Firm Profile > Atsumi & Sakai > Tokyo, Japan

Atsumi & Sakai

Banking and finance: Independent local firms Tier 1

Specialising in fintech, Atsumi & Sakai has experience in syndicated loan and structured finance, as well as the niche area of environmental financing. The firm also maintains a good relationship with overseas regulators. The practice is co-led by founding partner Hiroo Atsumi; asset-based lending expert Hiroyuki Nezu; Yuri Suzuki, who has particular experience in syndicated loans, asset finance and financial services regulations; project financing specialist Michiaki Hosoi; Keita Imaizumi, who is actively involved in project financing related to renewable energy; and Naoki Kanehisa, who is known for assisting UK and European clients to set up businesses in Japan. Also notable in the team are Fumiko Oikawa and Ryosuke Oue.

Practice head(s):

Hiroo Atsumi; Hiroyuki Nezu; Yuri Suzuki; Michiaki Hosoi; Keita Imaizumi; Naoki Kanehisa

Other key lawyers:


‘Impressive array of Japanese bank clients and impressive in their attention to detail’

‘Politeness and responsiveness’

Key clients

Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG)

The Japan Blockchain Association (JBA)

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)

Projects and energy: Independent local firms Tier 1

Atsumi & Sakai is known for advising in the project and energy fields in Japan and overseas for foreign and domestic clients. The practice has particular expertise in offshore wind power in Japan, as well as in regulations around the environment and development. The practice has experience in PPP, PFI, and MICE, drawing from expertise gained in key secondments, including to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and a major foreign solar power company. The team is co-led by Miho NiunoyaTakeshi TakahashiTatsuo TezukaYuko NihonmatsuMichiaki HosoiMakoto FujiiKeita Imaizumi, and Ryosuke Oue. Hiroshi Maeda joined in 2019 from Nishimura & Asahi and brings expertise in PFI/PPP and other infrastructure and energy projects, domestic and overseas.

Practice head(s):

Miho Niunoya; Takeshi Takahashi; Tatsuo Tezuka; Yuko Nihonmatsu; Michiaki Hosoi; Makoto Fujii; Keita Imaizumi; Ryosuke Oue

Other key lawyers:


‘Hand-picked projects team that has strong connections in both the public and private sectors’

‘Hiroshi Maeda is a true trusted advisor’

Key clients

Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI)

The Japan Research Institute, Limited (JRI)

Photovolt Development Partners GmbH

Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd.

Ernst & Young

TMT: Independent local firms Tier 1

Atsumi & Sakai assists with the registration, protection, use and licensing of patent rights, model utility rights, design rights, copyrights, and trademark rights. The firm handles a range of issues relating to IT, data protection, privacy, and social media laws and policies in Japan. In addition, the practice provides a fintech team and has expertise in the increasingly prominent areas of IoT, big data, AI, and blockchain. Chie Kasahara leads the team and is known for IP, IT, TMT, and life sciences expertise. She also advises clients on licensing, transfer, development, and collaboration agreements.

Practice head(s):

Chie Kasahara

Key clients

Sansan, Inc.

Antitrust and competition: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai specialises in multijurisdictional antitrust matters, including large-scale international cartel cases. Domestically the firm is also experienced dealing with bid-rigging involving government officials. The practice is led by Setsuko Yufu, who has a particular focus on international transactions, merger control and a range of competition law issues. Notable in the team are: Tatsuo Yamashima, who has experience in cartels and merger controls with the JFTC and other foreign enforcement authorities, as well as handling a wide range of competition matters including a major international shipping cartel case; and Masayuki Matsuura, who has expertise in antitrust law and M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Setsuko Yufu


‘An international perspective and solid client base – with complete trust and understanding of the client’

‘Around the clock availability and exceptional delivery make this firm stand out amongst its peers in the Japanese market’

‘The competition team is a truly integrated team which consistently delivers excellent quality of service’

‘Atsumi & Sakai has a very skillful team that have being working in major international cartel investigations’

‘They are an excellent professional legal team’

‘Saori Hanada and her team stand out in particular for her skills and work product’

‘Setsuko Yufu is a well-respected, top-notch lawyer with extensive experience in all areas of competition law’

‘Ms Hanada, Mr Yamashima and Mr Matsuura each stand out because of their solution-driven and creative approach to complex problems’

