T&K Partners is a comprehensive law firm that
combines the power of expert knowledge,
out-of-the-box thinking, and teamwork
to provide the best legal services for our clients.
At T&K Partners, we take pride in working
shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients.
We analyze, discuss, and build with our clients
the best possible solutions to their problems
as members of one team.
We are committed to always being there
for our clients and to continuously support
their growth as their trusted partner.
T&K Partners is a Tokyo-based law firm which was founded upon the following three guiding principles:
In today’s increasingly globalized world, organizations are expected to adjust to, reconcile with or collaborate on matters that may arise in their commercial activities across various cultures, value systems, or groups of people from different races and backgrounds. In this context, the need to merely identify legal issues and risks has become less and less relevant. Merely providing clients with simple advice, such as “there are risks to this approach” or “be mindful of these legal issues”, may not only be insufficient advice to support or justify a decision by a client, but such advice may also interfere with the commercial business activities of the client in such areas or industries. We recognize that many lawyers may not have the necessary background or experience to provide effective legal advice that assists a client to make effective business decisions.
In order to respond to such needs of our clients, we understand that “a lawyer only creates value by providing effective solutions” and that to craft effective solutions for a client matter, we must carefully consider and have a firm understanding of the underlying background of the matter and the overall interests of a client. In addition to our extensive experience in domestic and international legal matters, we also are prepared and equipped to easily deal with unexpected legal issues. We maintain a broad, holistic approach and perspective to each matter in order to provide optimal solutions to meet our clients’ needs. We consistently question ourselves to test whether a solution is one that will “maximize the benefits to be derived by our client”, including whether the solution will support management decisions that improve the bottom line of our clients.
Traditionally, lawyers in Japan are largely “passive” advisors and will generally only become involved with a client after being consulted on a matter that the client wants help to resolve. In this context, lawyers in Japan are like doctors who only treat patients after they become ill. However, readily identifiable “illnesses” may, in fact, only be the tip of the iceberg for many organizations. “Treatments” that may be sufficient for one organization may not be sufficient to treat the underlying “illness” of another organizations. We have observed many cases where problems could have been prevented or the effects of such problems could have been dramatically reduced had we been allowed to deal with the underlying issues before they became apparent to the client.
As a result, we have made the conscious decision to become a proactive firm whose team of lawyers build relationships with our clients that allow us to drill-down to understand the businesses of our clients so that we can offer “proposals” that not only provide specific advice on individual problems, but also offer advice that helps to identify issues and propose remedial measures to prevent future problems from occurring or becoming bigger problems. Such remedial measures can cover a wide range of areas and focus on practical solutions, including the development of internal systems, the revision of internal regulations, the examination of contract templates, and negotiation methods with business partners. Only a firm, which has a team of lawyers who have a wealth of experience and a broad background in helping to resolve a wide range of corporate matters, can offer such problem-solving solutions to its clients, and we hope to provide such assistance to our clients to help them to grow and to sustain the development of their businesses.
In general, lawyers are third parties to the affairs and businesses of their clients and are expected to provide advice as external advisers in an objective and independent manner. Indeed, lawyers are cautioned against getting too involved in a client matter to a degree where they lose sight of their role as an external adviser. However, some lawyers take this role to the extreme by solely devoting themselves to provide advice on the law and by refusing to offer any advice on how a client may wish to resolve a matter in light of the applicable law. Such lawyers leave the decision making completely up to their clients without any assistance from the lawyer. It is not surprising under these circumstances for clients to lose trust in such legal advisers as they may be disappointed by the attitude of such lawyers and feel as if the lawyer has “thrown in the towel” or is trying to “avoid” responsibility for its advice.
On the other hand, although we are mindful of our position as an objective and independent third party adviser, we have made the conscious decision to accept and not shy away from our role as a “partner” with our clients when they are faced with a difficult issue. We place importance on the process of working with our clients by actively engaging in discussions and coming up with sound solutions together. We welcome the opportunity to involve ourselves in client matters by, for example, attending and participating in internal meetings of our clients or accepting the opportunity to participate or even take the lead in negotiations with opposing parties. Even though we are external advisers, we aspire to be part of a team with our clients that share the same perspectives and challenges.
