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  • Public Interest Activities

Pro Bono

Conducting various pro bono activities to contribute to the realization of social justice and to the realization of an affluent and fair society based on the "rule of law," which is our fundamental mission.

We utilize the knowledge and skills of our attorneys to provide legal services free of charge or for a minimal fee to organizations that are engaged in socially beneficial activities and have limited financial resources (so-called "pro bono activities"). Specifically, we provide (1) preparation of contract templates and review of internal rules, (2) general legal advice on such as labor law, copyright law, personal information protection law, and other business law, (3) implementation of surveys of foreign legal systems, review and translation of reports, (4) preparation and submission of requests for legal reform, (5) support for refugee recognition applications, (6) support for investment in social business by a non-profit organization, and (7) legal education activities.

Typically, we are able to support for non-profit organizations (NPOs), public interest incorporated associations, public interest incorporated foundations, non-profit general incorporated associations and non-profit general incorporated foundations that have limited financial resources, but we will decide whether or not we can accept a request as a pro bono project on a case-by-case basis based on the circumstances of each case.

Number of Pro Bono projects certified by our Pro Bono Committee
2020/8/1-2021/7/31
28
Number of lawyers who have participated in Pro Bono Committee certified projects
2020/8/1-2021/7/31
80

Members of Pro bono Committee

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Awards & Rankings

  • One of the leading local firms in Japan, Nishimura & Asahi provides top drawer expertise across key areas of practice, including banking, capital markets, corporate/M&A and dispute resolution. The firm is regularly involved in the highest-profile corporate and financing deals in the jurisdiction and provides impressively broad and deep top tier capabilities across competition, real estate, insurance and projects and energy mandates. Bringing to bear in-depth local Japanese legal prowess, the group also leverages cross-jurisdictional expertise from its overseas offices across South East Asia, the Greater China region and further afield in New York and Dusseldorf. The group has substantial experience of representing blue-chip Japanese and international companies from the technology, chemicals, electronics, automotive and pharmaceutical industries in major M&A deals and further prowess is offered across the full spectrum of banking mandates, with the team evidencing strong expertise in asset and acquisition finance. The firm’s market leading litigation capabilities are complemented by its rapidly growing reputation in the international arbitration space. Interviewees provide strong endorsement for the service offered, praising the group’s “pragmatic approach,” and noting: “Not only are matters sufficiently addressed from the legal perspective, their advice is always practical and provides solutions in order for the client to make important decisions.” Clients also respect the teams’ habit of leaving no stone unturned in their search for solutions, as one source notes: “They investigate and deep-dive into the issues from multiple angles and are also conscious of the financial and commercial aspects.

    Chambers, Outstanding Firm for Pro Bono (Asia Pacific 2021)
  • In Japan, where only a small number of sea otters remain in the wild, nearly all prefectures have witnessed the collapse of coastal kelp forests. Japanese non-profit Rakkotai/Mobile Sea Otter (MSO) is working to address this. They aim to restore and conserve Japanese kelp forests and work to counteract the effects of climate change. MSO came up with the innovative idea to work with local fishermen, diving shops and volunteer divers to cull overgrazing sea urchins that deplete kelp forests, as otters do by eating the sea urchins in other parts of the world. As Japanese fishery laws can be challenging to navigate, TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal service, connected MSO with the law firm Nishimura & Asahi. Their free legal advice helped MSO to obtain the correct work permits and develop volunteer agreements for divers. “Due to our pro bono work, MSO has been able to conduct its activities legally and with proper risk protection. Our pro bono work also contributes to the prevention of global warming and the promotion of marine biodiversity,” said Nemoto Takeshi, Partner at Nishimura & Asahi. “The lawyers at Nishimura & Asahi explained the background knowledge about fishery law in Japan, which tremendously helped with our understanding of this situation. As our volunteer activity involves scuba-diving, which can be considered a high-risk activity, creating a legally valid volunteer agreement was essential. Professional advice on various small details catered to our own specific organisation and activities was really helpful and allowed us to work with volunteers to conduct marine environment restoration work confidently,” said Rakkotai/Mobile Sea Otter (MSO).

    Thomson Reuters Foundation, TrustLaw Innovation Award (2020)
  • Takeshi has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the promotion of diversity and inclusion at the firm. He advocated and headed the development of a D&I Promotion Policy, which he drafted and presented to the partners. Outside the firm, he provides ongoing pro bono legal support to a wide range of the community including LGBT+ persons and socially mobile parents. He also helps enable LGBT+ couples to receive the same services and benefits as legally married couples. Within the firm, Takeshi has advised those employing individuals with disabilities on ways to improve the work environment and address those individuals’ needs.

    Chambers D&I Awards, Outstanding Ally (Asia Pacific 2020)

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