Attorney Profile

Naoko Inoue Shatz

Naoko Inoue Shatz, the managing attorney of Shatz Law Group PLLC, focuses her practice in the areas of domestic business transactions and cross border transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchise business, incorporation/new business formations, lease agreements, business contracts, intellectual property, employment matters and general civil/commercial litigation. She also has extensive experience in disputes among owners of limited liability companies and corporations in the U.S. Dedicated to assist entrepreneurs and business owners, she provides practical advice based on her extensive business experience and knowledge about law.

Ms. Shatz is currently acting as outside general counsel to several organizations including Consulate General of Japan in Seattle and large Japanese companies located in US and Japan.

In addition to her primary practice, she has assisted spouses who are subject to divorce proceedings inclusive of issues of Domestic Violence, jurisdiction and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction. This additional practice led her to set up a non-profit organization, International Families Justice Coalition (“IFJC”), as co-founder to assist immigrant litigants who are selected based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines. With overwhelming supports from the Washington State Legislators, a supplemental funding bill for IFJC through Office of Civil Legal Aid (‘OCLA”) was passed and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2018.

She is also frequently called to testify as an expert witness as to her opinions on issues of jurisdiction and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction in transnational cases between U.S. and Japan.

Prior to founding the Shatz Law Group, Ms. Shatz practiced law at K&L Gates LLP and Perkins Coie LLP. She is a contributing author to several corporate information service sites concerning U.S.-Japan business and law and a featured writer covering business law, employment law and related litigation at She has also published her Youtube videos called “U.S.-Japan Law Seminar” in Japanese. In addition, she has presented CLE seminars and lectures hosted by various Bar Associations, organizations and Law Schools, concentrating on employment law, business transactions, dispute resolutions/civil litigation involving transnational issues and international family law disputes. She also serves as a valuable resource for Japanese attorneys and judges who want to keep updated on recent developments in US case law and legislative changes that can affect US-Japan transactions.

Before her legal career, Ms. Shatz held professional positions in journalism, sales, marketing, and business education at Tokyo based companies.

