Law firm located in Kudanshita, Tokyo, Japan
We are a full-service law firm
Waseda Legal Commons, LPC is a general law firm located in Kudanshita, Tokyo.
Established in 2013, we celebrate our 10th anniversary, and are keen on extending our reach to non-Japanese clients, both citizenry and corporate.
We boast approximately thirty attorneys and several specialists of legal services and offer a wide and comprehensive range of legal services.
We welcome you and are most pleased to help you on any Japanese legal issues.
Waseda Legal Commons, LPChttps://legalcommons.jp/en/en-home
Number of Professionals
Japanese qualified Attorneys (33)Certified Public Accountant (2)Judicial Scrivener (1)Patent Attorney (1)Advisor (2)(As of Feb 1, 2023)
Tel: +81-3-6261-2880 (Main)Office hours: Weekdays/Business days 9:30-20:00
Chiyoda Kaikan 4F, 1-6-17 Kudan Minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074, Japan
Subway “Kudanshita Station” Tozai Line, Hanzomon Line,Toei Shinjuku Line, 3 minutes walk from Exit 4 or 6
We offer professional legal services in a wide variety of areas to meet diverse legal needs of individuals, business enterprises, benefit corporations and non-profit organizations. Please feel free to contact us.
Beast in Courtroom
When a negotiation breaks down, the courtroom is often the last and only place you can go and seek remedies. We put great emphasis on structuring our arguments carefully based upon meticulous legal research and thorough factual analysis, and argue cases earnestly before bench, so that we can achieve desired results for our clients in court.
In an average year, we handle more than 500 civil cases including contractual disputes, tort claims, and family and inheritance disputes. We are also very active in more specialized proceedings such as actions for revocation of and/or compensation/condemnation for governmental actions, disputes in labor and industrial relations, intellectual property litigation, medical malpractice claims, internal disputes for control in corporations and other legal entities, and slander and libel claims over the internet and other virtual spheres. Our attorneys are well experienced in both judicial and non-judicial alternative dispute resolution such as family conciliation, employment dispute mediation, commercial arbitration as well as mediation procedures provided by bar associations and other private entities.
Our appellate practice group, a very unique initiative for a Japanese law firm, led by a former appellate judge himself, frequently receives referrals from other law firms and solo practitioners, and has successfully appealed cases to overturn lower court decisions.
Breaking New Legal Grounds
As business evolves, so does the corporate practice of lawyers. We are committed to always providing clients with the most update legal advice and keep ourselves abreast of new legislation such as the Economic Security Promotion Act and the revisions of existing statutes such as Civil Code, Corporation Act, Personal Information Protection Act, Anti-competition Act, Patent Act, labor related laws and consumer protection laws, each of which recently went through major amendments.
We love to tackle with novel legal issues arising out of new challenges of our clients, and devote a team of attorneys specialized in the revolutionary phenomenon of metaverse, NFTs, blockchain technology and crypt currencies.
Even in the traditional fields of business law such as corporate governance, in light of SGDs, sustainability and ESG requirements, we work proactively with our clients to help them realize their respective “purposes” and “missions”, with our vast accumulated pool of experience and skills not only in law but accounting, finance, technological innovation, human capital development, data solutions, and business process reengineering.
Being accused of a crime is a depressing experience for anybody. It is all the more true if you are on a foreign soil where you have no or little familiarity with the local criminal proceedings.
The Japanese criminal justice (or a lack thereof) has been frequently criticized by the international community for its notorious “justice by taking hostage” system, represented by the long pre-indictment detention without bail, the practice of re-arresting for multiple offenses to further extend the detention period, the case law based obligation of the arrested under detention to go through interrogation by law enforcement officers without the presence of counsel, unusually low rate of bail for pre-trial detention, and extraordinary high rate (almost 99.9 percent) of guilty verdict in court. Therefore, it should be imperative for a non-Japanese, if arrested, accused or indicted of a crime, to have quick and responsive legal representation by a competent defense attorney with communication skill in a foreign language.
Since its inception, criminal defense has been one of the mainstays of our firm. Our attorneys have successfully defended clients in court to win acquittals. More importantly often in practice, we have negotiated and persuaded public prosecutors from charging our clients during detention period as well as in the investigatory stage of law enforcement.
We are especially keen on defending the accused of white-collar crimes, by way of combining our expertise in corporate practice such as tax law, anti-competition, securities transactions, export control, and anti-bribery, with our criminal defense capabilities.
Two of our lawyers teach criminal law and criminal procedure at law schools and another is a professor emeritus of criminal procedure. In addition, several others are frequently invited by bar associations to give lessons and lectures on criminal defense to their fellow criminal attorneys.
