2017 New Year’s greeting

Happy New Year.

I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for your continued patronage.
Higashimachi finished 2016 with a total of 25 lawyers, with 17 based in our Kobe office, five based in our Tokyo office and three based in our Imabari office. Takuya Murao transferred from Kobe to Imabari to replace Makoto Matsumiya, who is currently studying at England’s Southampton University. Also, Kazuya Yamashita, who had been on secondment to the Ministry of Justice since 2014, returned to our firm and transferred from Kobe to Tokyo.

Last year we continued to handle cases in a wide range of fields, conducted training aimed at improving the capacity of our lawyers, and proactively transmitted information to all of our clients, as we have done in previous years as a comprehensive law firm capable of responding to the various legal needs of our clients. Also, in order to respond to the increase in international cases, in May last year we established Higashimachi Commercial Consulting (Shanghai) Ltd. in Shanghai, China. Combined with the provision of legal services by our firm, through this we believe we can provide everyone with a comprehensive consulting service for cases related to China that is smoother and more complete. Then, in November we signed a business collaboration agreement with PETERS Rechtsanwälte in Düsseldorf, Germany. Through this agreement, we believe that we can provide a more complete legal service for cases related to Europe that is not limited to conventional collaboration with American and English law firms.

Also, one of our partners, Satoru Kohdera, commenced serving as a Vice-President of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations in April after finishing his term as President of the Hyogo Bar Association in March.

This year, Takafumi Mise, who recently completed the 69th class of legal apprenticeship, will join our Kobe office in January, taking our number of lawyers to 18 in Kobe, five in Tokyo and three in Imabari (a total of 26 lawyers).

It is our aim to continue to understand the values of the new era, reaffirm our principles so that we can carry out our role as a law firm, and continue to respond appropriately and promptly to the increasingly sophisticated and diverse legal needs of our clients as a comprehensive law firm, so that we can be:

(1) a law firm which functions as an organization, rather than simply as a group of lawyers,
(2) a law firm capable of delivering high-quality, professional legal product, and
(3) a law firm which values communication with its clients.

In closing, I wish like to wish you all continued business growth and happiness for the new year.

Higashimachi LPC
Yoshihiro Uetani, Managing Partner