Capital markets: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai is particularly known for securitisation and other structured finance, representing arrangers, investors, trust banks, and originators. The firm has experience in the securitisation of a range of assets including lease receivables, trade receivables, bank loan receivables, and corporate debt obligations, as well as handling securitisations of residential mortgage loans. The practice also advises globally major activist funds and hedge funds on their investments and transactions. Fumiko Oikawa advises major Japanese banks, leading securities firms, and other financial institutions on capital markets, structured finance, structuring, and documentation. She co-leads the team in Tokyo with Yuri Suzuki, who represents international investment banks, domestic financial institutions and global companies. Also notable is Naoki Kanehisa, who leads the practice in London and focuses on banking and capital markets, fintech, regulation of financial institutions and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Fumiko Oikawa; Yuri Suzuki; Naoki Kanehisa

Corporate and M&A: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai provides a multidisciplinary team with international expertise, specialising in domestic, inbound, and outbound M&A transactions. The practice covers a range of industry sectors, including financial services, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and real estate. The team is co-led by Shintaro Hamasu, who advises on complex M&A transactions and regulatory compliance; expert in cross-border M&A transactions Masayuki Matsuura; Eiichiro Hata, who is experienced in documentation, due diligence, and advising on regulatory issues; business restructuring specialist Takasuke Mizukami; and New York-qualified attorney Go Hashimoto, who is a registered foreign attorney in Japan and is known for venture capital investments and M&A involving privately-held corporations. Also notable is Mihoko Shima, who joined from Nishimura & Asahi 2019.

Practice head(s):

Shintaro Hamasu; Masayuki Matsuura; Eiichiro Hata; Takasuke Mizukami; Go Hashimoto

Other key lawyers:


‘Extremely professional and knowledgeable about the laws of various jurisdictions’

‘Among the very top of Japan-based firms’

‘Takumi Fukuda and Shuji Koyama are bright and practical’

Dispute resolution: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai has a range of experience in the disputes arena, including cross-border arbitration and dispute resolution, securities litigation, financial services disputes, criminal defense and civil litigation. The practice has particular expertise in cross-border disputes related to financial products. The names to note include Bonnie Dixon, Toyoki Emoto, Hiroki Mori, Hisashi Miyatsuka, Kunihiro Sumida, Kumpei Ohashi, Norio Suzuki, Takafumi Ochiai, Yusuke Miura, Teruhisa Toyama and Kohei Murakawa.

Practice head(s):

Bonnie L. Dixon; Toyoki Emoto; Hiroki Mori; Hisashi Miyatsuka; Kunihiro Sumida; Kumpei Ohashi; Norio Suzuki; Takafumi Ochiai; Yusuke Miura; Teruhisa Toyama; Kohei Murakawa

Investment funds: Independent local firms Tier 2

Specialising in Japanese institutions investing in foreign funds, Atsumi & Sakai represents clients on a range of investment funds for domestic and foreign investors, fund managers, and affiliated companies. The firm advises on investing in securities and real estate, as well as shareholder litigation for offshore funds. Co-leading the practice are Hiroki Mori, whose experience includes structured finance, securitization, PFI, finance lease, insolvency and trusts; Ryuichi Nozaki, who specialises in fund investment structuring, international litigation, disclosure, and regulatory advice; and Eiichiro Hata, who has expertise in fund structure, investment and formation, particularly in the private equity, real estate, energy, and infrastructure sectors. Also notable is Nobuchika Mori, the former Commissioner of the Financial Services Agency of Japan, who joined the firm in 2019 as an advisor.

Practice head(s):

Hiroki Mori; Ryuichi Nozaki; Eiichiro Hata

Other key lawyers:

Labour and employment: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai is experienced in a range of employment agreements, directors’ and officers’ service contracts, procedures and work rules. The firm has particular expertise advising foreign corporations on the complexities involved in the termination of employment in Japan, including preparing termination schemes and settling disputes. Another areas of expertise for the practice is immigration matters, advising foreign nationals and their employers on visas, changes of status and residency applications. Kunihiro Sumida is active in contentious and non-contentious labour and employment, intellectual property, and corporate matters, particularly those with a cross-border element. He co-leads the team with Tatsuo Yamashima, who is known for disputes, collective bargaining and other corporate legal affairs.