In order to realize the principles that guide our firm, it is essential for us to have a team of lawyers who have a strong foundation in the law and who have a broad base of knowledge and diverse experiences as lawyers. Our lawyers not only have a wealth of experience and high levels of expertise in dealing with both domestic and international matters, but they also are adept at providing creative advice, are able to respond to multifaceted issues and are ready to offer the best possible solutions available in each matter for the benefit of our clients.
The company law practice area in Japan is subdivided into various sub-areas, and to be proficient in any sub-area requires an extensive level of expertise in such sub-area. Our lawyers have extensive experience in a wide range of sub-areas, including general company law, M&A, company restructuring, finance and financial regulation, dispute resolution (including litigation, mediation and arbitration), crisis management and compliance system development (to handle or prevent incidents of misconduct, etc.), intellectual property rights and labor law. As a full-service law firm, we provide a one-stop service by leveraging our ability to optimize the composition of the team of our lawyers selected to work on each specific matter. Each of our lawyers is flexible about sharing information and their abilities with the other lawyers on the team to come up with the best possible solution for the client.
We have lawyers with significant overseas experience, including Japanese lawyers who have worked for several years at law firms or in-house in various international jurisdictions, mainly in Asia. These Japanese lawyers worked, not merely as trainees, but side-by-side with local lawyers on actual international legal matters at these law firms or in-house. In addition, we also have lawyers who are qualified to practice law in jurisdictions such as the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC”), the United States of America (the “US”), and Australia. As a result of our collective experiences abroad, our lawyers have experience handling various legal issues that are not often encountered in Japan and have realized that our corporate clients could benefit from more comprehensive legal support, which touches upon overall corporate management issues. Through such experiences and the knowledge gained therefrom, we aim to provide substantive legal support for our clients with international legal issues, which goes beyond merely acting as a liaison firm between our clients and lawyers qualified in overseas jurisdictions.
In addition to our team of lawyers here at T&K Partners, we have developed a trusted advisory network of international law firms and Japanese lawyers with relationships with other international law firms to assist us in providing legal services for our clients. We have invested in and developed strong relationships, which go beyond casual alliances, with major overseas law firms through the time our lawyers have spent with them in their offices and by working with them on projects over many years. We have found that by being retained as the contact person for such overseas law firms, we are able to use these relationships to help expedite the progress of a matter and better control local legal costs.
Since our inception, we have enjoyed consistent growth in our business and in the number of lawyers at our firm. We have added newly admitted lawyers and more experienced lawyers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our clients have expressed appreciation for our efforts in trying to contain legal costs while achieving successful results. We place a strong emphasis on work efficiency by matching the right team of professionals with a matter to best achieve the results desired by our clients. Rather than initially staffing a matter with many lawyers, we selectively choose who and how many of our professionals should be staffed to efficiently and effectively resolve the matter. Furthermore, each professional who works on a client matter is encouraged to take ownership of the matter, which brings a sense of being a party to the matter. In addition to maintaining quality and speed in our work, we are cognizant of the fact that we need to work in the best interests of our clients and consciously endeavor to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses and costs where possible.
Our roadmap for how we proceed to resolve a client matter is described in the chart below. We move each client matter forward by, first, developing a comprehensive understanding of the background of the matter and the client’s desires with regard thereto and, second, by clearly explaining to our clients how we believe the matter will proceed and our outlook for success, before embarking on resolving the matter. In addition to our efforts to resolve the matter at hand, our experiences have taught us that we should also look to try to help our clients find a cure for the underlying issue that allowed the problem to grow in the first place. We have found that we are often able to help our clients build and implement certain internal structures to promote these strategies and to improve efficiency. In this manner, we present solutions to our clients that help maximize their available options.