Best Practice for All
Many of us wanted to become a lawyer because, simply put, we wanted to help people around us, all of whom just ordinary citizens. That is the reason why citizens are always and forever will be our important clients. We respond to and provide services for any legal need an ordinary citizen may have in his/her lifetime, from traffic accidents, bodily injury, residential transactions and mortgage, debt forgiveness and personal bankruptcy, wrongful discharge and workplace harassments, medical malpractice, and consumer fraud, to immigration transgressions.
We are strong and experienced at family law, having represented numerous clients in disputes over divorce, child custody and alimony, and inheritance and estates, both in and out of court as well as in judicial family conciliation procedure. We help our clients in estate planning and drawing up a will, and provide services in connection with executor, trustee and guardianships.
Class action against the government and/or administrative agencies is one of our specialties. Our attorneys have been instrumental in many such lawsuits, seeking relief for the victims of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster and other environmental pollutions, or protection of historical landscape and buildings and natural heritages.
Justice Is Our Passion
Commitment to pro bono defines who we are, and the reason why many of our attorneys choose Waseda Legal Commons as their professional home.
We believe in the universal values proclaimed in our Constitution, which include among others the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, religion and assembly, freedom from slavery, bondage and involuntary servitude, freedom of thought and conscience, freedom of religion, speech, assembly and association, freedom to choose residence and occupation, freedom of marriage, the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living, the right to receive equal education, the right of access to the courts, and the right of the accused to have the assistance of competent counsel.
Every day, our attorneys strive to protect and realize those rights in real life settings for anyone, regardless of his/her nationality, race, gender, or social status. The following are a few examples of such activities of our attorneys.
Protecting Human Rights of Refugees
Japan is notorious for its extreme unwillingness to accept refugees – the country rejects more than ninety nine percent (99%) of asylum applications each year, an outlier among all developed nations. Evidently, those fleeing to the country as refugees are in dire need of immediate, competent and vigorous support from local lawyers.In 2018, Waseda Legal Commons entered into a partnership agreement with the Japan Association for Refugees (JAR), a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of providing legal, social and integration support for individual refugees, becoming the second native law firm to do so. In close cooperation with JAR, more than ten attorneys in our Practice Group for Refugees take on cases, both judicial and administrative, involving refugees and those seeking release from the detention facilities of the Immigration Service Agency. They also provide general legal advice to NGOs and human rights activists working on the rights of the asylum seekers. To date, our attorneys have represented refugees from countries such as Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan.
Defending the Rights of Foreign Nationals
Attorney Kawakami is also actively involved in human rights issues for foreign nationals. For example, he represented criminal and civil cases involving a former foreign technical intern trainee from China who worked for a construction company and was doused with gasoline and set on fire by a fellow worker, and a Nepalese national who was killed by excessive police restraint while detained at a police station. In addition, he has been active in defending the rights of delivery workers including those of foreign status by helping to establish the UberEats Union, a labor union for UberEats delivery workers.
Justice for Wishma
On March 6, 2021, Ms. Wishma Sandamali, a detainee at Nagoya Immigration Bureau, passed away in confinement. The result of the urine test conducted on February 15 shows that shortly before her death Wishma was extremely malnourished and almost starving. Nonetheless, despite her repeated pleas for help, she had never been afforded proper medical care nor sufficient nutrition within the detention facility. Our associate attorney Kojiro Cristóbal Tawara, together with like-minded co-counsels, represents her bereaved family members in a civil lawsuit against the national government. Tawara is determined to expose the true cause of Wishma’s tragic death and hold those involved accountable in court.
Waseda Legal Commons, LPC is a group of attorneys with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to providing diverse and high quality legal services by leveraging the expertise and experience of each of them.
Attorneys with “English” listed below can respond directly in English. Other attorneys are also available with interpreter staff.
English Speaking Attorneys
We provide professional services in English.
Other Attorneys and Professionals
We provide professional services in cooperation with an English Speaking Attorney or an interpreter.
Legal fees will be quoted on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the complexity of the case and other factors. Please feel free to contact us for a consultation.
Our firm accepts payments by major credit cards and cryptocurrencies.
Initial Legal Consultation Fee
We ask you to pay JPY 11,000 (including consumption tax) for every 30 minutes of an initial legal consultation with our professionals. The initial legal consultation is usually limited to one time, but may continue on another day or be held more than once at the discretion of our professional in charge.During the initial legal consultation, our professionals will, upon your request, explain the fee structure that may be applicable to your case in the event you hire us to represent you for the case.