Practice head(s):

Kunihiro Sumida; Tatsuo Yamashima

Real estate and construction: Independent local firms Tier 2

The ‘very precise and efficientAtsumi & Sakai is known for its commercial and lending side expertise, as well as specialising in cross-border and hospitality-related real estate transactions. The practice is co-led by Russell Kawahara, Shuji Koyama, Makoto Fujii, Eiichiro Hata, Miho Niunoya, and Yuko Nihonmatsu. Also notable in the practice is Takafumi Uematsu, who represents asset managers and investment funds on real estate investments, with a focus on cross-border transactions. The team was strengthened in 2019 by the arrival of Hiroshi Maeda and Mihoko Shima, who joined from Nishimura & Asahi.

Practice head(s):

Russell Kawahara; Shuji Koyama; Makoto Fujii; Eiichiro Hata; Miho Niunoya; Yuko Nihonmatsu


‘The team is really responsive and works proactively’

‘They always have good knowledge about the relevant transactions and a sound economic understanding’

‘Legal advice, tailored to the client’s needs’

‘The team is always very friendly in deals and transactions’

‘Russell Kawahara is a partner who is able to properly mediate between different parties of a transaction’

‘Takafumi Uematsu is a great partner who gets the deals done, he is exceptional friendly even if the pressure is on’

‘Takafumi Uematsu is very sharp and knowledgeable and understands well the client’s needs’

Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai assists clients with the negotiation of corporate reorganisation, civil rehabilitation, special liquidation and various legal proceedings related to corporate reorganization. The firm works with creditors in high profile insolvency proceedings, providing advice on specific procedures including, filing claims, creditors meetings and distributions. Toyoki Emoto has expertise advising on contentious and non-contentious insolvency and bankruptcy matters, as well as acting as bankruptcy trustee for corporations and individuals on behalf of the Tokyo District Court. He co-leads the team with Norio Suzuki, who specialises in the fields of tax, restructuring and insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Toyoki Emoto; Norio Suzuki

Risk management and investigations: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai’s risk management practice group includes five former public prosecutors, qualified CPAs and attorneys, providing experience in criminal defense and advice to foreign clients. The team is co-led by Masataka Hayakawa, whose expertise includes corporate regulatory compliance and investigations, corporate risk, white-collar criminal defense, data protection and litigation; Hiroyuki Nezu, who focuses on crisis management, advising Japanese and non-Japanese companies; certified public accountant Teruhisa Toyama, who advises on risk management and compliance; Kumpei Ohashi, who is known for fraud, corporate crime investigations and litigation work; and Tadashi Yuzawa, who specialises in corporate scandals, criminal cases and securities litigation. Also notable is Kohei Murakawa, who has experience in out-bound and in-bound litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Masataka Hayakawa; Hiroyuki Nezu; Teruhisa Toyama; Kumpei Ohashi; Tadashi Yuzawa

Other key lawyers:

Shipping: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai is known for ship finance transactions, acting primarily on behalf of financial institutions. Clients range from domestic institutions and shipowners to international banks and general trading companies. The practice specialises in providing practical advice in complex structured finance transactions. The team is co-led by Bonnie DixonDavid Deyo DeckTakeshi Takahashi, and Ryosuke Oue. Also notable in the team is Yutaka Sakai, whose experience includes structured finance, securitisation, project finance, ship finance, aircraft leasing, and syndicated loans.

Practice head(s):

Bonnie Dixon; David Deyo Deck; Takeshi Takahashi; Ryosuke Oue

Other key lawyers:

Tax: Independent local firms Tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai covers transactional tax advice and disputes, advising on compliance and individual deals, as well as complex tax havens and other cross-border tax matters. Certified public accountant Teruhisa Toyama leads the team and his areas of expertise include, tax law, general corporate law, securities litigation, corporate disclosure policies, risk management, and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Teruhisa Toyama

Intellectual property: Independent local firms Tier 3

Atsumi & Sakai handles a range of IP matters, including registration, protection, as well as use and licensing of patent, copyright, and trademark rights. The firm has particular experience in IT and new technology issues, advising multi-national corporations, know-how providers, and international law firms on data protection, privacy, and social media laws. The team is co-led by Chie Kasahara, who focuses on IP, IT, TMT, and life sciences, with particular expertise in patent, regulatory, and compliance matters; Kunihiro Sumida, who is known for litigation relating to cross-border transactions and advice on labour and IP disputes; and registered foreign attorney Ian S. Scott, who specialises in advising international sports federations, teams, athletes, and sporting organisations, as well as media and entertainment companies. Also notable is counsel Chie Tabata, who advises on IP and media-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Chie Kasahara; Kunihiro Sumida; Ian S. Scott

