Clayton Utz partner - and bengoshi - Hiroyuki Kano explains how our close relationships with Japanese corporations and government entities help us to assist Japanese clients in all the major practice areas across a variety of industries.
Hiro Kano, Partner, Corporate Advisory / M&A
What is Clayton Utz's approach to Japan?
I think the most important feature of our Japan practice is to bridge the gap between Australian law and Japanese law in addition to the language and cultural barrier. We have a dedicated team with Japanese legal, language and cultural backgrounds. Unfortunately however I don't think many Japanese corporations know that we have such resources. So our objective is to ensure that Japanese corporations know that we have such experience and expertise. We do many things - such as trips to Japan to do seminars in Japanese for instance - to ensure that Japanese corporations know that we have such expertise.
How long have we been working closely with Japanese organisations?
I joined the firm in 2002 and have been working with other team members on building our Japanese practice since then. We now have a lot of experience with regard to large foreign investments, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, chapter raisings, contract negotiation and commercial litigation.
What type of Japanese clients do we work for?
We work for a wide range of organisations including large Japanese financial institutions, trading houses, car manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, power companies, property developers, insurance companies and food companies.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My real expertise is my ability to bridge the gap between Australian law and Japanese law. I am able to do this as I am a Japanese qualified bengoshi and also an Australian qualified solicitor. A bengoshi is a Japanese qualified lawyer. As far as we are aware I am the only one in Australia. I can assist our clients on understanding both the Japanese and Australian legal systems, cultures and languages. This makes our clients' business growth in Australia as easy and successful as possible. By taking this approach, we have acted for many Japanese clients on a variety of matters.
What opportunities do you see ahead for our international strategy?
We believe it is an exciting time for our firm. Our international strategy continues to grow and develop. We pride ourselves on always trying to be best practice and that's what helps us be market leaders, particularly in our Japanese practice. We think there are significant opportunities for Japanese companies in Australia and we believe we are ideally positioned to best assist these firms with their expansion within Australia.