Bar/ Court Admissions
  • New York
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Professional and Community Activities:
  • International Families Justice Coalition, Founder and Chair of Board of Directors (2017-Present)
  • Interpreter Commission, Ethnic Organizations Representative (2019-Present)
  • International Section and Business Section of American Bar Association (ABA)
  • International Commercial Transactions, Franchising and Distribution Committee Leadership of American Bar Association (ABA 2012-2013)
  • International Section, Employment Law Section and Business Section of Washington State Bar Association (WSBA)
  • New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)
  • Asian Bar Association of Washington, Board of Directors (2012 – 2014)
  • King County Bar Association, Member (2002 – Present)
  • Japan America Society of the State of Washington, Board of Directors (2013 – Present) and Executive Committee (2014 – 2016)
  • Seattle University School of Law, Guest Lecturer for International Arbitration course (2010 and 2011)
  • Japan Art Connection Lab, Advisory Board (2013 – 2014)
  • Japan Business Association of Seattle, Member (2014 – Present)
  • U.S.-Japan Council, Member (2015 – Present)
  • Nichibei Women’s Network, Member (2002 – Present)
  • Seattle University School of Law, J.D. (2001)
  • Award for Excellence in Consumer Law
  • Academic Scholar
  • University of Pennsylvania, International Relations (1996-1998)
  • Seikei University, Tokyo, B.A. (1987)
  • Japanese
  • “How Force Majeure Clause Works in Case of Coronavirus Outbreak” Mitsubishi Global Business Insight (2020)
  • “The Challenges and Benefits of Working Internationally as a Legal Professional,” Washington State Bar Association November Issue (2019)
  • “Difference between Non-Disclosure Agreement and Non-Compete Agreement,” Mitsubishi Global Business Insight (2019)
  • “Advantage and Disadvantage in Choosing Corporate Entities in the U.S.,” Mitsubishi Global Business Insight (2019)
  • “Purchase Order without Agreement and Non-Payment Issues,” Mitsubishi Global Business Insight (2018)
  • “Choice of Jurisdiction and Double Litigation filed with Two Courts in the U.S. and Japan,” Mitsubishi Global Business Insight (2018)
  • “Lobbying Effort Secures Funding for Immigrant Family Law Project,” King County Bar Association Bulletin (2018)
  • “Guidance for Employers on harassment at work,” U.S. Japan Publication New York (2017)
  • “Jurisdiction and Controlling Law in Dispute Resolution arising from U.S. Transactions with Japan,” Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (2017)
  • “Standing Up for the Underrepresented,” King County Bar Association Bulletin (2017)
  • “Contracts and related issues between Japanese companies and U.S. companies,” Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (2017)
  • “Constitutional Changes,” “Cyber Law” and “Changes in Business Law in Japan,” American Bar Association/Section of International Law-The Year in Review (2017)
  • “Employment Termination and Severance Agreement” Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (2017)
  • “A Japanese Lawyer Strives to Become a Cultural Bridge” interviewed by Kenneth Lawrence, Tokyo Business Today (2016)
  • “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Working with the Japanese Community”, Washington State Bar Association (2014)
  • “On a High Note-Profile of Naoko Inoue Shatz” written by Bob Klein, King County Bar Association Bulletin (2012)
  • “Traditional Japanese Business Making Gradual Changes,” King County Bar Association Bulletin (2012)
  • “Joint Venture in Japan: What to Look For in Due Diligence,” ABA International M&A Newsletter (2011)
  • “Growing Concerns for Online Merchants and Consumers,” Washington State Paralegal Association (2011)
  • “Wrongful Termination Q&A,” Soy Source (2011)
  • “Landlord-Tenant Dispute Q&A,” Soy Source (2011)
  • “Hague Convention and Child Custody Issues,” Soy Source (2010)
  • “Online Merchants and Consumers Need to Know the Rules,”, King County Bar Association Bulletin (2010)
  • “Employment and Business Law,” Featured Columnist, Junglecity (2008- )
  • “US-Japan business Law,” Blog writer (2008- )
  • “Handling Litigation involving Interpreters and Translators,” Washington State Bar Association, Access and Opportunity in the Legal System CLE (2023)
  • “Business Law and Employment Law Part I & II,” 2022 Spring Small Business Empowerment Academy sponsored by Japan America Society of the State of Washington (2022)
  • “Tool Kit for Family Law Courts on Immigrant Families and Non-English Speakers”, 2021 Spring Judicial Seminar sponsored by Minority & Justice Commission (2021)
  • “Legal Challenge and Regulations in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic,” Top Group (2020)
  • “How domestic issues can unfairly impact foreign nationals facing divorce” King 5 New Day (2020)
  • “Washington State Law Update for 2020” Top San Francisco Seminar (2019)
  • “My life story,” Commencement Address for the 2019 graduates of the Asian Languages and Literatures at University of Washington (2019)
  • “Contract Negotiation and Dispute Resolution for Foreign Clients-Using International Law in Domestic Practice,” Washington State Bar Association CLE Seminar (2019)
  • “Volunteer Lawyers giving Immigrant Divorcees New Hope,” King 5 News (2019)
  • “Introduction to Family Law for International Marriages,” International Families Justice Coalition CLE seminar (2019)
  • “Paid Sick Leave affecting PTO and Workplace Harassment,” Top San Francisco Seminar (2018)
  • “US Constitution and Executive Orders on Immigration,” Nikkei Committee Council (2018)
  • “Learning from Recent Litigation arising from Corporate and Employment Law,” Top San Francisco Seminar (2017)
  • “Allyship: Barriers and Best Practices for Legal Professionals,” Washington State Bar Association CLE Seminar (2017)
  • “Cross Border Contract Negotiation,” University of Washington School of Law (2017)
  • “Breaking Out 〜PIONEERING WOMEN〜,” Fujisankei TV (2016)
  • “Challenging Legal Issues and 2016 Updates on Corporate and Employment Law,” Top San Francisco Seminar (2016)
  • Joint Community Seminar with Consulate General of Japan in Seattle (2016)
  • “Risk Management For International Business in WA,” Top San Francisco Seminar (2015)
  • “Doing Business Between Washington State/U.S. and Japan,” International Section of Washington State Bar Association CLE Seminar (2015)
  • “Nuts and Bolts of Business and Employment Law.,” Junglecity Network Seminar (2015)
  • “Estate Planning and Family Law in Japan and the U.S.,” Japan America Society of Washington Seminar(2015)
  • “Doing Business in the U.S.A.” Japan America Society Seminar (2013)
  • “Employment Law an Employer Needs to Know,” Top San Francisco Seminar (2013)
  • “Company Dissolution Camp; LLC Member Disputes,” Washington State Bar Association CLE Seminar (2012)
  • “A-Z for Conducting Business in the U.S.,” Seattle Entrepreneurship Club Seminar (2012)
  • “Employment Law-How to Comply with U.S. Laws and Avoid Costly Litigation,” Japan America Society Seminar (2012)
  • “Legal Market and Practice in WA,” University of Washington Conference (2011)
  • “Transactional Contract and Dispute Resolution,” International Japanese English Translation Conference (2011)
  • “Pathways to Employment in International Law,” American Bar Association, International Section (2011)
  • “Managing Risk When Drafting Agreements for Cross-Border Transactions Between the U.S. and Japan,” WSBA International Practice Section CLE (2010)
  • “International Arbitration,” Seattle University School of Law Lecture (2010&2011)
  • “Doing Business with Japanese Companies-Contract and Employment Law,” King County Bar Association, International Section CLE (2009)
  • “What Do You Need to Know When Your Employment Is About To Be Terminated?,” Shatz Law Seminar (2008)