Other key lawyers:

The firm: Atsumi & Sakai is a multi-award-winning, independent Tokyo law firm, and one of the ten largest independent full-service law firms in Japan. The firm was the first Japanese law firm to create a foreign law joint venture, which enables it to admit foreign partners and so offer its clients the quality of service that the modern international business community demands. Expanding from its highly regarded finance practice, the firm now acts for a wide range of international and domestic companies, banks, financial institutions and other businesses, offering a comprehensive range of legal expertise.

International practice: Atsumi & Sakai has an outward-looking approach to its international practice, and has several foreign partners and consultants with extensive experience from leading international law firms, so providing its clients with the benefit of both Japanese law expertise and real international experience. As the only independent Japanese law firm with a London office, it can also provide real-time advice on Japanese law to its clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as providing a more convenient service to its clients in the Americas. The firm’s international work, both inward investment and working with its Japanese clients on offshore matters, has expanded very significantly in recent years, with noticeable increases in cross-border anti-trust actions (advising both as lead and local counsel), both domestic and overseas projects and PFI transactions including renewable energy and infrastructure, and high-profile securities litigation in Japan acting for foreign investors. As a ‘foreign law joint enterprise,’ in addition to lawyers admitted in Japan (including Japanese lawyers also admitted in England and Wales and the Republic of Marshall Islands), the firm includes foreign lawyers registered in Japan to advise on the laws of the US States of New York and California, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, India, the State of Queensland, Australia, United States and Australian Federal laws, and the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany (in collaboration with Janssen Foreign Law Office). A broad, international network of contacts and many years’ experience working closely with other leading law firms across the globe enable us to assist our clients in the selection of overseas counsel and to provide them with tailored advice on cross-border transactions in collaboration with closely-connected offshore lawyers.

Innovation and diversity: The firm constantly seeks to anticipate its clients’ needs for new legal services, most recently those arising from the rapid technological developments in the financial services industry, and strives to provide high-quality and cost-effective services and solutions to support start-up companies. The firm also offers a flexible alternative fee arrangement tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of each client company. Atsumi & Sakai takes a proactive approach to diversity, with nearly 30% of all lawyers being women and 10% foreigners, and encourages its lawyers to maintain a good work/life balance, which has seen the firm recognised as Japan’s leading law firm for employee satisfaction.

Department Name Email Telephone
Antitrust and competition
Arbitration, dispute resolution, litigation
Asset finance
Banking and finance, securitisation, structured finance
Capital markets
Compliance, corporate governance, risk management
Energy, infrastructure, project finance
General corporate, M&A, joint ventures
Insolvency, restructuring
Investment funds, private equity and venture capital
Intellectual property
International trade and regulatory
Labour and employment
Life sciences, medical and pharmaceutical
Real estate
Sports, entertainment
Technology, telecommunications, multimedia
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Sayaka Aizawa  photo Ms Sayaka Aizawa Partner
Mr Osamu Fujiwara  photo Mr Osamu Fujiwara Partner
Mr Hirofumi Hosoda  photo Mr Hirofumi Hosoda Partner
Mr Fumiaki Matsuoka photo Mr Fumiaki Matsuoka Partner
Mr Kohei Murakawa  photo Mr Kohei Murakawa Partner
Mr Jun Oishi  photo Mr Jun Oishi Partner
Mr Rikiya Okuhara  photo Mr Rikiya Okuhara Of Counsel
Ms Minako Otsuka  photo Ms Minako Otsuka Of Counsel
Ms Mihoko Shima  photo Ms Mihoko Shima Partner
Mr Shinichiro Shimizu  photo Mr Shinichiro Shimizu Of Counsel
Mr Daisuke Tsuzuki  photo Mr Daisuke Tsuzuki Partner
Ms Tomoko Watanabe  photo Ms Tomoko Watanabe Partner
Mr Nobutaka Yamaki  photo Mr Nobutaka Yamaki Partner
Number of lawyers : 150
Contacts : Hiroo Atsumi
Contacts : Hiroyuki Nezu
Contacts : Ryuichi Nozaki
Contacts : Bonnie L Dixon
Contacts : Daniel C Hounslow
Contacts :

Atsumi & Sakai was the first independent Japanese law firm to create a foreign law joint venture.