We usually work on an hourly fees basis, i.e., our fees being calculated by way of multiplying (a) the applicable hourly rate of each of the professionals working on your case or assignment by (b) the number of hours he/she actually used for the case or assignment. The individual hourly rates of our professionals vary depending upon their respective skills and experiences, but the minimum is JPY 33,000 (including consumption tax).Depending upon the nature of your case, we may propose to use an alternative fee structure combining the retainer and contingency fees.When you hire us, we ask you to enter into a retainer agreement which sets forth our fees, fee calculation, billing and payment methods.Our fees are usually quoted and charged in the Japanese currency. We accept payments in US dollar or certain types of crypt currency if expressly set forth in the retainer agreement.For further information, please ask our professional at the initial legal consultation.
Free Legal Consultation
Occasionally, at our sole discretion, we may offer free legal consultation for a limited number of people/entities in need of professional advice on certain specific legal issues. Currently, we provide free legal consultation to the following individuals / business enterprises:・non-Japanese companies planning to enter the Japanese market for the first time;・individuals / enterprises in need of a representation by attorney for a civil lawsuit, or judicial or non-judicial alternative dispute resolution in Japan, which involves a claim(s) in the amount of JPY 10 million or more; and・individuals / enterprises seeking a defense layer in connection with the allegation of a white-collar crime.
Waseda Legal Commons
Lawyers who cannot achieve silence
Lawyers who do not advise silence
Yes, but only for the consultation with our professional.After we receive your inquiry, our staff will contact you for a preliminary interview. Then, if it is necessary and you so desire, our staff will set up a meeting with one of our professionals. For such an initial meeting with our professional, we ask you to pay JPY 11,000 (including consumption tax) for every 30 minutes. The initial consultation fee may be deposited in advance to our firm or paid in cash at the meeting of initial consultation.
It depends on the nature, substance and complexity of you case. We will try to give you a reasonable estimate of our fees and, if so requested thereafter, update our initial estimate during the course of handling your case.
Usually, we use hourly charges. Our fees are calculated as the number of hours our professional used for your case times the individual hourly rate of that particular professional. The current individual hourly rates of our professionals fall in the range of JPY 33,000 and JPY 66,000, depending upon their respective skills, expertise and experiences.Sometimes, we use the retainer and contingent fees when it looks more appropriate for a particular case or suits the need of a client. The retainer will be a fixed amount calculated as a quotient of the expected economic benefit (including the reduction of loss) you may gain from our work. It will be expressly set forth in the retainer agreement.The contingent fee will be another quotient of the amount of your actual economic gain (including the reduction of loss) , and its calculation formula will be stated in the retainer agreement.
At the end of each month, we will prepare an invoice together with a time sheet and send them to you for your review. The payment is usually due in thirty days from the date of such an invoice.
It depends on the nature, substance and complexity of the case. Before you hire us, we will try to explain who among our professionals are expected to be involved and why. If we deploy more than one professional for you case, we will designate the lead attorney.
Again, it depends on the nature, substance and complexity of the case. Before you hire us, our professional in charge will give you an idea of expected time frame or a course of events. If it is a one-time simpler aassignment such as prearing a contract or living will, our professional will be able to give you a more specific time frame or target deadline.
You may, but except when you are called upon to testify before the bench or when the residing judge specifically asks for your presence, you do not need to. We prepare necessary documentation to be submitted to court such as a complaint, an answer, counterclaims, pleadings and motions, and represent you in courtroom, all on your behalf. In some alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as domestic conciliation at family court, your personal attendance may be encouraged or requested.
Yes, we accept payments by VISA, Master, Amex, and JCB.
Yes, we accept payments in Bitcoin and Ethereum to the extent that such payment method is set forth in the retainer agreement.Because the value of those crypto-currencies fluctuate, we will ask you to let us know of the date of your payment and to agree with us on the conversion rate for such payment in advance.We also accept payments in stable coins such as USDT, USDC, and DAI, as long as they remain exchangeable for US dollars at the 1:1 exchange rate.For further information about the payment in crypto-currencies, please contact our professional in charge of your case.
Fill in the form and we’ll contact you shortly
Please use this form for initial contact. After confirming your contact information, we will contact you by e-mail or phone. Please note that we may be able to respond to an incoming phone call only in Japanese.
Waseda Legal Commons, LPC
(Member of Tokyo Bar Association)
Kenichiro Kawasaki, Representative Partner
Chiyoda Kaikan 4F, 1-6-17 Kudan-Minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074, Japan
Tel: +81-3-6261-2880 (Main)
Office hours: Weekdays/Business days 9:30-20:00
News & Columns