Informative recent update on the Japan legal market from the Law Society Gazette:
Japan’s revival has reignited interest among international law firms in the world’s third-largest economy. Underpinning a sharp rise in cross-border deals and investments is a change in corporate culture, as family owners and founder shareholders give way to more outward-looking management. What one solicitor describes as Japan’s ‘residual protectionism’ remains a barrier to growth, nevertheless. Most foreign law firms still retain small operations in the country, due to practising restrictions and tough price competition. They must find niche areas where they can serve the market at customary global rates. Hopes are high, nevertheless, that the Japanese government will soon follow through on a promise to reform the gaiben system, which acts as a bottleneck on the firms’ ability to attract talent.