Our Firm is committed to three core values, “Respect diversity, be rich in creativity, and have a flexible attitude.”  Consistent with these values, the Firm has established a variety of systems that emphasize equitable evaluation and work-life balance, and we are pursuing a comfortable workplace environment where diverse human resources with different backgrounds, such as nationality, gender and career, can optimize their skills and abilities.

As a result, the Firm continues to maintain a high ratio of female attorneys, as well as non-Japanese attorneys, as described below.

  • Out of more than 120 attorneys, around 30% are women
  • Out of more than 60 partners, nearly 30% are women (more than 70% of whom have children)
  • Out of 15 Management Committee members, nearly 30% are women
  • We have Registered Foreign Lawyers licensed in Japan to advise on the laws of the US States of New York and California, the People’ s Republic of China, England and Wales, India, the States of Queensland and Victoria (Australia), United States and Australian Federal law, and the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany (in collaboration with Janssen Foreign Law Office)

In particular, the firm has earned high evaluation from Japanese and international organizations for equal treatment of men and women, etc. and initiatives for work-life balance, including in the following areas:

  1. The ratio of female partners at Atsumi & Sakai who are members of the firm’s Management Committee is very high. (The Atsumi & Sakai Management Committee is responsible for management and HR related decision making, and this high ratio of female attorneys on the committee reflects a family friendly office culture on the firm’s management decisions.)
  2. Atsumi & Sakai has systems in place for maternity leave and child-care leave that also apply to attorneys, and the rules relating to these systems are published internally on the firm’s intranet.
  3. The activities of the firm are team based and built up around divisions and practice groups, which allows for flexibility in handling each individual’s circumstances and support for child-care needs, etc.
  4. Atsumi & Sakai has a solid IT environment that utilizes cloud computing and virtual private networks, etc., enabling attorneys to handle work outside the office and work from home while caring for children, etc.;
  5. Atsumi & Sakai has an internal system for reporting of sexual harassment and power harassment, with multiple reporting options, in addition to which there are also annual training seminars regarding such harassment for attorneys; and
  6. Atsumi & Sakai has an occupational health physician visiting the office once a month offering free consultations for attorneys and staff alike.

While cooperating with highly talented human resources, the firm will continue to improve its diversity in order to provide an environment in which each individual can maximize his or her abilities.

Japanese 日本語









渥美坂井律师事务所・外国法共同事业(Atsumi & Sakai)







Hiroo Atsumi, Managing Partner

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Atsumi & Sakai from your competitors?

Firstly, our international capabilities.

We created a “foreign law joint venture” in Japan when Japanese law first allowed this kind of law partnership in 2005, and we are recognised as a pioneer in this field. This was successful to the extent that we have attracted several foreign attorneys who served as partners or were otherwise highly recommended lawyers in foreign countries. In addition to lawyers admitted in Japan (including Japanese lawyers also admitted in England and Wales and the Republic of the Marshall Islands), our firm includes foreign lawyers registered in Japan to advise on the laws of the US States of New York and California, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, India, and the State of Queensland, Australia. Foreign lawyers registered in Japan to advise on state laws are also qualified to advise on federal laws of their respective countries. This clearly differentiates us from other Japanese law firms since we are in a very unique position to easily combine the expertise of Japanese lawyers with that of attorneys from the foreign jurisdictions described above.

Also, we are the only independent Japanese law firm which currently has a branch office in London, and we have an affiliate office in Frankfurt. We are a member of multiple leading global networks of law firms, and have formed partnerships with APAC-International in Vietnam, and Janssen Foreign Law Office, a law office that provides German law advice in Tokyo. Our international network sets us apart from our competitors, and enables us to easily meet the needs of foreign clients as well as Japanese clients.

Secondly, our global diversity and multiplicity of talent.

As mentioned above, Atsumi & Sakai has attracted a number of foreign and multilingual attorneys, irrespective of their nationalities, speaking Japanese, English, German, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Hindi and Marathi, etc.

Atsumi & Sakai also includes attorneys with a wide range of expertise, having experience in diverse practice areas and industries, such as former public prosecutors, attorneys also qualified as Certified Public Accountants, attorneys with expertise in tax/accounting or IT, and a pharmacist. Having different skills and talents enables the firm to flexibly build a multi-talented team which is tailored to each client’s specific needs.

