Overview

The South Toranomon Law Offices is the oldest and one of the leading business law firms in Japan. We currently houses twenty-two active attorneys specializing in business law areas that include litigation, general corporate, intellectual property, employment, international, professional liability, etc. We are proud of the depth, experience, and enthusiasm of our attorneys, the quality of the services we provide, and the successful results we have delivered and continue to deliver to our clients.

History

The South Toranomon Law Offices' origin dates back to as early as 1955. Mr. Tadao Ohno, one of the original founders, established the Law Office of Tadao Ohno in Tokyo in 1955 after serving as Naval Judicial Officer and working in private practice for ten years. Ohno's firm gradually grew in size, hiring additional associates and partners, and by 1995, the firm changed its name to Ohno & Mizukami.

In 1951, Mr. Kazuhide Harada, another original founder, started his practice at Yokochi Law Office. In 1961, Harada left Yokochi to join the Law Offices of George A. Furness, which changed its name to Furness, Sato, Harada & Matsui. In 1974, Mr. Minoru Uchida became an associate with Furness Sato. In 1975, Harada left Furness Sato and started the Law Offices of Kazuhide Harada at Bengoshi Building, Suite 307. In 1978, Uchida left Furness Sato & Matsui to join Harada's new firm. Thereafter, Dr. Takeo Hayakawa, a law professor, also joined Harada's firm, which then became Harada, Uchida, Sugiyama & Horii in 1995.

* Mr. George A. Furness (1896-1985), a Boston lawyer from Harvard, served in the U.S. Army during WWII as a judicial officer and was assigned to the Pacific. After the War, Major Furness represented Japanese war defendants, inter alia, Mr. Mamoru Shigemitsu, in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. In 1950, Mr. Furness started the Law Offices of George A. Furness, which was one of the first international law firms in Tokyo.
Furness was also known as a movie actor. He played the role of William Webb, Presiding Judge of the IMTFE in two TV series, "Setting Sun is Burning" in 1976 and "After the WWII of Japan" in 1977.
* Mr. Mamoru Shigemitsu (1887-1957) executed the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, 1945 on the USS Missouri on behalf of the Japanese government. While he was a civilian and known as a leader of the peace faction, he was named as a Class A defendant by the strong and last minute demand of the USSR, presumably because he had been the Ambassador to Moscow before WWII.
* Dr. Takeo Hayakawa (1914-2006) was a professor of Anglo-Saxon law at the University of Kobe.

From 1972 through 1975, Messrs. Harada and Ohno served as Lecturers of Civil Trial at the Legal Research & Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan. In 1998, Harada, Uchida, Sugiyama & Horii and Ohno & Mizukami merged into one law firm, thereby adopting the current name of South Toranomon Law Offices. Since then, we have grown and have been providing our clients with a broad range of legal services, while maintaining our tradition of uncompromised commitment to excellence.

PHYLOSOPHY

As a Japanese law firm that advises overseas clients, it is our belief that a solid international practice can be built solely upon a foundation of a strong Japanese practice both in corporate law and in litigation. We are known for our successful representation of clients in some of the most challenging Japanese legal matters, regardless of whether the situation involves litigation or commercial matters. Taking advantage of this strong Japanese practice, we can provide our overseas clients with solid advice on Japanese business law.

We have attracted many long-term clients and are proud of the reliance they have entrusted in us. We are eager to build solid and mutually advantageous relationships with future clients in the years to come.

In order to ensure the quality of our service, We encourage our attorneys to participate in legal education. The two founders, Messrs. Ohno and Harada, served as Lecturers at the Legal Research & Training Institute. To maintain this tradition, Messrs. Minoru Uchida and Akira Iwasaki also served as Lecturer at the Institute from 1995 through 1998 and 2008 through 2011, respectively. Mr. Shigeyuki Suzuki also served as Assistant Lecturer in the Institute from 2003 through 2006. In Japan, Lecturers are considered to be highly prestigious legal teaching positions. Several of our partners have also served as adjunct professors or lecturers at law schools, universities, and graduate schools.

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