Setsuko Yufu is a senior partner at Atsumi & Sakai and is admitted to the bar in Japan. She is a member of the managing committee of the firm.
Setsuko heads the firm's antitrust/competition team, advising on international and domestic cartel/bid-rigging investigations and related civil enforcements and criminal prosecutions, including extradition issues. She also advises on international and domestic merger control, vertical restraints and abuse of dominance.
Since 2016, she has served as a member of the Antitrust Policy Council of the Japan Fair Trade Commission. She has also served as a board member of the Japan Competition Law Forum.
Setsuko was awarded the honour of Woman Lawyer of the Year at the ALB Japan Law Awards 2017 and was inducted into the 2020 Legal 500 Hall of Fame as a leading individual in antitrust/competition law. She was included in Japan's Top 100 Lawyers by Asia Business Law Journal in 2020 and awarded as asialaw Client Service Excellence 2020. She was ranked as a leading individual in antitrust/competition law by asialaw 2020 and The Best Lawyers 2021 and as a notable practitioner by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020. She was listed in Who's Who Legal: Competition 2019. She was also highly recommended in Global Competition Review 100 in 2019.
She obtained an LLB from Waseda University, Tokyo, and graduated from the University of Amsterdam, Europa Instituut as the first Japanese student to study EU law there.
Setsuko also is well-known for her extensive knowledge of EU competition law and practice and has acted as a board member of the EU Studies Association in Japan. She taught EU law at Keio University Law School and the Business Law Department of Hitotsubashi University Graduate School and publishes articles and books on the subject. She frequently speaks and participates as a panellist at experts' conferences in competition law.
She has been supported by Atsumi & Sakai's policy to develop a gender-neutral and equal-opportunity culture in its practice. Out of approximately 170 attorneys (including both Japanese and non-Japanese professionals), almost 25 % are women. Moreover, our female partners comprise a quarter of all partners, and around one third of our managing committee is female.
These efforts to promote equality have been recognised by Euromoney Legal Media Group, which named Atsumi & Sakai as the 'Best Firm in Japan' at its Asia Women in Business Law Awards, 2011. The firm has also been named 'Employer of Choice for eight times from 2009 to date (the Best/Top Firm in Japan to Work For)' by Asian Legal Business. In 2015, Atsumi & Sakai was awarded the Daini Tokyo Bar Association's first "Family Friendly Award".