Spring 2024 Market Update - Demand Picking Up


The Japanese legal market continues to evolve and adapt to changes in business and society; namely geopolitical, economic, and environment right now. With the Japanese economy the talk of the global business community (including a weak yen, unfortunately…), the legal market is buzzing, and we are seeing healthy demand for a variety of bilingual lawyers and compliance professionals. Here is a quick snapshot as of Spring 2024.

In-house legal departments focusing on asset management and health technology are experiencing significant growth.

  • Asset Management: With the increasing complexity of global finance, there’s a rising demand for legal expertise in navigating intricate regulatory frameworks and modern financial instruments. The industry continues to grow, particular as the Japanese Government tries to encourage its citizens to invest, not just save their hard-earned cash.

  • Health Technology (HealthTech): The intersection of healthcare and digital technology is expanding rapidly, creating a need for legal professionals who understand regulatory compliance, data privacy, and intellectual property issues in this sector. The speed of development in this area, particular in conjunction with AI, is breathtaking, and we are seeing more and more companies enter the Japanese market or be born in Japan, and in need of lawyers and compliance support.

Additionally, investment businesses and private equity are seeing heightened activity, requiring legal support for venture funding and managing regulatory challenges. Private equity continues to grow in size and in power, even if there is much potential in this area in Japan.

Private Practice

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Private Equity, and Energy/Projects are areas of high demand.

  • Corporate M&A and Private Equity: In this dynamic business environment, companies restructuring and seeking legal guidance for strategic transactions. There are still a huge number of Japanese companies with capital to invest, and a growing appetite for acquisitions (the recent US Steel deal being a great example).
  • Energy/Projects: With a focus on sustainability and renewable energy, legal expertise in this sector is increasingly vital for navigating complex project development and regulatory landscapes. Energy transformation continues to be a hot topic, and likely will be for years to come.

The Japanese legal market continues to change, presenting both challenges and opportunities for job seekers and employers. Given current client needs, and conversations across the market, we anticipate the need to experienced lawyers and compliance professionals to remain strong, particularly in the areas outlined here, and including others such as AI and related technologies.

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