New Year’s Greeting 2023

Happy New Year to you and yours.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your ongoing support during the past year.

In 2022, while economic activities were recovering from the COVID‑19 pandemic, the global economy was stagnant and uncertain due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, growing U.S.-China tensions, and rising U.S. interest rates. With the Yen’s rapid depreciation, the Japanese economy also experienced a slowdown. Nevertheless, our firm continued to expand, as existing and new clients sought our support during these uncertain times.

We will celebrate our fourth anniversary on April 1, 2023. When the office was established in April 2019, there were five attorneys and two back-office staff for a total of seven. As of January 2023, we have 22 attorneys (18 Japanese attorneys and four foreign attorneys) and nine back-office staff for a total of 31. We would like to express our gratitude for their efforts this past year.

Our goal is to become a “Top Global Law Firm from Japan” by identifying the changing times and the unmet legal needs of Japanese and global companies and offering a range of high value-added services. In 2023, we will continue to support clients to the best of our abilities and further strengthen the firm’s structure.

The following are some of our major projects in 2022, and New Year’s resolutions for 2023.

■ M&A (Overseas and Domestic), Litigation/Arbitration, EPC, Infrastructure and Renewable Energy Transactions

(Overseas M&A)
We were involved in several overseas M&A transactions including: advised a Japanese manufacturer on the acquisition of a U.S. company with offices in the United States, Europe and China; counseled a Japanese manufacturer on its entry into India; advised on the restructuring of an Indian joint venture; negotiated a joint venture agreement between a Japanese company and European company; served as Japanese counsel in a de-SPAC transaction for an Asian company with offices in Japan; and advised on the financing of a Japanese venture company by a Canadian investor.

(Domestic M&A)
We also handled various domestic M&A transactions including: represented a public company in undertaking activist countermeasures (as appointed special committee chair) that entailed formation of a capital and business alliance with a White Knight, which combined a third-party allotment of new shares and TOB of the company’s own shares; supported the owner-side in TOBs by private equity funds; assisted listed companies in carve-outs of subsidiaries (MBOs by management); and participated in multiple private equity transactions on both the buy side and the sell side.

(Litigation and Arbitration)
We represented clients in various disputes such as large-scale securities litigation, product liability and tort litigation between companies involved in international transactions, and alleged breaches of representations and warranties in an M&A transaction. We also obtained a favorable settlement in a dispute among owners of a multinational conglomerate, supported and negotiated settlements in domestic construction project disputes (pre-litigation) with subcontractors, and negotiated a settlement in a dispute (pre-arbitration) involving a local subcontractor in a construction project in Asia. We look forward to further strengthening our litigation and arbitration practice in the upcoming year.

(EPC, Infrastructure, Renewable Energy Transactions)
Our EPC/Infrastructure/Renewable Energy Transactions practice area expanded significantly in 2022. Some of our projects included: advising on additional equity investment in international offshore wind projects; and negotiating contracts for the delivery of wastewater recovery and treatment equipment for new semiconductor manufacturing plants, numerous domestic and international infrastructure and renewable energy projects (e.g., plant construction, solar, wind, and biomass) as well as corporate PPAs transitioning from the FIT system to the FIP system. In 2023, we will continue to focus on EPC, infrastructure, and renewable energy transactions, as environmental and infrastructure investment is one of the key themes for ESG/SDGs.

(Other Areas of Business)
In addition to the above services, we counseled clients on risk management and internal investigations for alleged product quality control improprieties (including serving on independent third-party committees), domestic and foreign competition law investigations of restrictive agreements between Japanese and foreign companies, OFAC compliance with respect to remittances to sanctioned countries, and personal data leaks in connection with the overseas operations of Japanese companies.

■ Increase the Number of Companies Implementing TKI Remote In-House Services and Launch of the TKI In-House Associate Program (Training for Legal Department Secondees)

While legal issues are becoming increasingly complex and diverse, there is a chronic shortage of legal personnel within corporations. To assist corporate legal departments, we offer the “TKI Remote In-House Services,” in which our attorneys work as members of the legal department. In 2022, the number of companies using this service increased significantly. This year, we will continue to improve our in-house services to meet our clients’ needs.

In addition, this year we will launch the “TKI In-House Associate Program.” As part of the program, we will accept secondments from corporate legal departments, so that their staff can obtain law firm training. We welcome inquiries from legal departments interested in training promising legal staff at our firm.

■ New Year’s Resolutions for 2023 - To Further Strengthen the Firm Structure

In 2023, we anticipate increasing our firm size to 30 lawyers. Moreover, we will welcome recent graduates to fill back-office roles in April. This will complete one goal in our expansion efforts and will lay the foundation for further future growth.

We have strived to hire mid-career laterals (qualified in Japan and foreign jurisdictions) with varied backgrounds and experiences to meet our clients’ diverse needs. As part of our efforts, we began accepting summer interns and externs from major universities last year. We also started the “Winter Clerkship/Spring Clerkship Programs,” which are internship programs designed to encourage talented new attorneys to join our firm.

We plan to expand the “Immersion Program,” a practical skills training program for junior attorneys based on our real-world experiences. As part of the program, we offer approximately 30 seminars in the Japan Practice Course and Global Practice Course. After this training, junior attorneys are assigned to actual client matters.

In addition, we intend to further strengthen our relationships with over 200 existing law firms in 50-60 countries, including Asia, Europe and the United States.

Through these efforts, we promise to continue to provide high value-added legal services this year. We look forward to working with you again in 2023.

New Year 2023