Craig Celniker is co-chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration Groups. Mr. Celniker practices commercial litigation and arbitration, with particular emphasis on intellectual property issues. After spending 10 years in the litigation department of the firm’s Tokyo office, where he developed his reputation as one of the leading international dispute lawyers in Japan, Mr. Celniker now divides his time between the Hong Kong and Tokyo offices.
Mr. Celniker has represented individuals and companies throughout the world in a wide range of industries, he is well-versed in numerous jurisdictions, including U.S. courts and administrative agencies (TTAB, ITC), American Arbitration Association, International Chamber of Commerce, London Court of International Arbitration, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, Iran-U.S. claims Tribunal, and others. He also assists foreign clients in litigation in Japanese courts.
Mr. Celniker has experience counseling clients whose matters fall under the jurisdiction of a variety of international laws and conventions, such as the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Act of State Doctrine, United States Arbitration Act, New York Convention, Hague Convention, and numerous other international arbitration conventions and international discovery protocols. He also has experience conducting internal investigations and compliance reviews in Japan and other locations in the Asia Pacific region.
Mr. Celniker is the only attorney rated as a "Star Individual" for Dispute Resolution: International Firms: Japan (the level above Band 1) by Chambers Asia Pacific’s 2013 and 2014 editions, making him their highest rated foreign Dispute Resolution specialist in Japan. He was previously ranked in Band 1 for Dispute Resolution in each of the prior four years and was the only international attorney to be consistently ranked at this level. He is described by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific – which has recognized him as a Leading Lawyer for Dispute Resolution in Japan in several recent editions – as “an exceptional strategist on both the legal and business levels.” Mr. Celniker was chosen two years in a row as the exclusive winner in the Litigation category for Japan in the 2010 and 2011 International Law Office’s “Client Choice Award” for excellence in client services (based on a survey of 2,000 in-house counsel). He is recommended in Intellectual Asset Management’s IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners in the Litigation category for its 2012 - 2014 editions. Benchmark: Asia Pacific – the definitive guide to the leading litigation and dispute resolution firms and individuals in the Asia Pacific region – has selected Mr. Celniker as a leading litigation star in Japan in its 2013 edition. Since its inception in 2009, Japan’s Best Lawyers has listed Mr. Celniker in the categories of Arbitration and Mediation, Intellectual Property, and Litigation.