A Unique Synthesis of Specialization and Cooperative Work
1. General Practice and Fields of Specialization ---------
Our law Firm specializes in copyright, trademark right, patent right and other intellectual property rights, among a host of other domains. We handle various business issues concerning corporate organization and transaction law involving boards of directors, M&As, divestitures, and various agreements and business succession plans. We also handle a wide variety of civil cases, including, for example, land and housing leases.
The attorneys at our Firm work in distinct environment, as none of them are classified by or locked into their specialties. All of them are extremely competent in the casework and procedures every attorney is supposed to handle, such as civil claims for damages in divorce and traffic accident cases. Yet all of them also operate in new domains by taking on cases in different categories under the skillful guidance of colleagues at the Firm well versed in highly sophisticated fields.
With the experiences they gain through this approach to practice, our attorneys gain insight into the new areas in which they wish to specialize in the future.
2. Litigation --------------------------------------
In organizing our specializations within the Firm, we do not adopt the U.S. system of separating litigation departments into separate fields of law. Every attorney of our law Firm is required to be a competent litigation expert.
We are compelled to do this not merely because Japanese clients have the reputation for putting off legal consultation until cases are brought. Attorneys in Japan have long despaired over this type of client behavior. Yet our Firm has been fortunate to experience otherwise. Many of our clients seek legal advice well in advance of court and are eager to take precautionary measures. This trend is expected to extend to the overall client base in Japan.
Nevertheless, our law Firm expects every member attorney to possess strong litigation skills. Exposure and experience in litigation is far and away the best way to understand the general judgment standards applied by courts for various disputes. As such, this is the most rigorous and effective way to develop their abilities in practical matters such as the drafting of agreements.
Exposure to a broad range of litigation is also essential to the development of key know-how in the legal profession, such as the ability to sort out important facts that clients present to them or emphasize (or neglect to present or emphasize, as the case may be), to sort out facts unfavorable to opponent parties and favorable to clients (and vice versa), to develop a sound sense as a normal citizen as to how judges will respond to certain wordings, and to deftly navigate the process of entering into agreements. We are convinced that only attorneys with these abilities can be relied upon to provide clients with preemptive legal advice and useful answers for preemptive legal measures, including the drafting of agreements.
3.Understanding the Sources from which the Legal Needs of Clients Arise
One of the most crucial components of legal services provided to clients is a precise understanding of their needs.
Clients visit law firms because they feel they need legal services. But as attorneys, we are convinced that we must understand more than merely their needs in the field of law. To serve clients more completely, we must sort out their needs from broader perspectives, taking into account their businesses, educations, family relations, and the other relevant factors shaping their “legal affairs.” By doing so, we can identify the underlying needs they most need met.
An understanding of the business needs and other needs embodied in the legal needs of clients is crucial to the formulation of true solutions and successful attorney-client collaboration. This sort of keen insight should be the first and foremost duty of any attorney.
A substantial knowledge of economics, business administration, and other disciplines is crucial to this end, as is a well-rounded common sense in civil society. Fortunately, the professionals running our Firm entered the bar from diverse backgrounds in economics and other fields, and with diverse professional experiences. Our experienced professionals handle diverse cases arising in civil society every day.
Clients faced with legal issues are often forced to delve into the intricacies of taxation. Income tax, corporation tax, real estate tax, customs duties, and other issues under the complex Japanese tax structure can only be reliably managed through close cooperation between attorneys and tax accountants.
Our Firm accepted its first tax accountant in 1984. We have since worked diligently to expand the scope of services in this field. This sets us apart from other law Firms.
We are also distinct for our work with patents. Trained through close cooperation with patent attorneys for more than two decades on trademarks and patents, our attorneys generally take part in decision-making on the possibility of registration before applications are filed. This is truly unique for a law Firm.
Our Firm requires the ability to handle criminal cases in every of its attorneys.
Among all criminal cases brought in Japan, only 0.01% (not 0.1%) are acquitted. This is partly a consequence of the handling of hearsay evidence, which Japanese judges admit on a wider scope and readily deem to be credible. Defense attorneys in criminal trials must have the ability to notice and collect the minutest clues necessary to support grounds for acquittal and coherently put them together.
Remarkably, one of the attorneys in our Firm has won acquittals in 37% of the criminal cases (excluding court-appointed cases).
5. Cross-Border Services
Services related to international transaction law are prominent among the professional services our Firm is expected to develop in coming years. We have been engaged in license agreement processes mainly in intellectual property areas for both domestic and international right holders. We expect increasing demand for services performed in collaboration with local attorneys as Japanese clients become more active in overseas joint ventures, as well as services provided in Japan for overseas attorneys, at their request.
Our Firm will be using the expertise we have developed over the years through the services we have provided in Japan on behalf of overseas clients to develop legal services related to the provision of capital and technology by domestic clients to overseas countries.