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  • After nearly 20 years of legal & compliance recruitment in Japan we decided that being independent was the best move for the people we serve and for ourselves. We’ve always taken a logical, customer-focused approach to recruitment – it’s not based on the numbers of CVs sent out to hiring managers, but rather founded on market knowledge, professional integrity, solid methodology and long hours of hard work in-between – all with the goal of trying to make clients and candidates happy.

    And let’s face it, lawyers and compliance officers are different from other professionals in their options and the way that they think about their careers. Our business embraces those differences to give you customised services.

    With our intimate knowledge of the market we provide tailored recruitment services and solid career and business advice that you cannot get anywhere else.

    “With Just Legal, we set out to change Legal & Compliance recruitment. With the biggest team in Japan, we work together sharing information. And, that allows us to do more for you (and faster).”

    With close to two decades of experience in this market, our team members have been instrumental in the hiring of a vast number of General Counsels, Heads of Legal, Bengoshi Partners and FQ Partners in Tokyo.

    We are proud to dedicate ourselves to legal and compliance recruiting, and that pride is evident in the job that we do. We are a group of passionate individuals, eager to deliver an exceptional experience, both to our clients and our candidates.

    Our History



    We started our professional recruitment careers in the days before the internet played a powerful force in our industry. Executive Search in those days was characterized by long hours of labor-intensive, organized, methodical process work to research and vet the entire market. These attributes still form the basis of our search methodology and organizational culture today.


    James, fresh off an MBA, and Tim, already five years in Japan, start their careers in recruitment at this time.


    Tech Boom (and Bust)

    The early 2000's saw a huge tech bubble, as everyone was trying to get hold of new waves of technology to improve productivity in their respective businesses. New industries and products that no one could have imagined ten years earlier were springing up. It was a crazy period, with even crazier valuations that couldn't last.

    Financial Compliance in Japan really took hold, but it was still early days and there was a long way to go before growing up.


    Hiroshi joins Morgan & Banks, meets James, and begins the long road to gaining trust among Bengoshi and Compliance professionals.


    Another Boom 2002 - 2007

    Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan encouraged Americans to tap into their home equity, and banks were there to create sophisticated products globally, as the world was awash with money and wealth -- or so it seemed, anyway.

    There weren't enough trained professionals in the world for growing companies to grow, and global recruiting went through a boom. It was volume over quality, and young people with their first jobs were giving "career advice."

    James and Hiroshi reject this idea, and focus on the value of research to provide excellence in Executive Search, starting a Tokyo office for a global firm.


    Koichiro and Takayo
    join our team.


    Global Financial Crisis 2007 – 2009

    The financial hangover that we're still feeling today.

    In the recruitment industry this triggered a huge purge that knocked out a great many bubble-era recruiters. For us, it reaffirmed our belief that quality over quantity is the true, time-tested way to perform professionally, not just for pride in one's work but also for pure survival. Being excellent at what you do never goes out of style.


    Paul is admitted to the New Zealand bar in 2009 and works as an attorney for a time before returning to Japan and recruitment, when he meets Hiroshi and James. He joins our team in 2011.


    Tohoku Earthquake

    Another devastation and another obstacle to economic recovery for Japan. It reminds us that life is short and valuable and we should live it well.


    Just Legal

    Unhappy with the culture of their parent company and the move to volume recruitment, James, Hiroshi, Paul, Koichiro and Takayo founded Just Legal KK. The goal was to work independently and concentrate solely on Legal and Compliance recruitment for people and companies that we wanted to work with.


    Tim joins us with fifteen years of experience in legal recruitment in Japan. Haruna joins after working as a paralegal for a global firm in Tokyo.

    Hiroko joins, to give the largest specialized legal recruitment team some much-needed administrative support.


    Where we are Today

    From our founding in 2014, we have already become the largest legal and compliance recruitment team in Tokyo. And we are just getting started...


    Yuki joins in 2016.