Outline of the Firm

Overview

The law firm of Wada & Watanabe focuses on corporate and cross-border law, and the firm's guiding principle is to provide practical advice and meticulous analysis based on the most up-to-date expert knowledge in a timely manner and at a reasonable price. Since our establishment thirty years ago, we have provided finely tuned legal advice that matches each of our clients' individual circumstances, concentrating on five areas of law: corporate law, cross-border law, intellectual property, labor and employment law, and dispute resolution.

Our firm is consulted daily by over two hundred global companies engaged in areas such as computers, semiconductors, software, electronics, telecommunications, precision machinery, healthcare, apparel, sporting goods, aerospace, automobiles, food products, hotels, and business consulting. Most of our clients are multinational companies that are internationally active in Japan, Asia, North America, and Europe. Clients often seek our advice for second opinions, and we are often asked to advise major foreign law firms, including those with offices in Japan.

The Legal 500 (2009-2015), which provide rankings for well-known law firms throughout the world, praise Wada & Watanabe (former Abe, Wada & Watanabe) as a firm that excels in the area of intellectual property and dispute resolution in Japan.

Our Attorneys

All of the partners and many of the associate attorneys at Wada & Watanabe have acquired international experience through studying and working abroad at law firms in the U.S. and in England, or by serving with Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since most of our clients are international companies, we regularly communicate with our clients in English. Moreover, our services are not limited simply to providing formalistic interpretations of the law; we also take care to provide pragmatic legal services, taking into consideration the specific factors underlying a dispute (such as the frictions that arise between different cultures), by offering strategic opinions and analysis that will lead to the optimum result and resolution for the client, and by aggressively advocating on behalf of our clients in negotiations and disputes. In principle, a number of attorneys will work on each individual matter, and we assure the quality of our legal services through the exchange of opinions that takes place between the attorneys within our firm.

Attorney Fees

In principle, our firm bills on a time-charge basis, but we also take into account the benefits obtained by the client from our advice. As a result, we take a flexible approach to billing for each matter, such as decreasing our fees pursuant to hourly rates if there is little actual financial benefit to the client.

Firm Partnerships

As a founding member of the International Lawyers Network (ILN), an organization with over ninety member law firms and over five thousand attorneys in over sixty countries, Wada & Watanabe has alliances with law firms throughout the world. When we work with Japan-based clients on expanding their businesses abroad or on dispute resolution in foreign countries, we do so with the cooperation of ILN member firms.

In the area of intellectual property, Wada & Watanabe has since 1993 maintained a working relationship with the Ohtsuka Patent Office (7th Floor, Kioicho Park Building 3-6, Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0094, Japan), an international firm located in Tokyo with approximately fifty patent engineers including twenty patent attorneys. We closely work with the Ohtsuka Patent Office on everything patent-related, from patent applications to patent infringement litigation, with the Ohtsuka Patent Office primarily taking charge of applications and examination procedures before the Japan Patent Office, and Wada & Watanabe handling procedures before the courts, such as patent invalidation procedures and infringement actions.