aspects, including all types of mergers and acquisitions, squeeze-out transactions, shareholder meeting support, responses to shareholder activism, management disputes, corporate litigation, commercial and non-contentious proceedings, shareholder derivative lawsuits, capital policy, risk management, and corporate governance. Mr. Watanabe has also been appointed by the Commercial Division of the Osaka District Court as an inspector of shareholders meetings as well as an inspector of operations.

Mr. Watanabe’s experience and achievements in the area of corporate legal practice have been highly lauded, and as a result, he was appointed as a Bar Examiner on the subject of corporate law as well as a Visiting Professor at the law school of his alma mater, Kyoto University, to lecture on corporate law practice.

Moreover, Mr. Watanabe has recently qualified and been appointed as a Certified Fraud Examiner by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners of Japan and has thus begun to emphasize dealing with corporate misconduct as part of his legal practice.

Education & Professional Career

  • Investigation regarding a violation of the Building Standards Act by Daiwa House Industry (as an external investigative committee member)
  • Sale by a major Japanese manufacturer of its local subsidiary in Germany
  • Consolidation of the three regional banks in the Kansai area – Kansai Urban Bank, Kinki Osaka Bank, and Minato Bank
  • Establishment of a joint venture company between the Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma
  • Inspector of shareholders meetings of Diamond Electric MFG.
  • Acquisition of 100% ownership of Daihatsu Motor by Toyota Motor
  • Investigation of corporate misconduct of a Japanese textile manufacturer (as a third-party committee member)
Jan 2018 Qualified as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
Jan 1998 – PresentKitahama Partners, Partner
Apr 1993Admitted to practice in Japan; Joined Kitahama Partners
Mar 1993Graduated from the Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan
Mar 1991Kyoto University (LL.B.)

Other Activities

2020 – PresentAdjunct Professor, Kyoto University Law School (Corporate Law Practice)
2017 – 2019Visiting Professor, Kyoto University Law School (Corporate Law Practice)
2009 – 2016Adjunct Professor, Kyoto University Law School (Case Study for Corporate Law)
2011 – 2013National Bar Examination Examiner (in charge of Commercial Code)
  • Compliance Committee Member of Japan Mint
  • Vice-Chairperson, Committee on Procedures for Civil Cases, Japan Federation of Bar Associations
  • Vice-Chairperson, Council of Practice of Civil Procedure Code, Osaka Bar Association
  • Member, Council of the Improved Procedures for Civil Cases on Appeal in the Osaka High Court, Kinki Federation of Bar Associations
  • Vice-Chairperson, Management Committee for Legal Aid Service Center