Thirdly, our innovative approaches and new structures.

To remain competitive in the global market, our firm has always tried to adopt innovative approaches and new structures. Especially, we thought it important to meet the needs of not only clients dealing in out-bound transactions but also the needs of foreign clients pursuing in-bound transactions.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

  • Innovation in information systems and technology including IoT, big data and artificial intelligence, FinTech, InsTech, MedTech and RegTech

Deep understanding and extensive experience of laws and regulations related to data protection, finance, insurance, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, etc. are the fundamental requirements of these practice areas, on top of which keen knowledge of the latest trends in the technology industry and experience in providing advice in the relevant area is needed. Our firm fulfills all of these conditions. Meanwhile, both working from home and purchasing online services from home have exploded into the mainstream in Japan as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, triggering a period of upheaval in Japanese business culture. We provide services that meet the needs of foreign technology companies looking to capitalize on the opportunities the situation has created.

  • Risk management and white collar crime
  • Labour and employment

Companies affected by the Coronavirus pandemic will continue to rationalize their workforce allocation for some time. We have experience in advising foreign corporations in this areas, and it is one of our strengths.

  • Investments and funds

As soon as it came into effect this year, our firm immediately began accumulating experience in advising foreign funds regarding the amended Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act, which introduced changes designed to ensure national security. Investments into Japanese companies by foreign investors must comply with the complex requirements of the amended Foreign Exchange Act, and we expect the demand for advice in this field to grow in the future.

  • Data protection and privacy, cybersecurity

Although the peak caused by GDPR and the amendment of the Japanese Act on the Protection of Personal Information has passed, data privacy remains a crucial element of compliance in the technology industry and demand for related advice continues to grow.

  • Life sciences

The life sciences field is one where the demand for extensive understanding of pharmaceutical clients’ business and the practical application of regulations is particularly high for lawyers. Our firm includes lawyers with experience as in-house counsel in major Japanese pharmaceuticals companies, and we expect to see growth in this area as well.

  • Sports, media and entertainment

We are one of the only law firms based in Japan with the capacity to provide our international clients with unapparelled expertise in the areas of sport and entertainment. Our sports & entertainment legal practice group started almost 8 years ago and has a primary focus on major international sporting events working with the international rights holders, ensuring the delivery of these events at an international standard. For over 5 years we have worked for World Rugby to assist them on all legal aspects related to the Rugby World Cup 2019 being the third largest sporting event in the World. We continue to be in the forefront, advising our clients surrounding other major international sporting events in Japan.

  • Others

Interest in national security matters, such as export controls and cyber security, is growing in countries around the world. Our firm is one of the few in Japan that took the step of establishing a national security team at an early stage.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Our firm takes a proactive approach to working with our clients to provide value for money, and we are very open to adopting international-style fee structures other than traditional hourly rates.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Yes, information technology has been a driving force for our service innovation. It has changed significantly the way we interact with our clients, especially with our foreign clients. We are also encouraged by the technological developments and innovations in reducing administrative work and boosting productivity further.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

For example, we were in close contact with the competent authorities regarding prior reporting under the Foreign Exchange Act which was amended this year, and proposed a practical approach to navigating the requirements to our client, a foreign investor. We also advised the client in revising transactions following the emergence of the Coronavirus, and supported the client in managing risk of loss by providing analysis and interpretation on agreements and proposing practical response measures.

Also, as mentioned in 2) above, our firm has worked for World Rugby for over 5 years to assist them on all legal aspects related to the Rugby World Cup 2019, being the third largest sporting event in the World.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

In 2019, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of the firm. We anticipate that the next three years will bring a significant turning point not only for us but also for Japan in the 21st century.

We will continue to diversify the backgrounds, experience, fields of expertise and future aims of our lawyers. It is the diversity of knowledge and experience of the lawyers at our firm, including the opportunity to interact with our foreign legal team, that allows us to find solutions to new problems our clients face. Our ability to continuously respond to the needs of clients is what enables the firm to be sustainable in the long term. Another factor for long-term sustainability from a firm management perspective is to consider multiple opinions and points of view to continuously make better decisions. We believe that in three years, we will remain a firm capable of providing advice to allow clients to choose the policy they wish to follow.