Foreign Lawyers Act (Japan)
[Special Measures Act concerning Legal Practice by Foreign Lawyers]
[English Translation of the Content and Articles 1, 2, 10, 16, 48 and 49-2]
Chapter One General Provisions
The purpose of this Law is to stabilize the international legal relations and improve the legal business related to the Japanese law in foreign countries by taking such special measures as to enable the persons qualified for Foreign Attorney-at-Law to conduct legal business related to foreign laws in the country of Japan and also to regulate their legal business in conformity with the regulations on the Japanese Lawyers.
In this Law, the meanings of the terms in the following items are as follows:
1. gJapanese Lawyerh means a lawyer under the provisions of the Lawyer Act (Law No. 205, 1949).
2. gForeign Attorney-at-Lawh means a person performing his/her duty of legal practice in a foreign country (in the federations specified in the Order of Ministry of Justice, it means a state, territory or any other unit composing such federations; hereinafter the term shall be construed in the same way) and equivalent to the Japanese Lawyer.
3. gForeign Law Solicitorh means a person approved under Article 7 and registered under Article 24.
4. gCountry of Original Qualificationh means the foreign country where the person approved under Article 7 has obtained the qualification for Foreign Attorney-at-Law which is the basis for such approval.
5. gLaw of the Country of Original Qualificationh means the law which is or was effective in the Country of Original Qualification.
6. gLegal Practice related to the Law of the Country of Original Qualificationh means the legal practice for legal cases in which the Law of the Country of Original Qualification shall or can apply in all or in a major part.
7. gSpecific Foreign Countryh means a specific foreign country other than the Country of Original Qualification.
8. gLaw of the Specific Foreign Countryh means the law which is or was effective in the Specific Foreign Country.
9. gSpecified Lawh means the Law of the Specific Foreign Country specified under the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 16 to the person approved under the provisions of Article 7.
10. gLegal Practice related to the Specified Lawh means the legal practice for legal cases in which the Specified Law shall or can apply in all or in a major part.
11. gInternational Arbitration Caseh means a civil arbitration case of which venue of arbitration is within the country of Japan and all or any of the parties to which are entities having a domicile or a principal office or headquarters in foreign countries.
12. –14 [translation not available]
Chapter Two Functions of Foreign Law Solicitor
Chapter Three Qualification for Foreign Law Solicitor
Section 1 Approval by the Minister of Justice
(Criteria for Approval)
(1) The Minister of Justice may not approve unless the person applying under the provisions of Paragraph 1 of the previous article (hereinafter referred to as gApplicant for Approvalh) --
1. is qualified for Foreign Attorney-at-Law and has at least three yearsf professional experience as a Foreign Attorney-at-Law after obtaining such qualification in the country where he/she obtained that qualification (including such experience as the Foreign Attorney-at-Law in the country where he/she obtained the qualification was engaged in the legal practice related to the law of that country on the basis of his/her qualification for Foreign Attorney-at-Law in other country than that he/she obtained the qualification).
2. –3 [translation not available]
(2)-(4) [translation not available]
Section 2 Specification of the Law of the Specific Foreign Country
(1) If an approved person satisfies any of the conditions of the following items, the Minister of Justice may specify the Law of the Specific Foreign Country for that person:
1. He/she is qualified for Foreign Attorney-at-Law of the Specific Foreign Country; or
2. He/she is as knowledgeable of the Law of that Specific Foreign Country as any person qualified for Foreign Attorney-at-Law of the Specific Foreign Country and has at least five yearsf practical experience of legal practice related to that Law.
(2) The provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 10 and Article 11 shall apply mutatis-mutandis to the specification under the provisions of the previous paragraph.
Chapter Four Registration, Business of and Supervision for Foreign Law Solicitors
Section 1 General Provisions
Section 2 Registration of Foreign Law Solicitors
Subsection 1 Register of Foreign Law Solicitors
Subsection 2 Examination Conference for of Foreign Law Solicitor Registration
Subsection 3 Enrollment to and Withdrawal from the Bar Association and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations
Section 3 Rights and Obligations of the Foreign Law Solicitor
(Obligation of Presence)
(1) A Foreign Law Solicitor shall be present in the country of Japan for 180 days or more during one year.
(2) [translation not available]
(Prohibition of Employing Japanese Lawyers, etc.)
(1) A Foreign Law Solicitor shall not employ Japanese Lawyers.
(2) [translation not available]
(Specific Joint Business)
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph 2 of the previous article, a Foreign Law Solicitor may, by partnership agreement or any other agreement, carry out joint business for the purpose of conducting the following legal practices with specific Japanese Lawyers only if such Japanese Lawyers has at least five yearsf professional experience as a Japanese Lawyer in Japan;
1. Legal practice requiring knowledge of laws which are or were effective in the foreign country;
2. Legal practice related to legal cases to which all or any of the parties are entities having a domicile or a principal office or headquarters in foreign countries.
3. Legal Practice related to legal cases requested by the company in which a half or more of the shareholdersf or membersf voting rights (excluding the voting rights related to such shares or interests as specified in Paragraph 4 of Article 211-2 of Commercial Code (Law No. 48, 1899) and including the voting rights related to the shares or interests considered to have voting right under the provisions of Paragraph 5 of the same article) are held by the entities having a domicile or a principal office or headquarters in foreign countries.
(2) –(3) [translation not available]
Section 4 Disciplinary Measures for Foreign Law Solicitors
Subsection 1 Disciplinary Disposition
Subsection 2 Foreign Law Solicitors Disciplines Committee and Foreign Law Solicitors Moral Committee
Chapter Five Miscellaneous
Chapter Six Penalties
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