Business Practices

Firm Foundation of Positive Law

The legal system Japan’s civil code operates within belongs to the same genealogy as continental law, in which fundamental law is codified and deductive, and German law in particular. Positive law is interpreted and applied based on the sound legal theory of “The Requisite Facts Theory.” This point differs from inductive Anglo-American law, which is a common law system based on case law.
Lawyer Akihiko Kobayashi served with the Practicing-attorney-professors-for-civil advocacy office in the Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan, Supreme Court of Japan, for three-and-a-half years from 1993, and Lawyer Yoshihiro Kataoka served as a Practicing-attorney-professor-for-civil advocacy with that same organization for three years from 1999, during which time they developed and refined their skills in “The Requisite Facts Theory” and subsequently continue to this day to further hone their skills in this area through their work as law school professors.
The other partners in our law firm have kept up this tradition of teaching at law school, etc., and strive to hone their skills through professional development. We also endeavor to share the skills we develop through discussions amongst all of our lawyers on a variety of legal issues at the Lawyers’ Meetings we hold once a week as a general rule, as well as through discussions, etc., at internal team meetings.
We use these traditions and methodologies to grapple with a variety of legal issues based on interpretation of firm positive law (legal norms that are in fact workable and effective), while also corresponding to reality.

Concept of the logo
We created a new logo on the occasion of incorporation in April 2018.
This logo is designed from the letters “K&K”, which has been used as an abbreviation for an English name of our law firm (Kataoka & Kobayashi), with the concept based on the history described above. The letters included in the names of “KATAOKA” and “KOBAYASHI” are also hidden in this design.
The outer edge of this design is hexagonal, indicating Roppou (the six major legal codes of Japan) that is the “firm foundation of positive law,” which was the concept of the former logo (although not used much) from the past.
The gradation of colors used in the logo (from bright blue to dark blue which is close to black) shows the goal of our lawyers and law firm, which is to become not only a specialist but also a generalist who is symbolized by black (a color which absorbs all colors) by gathering experience and studies. We also tried to demonstrate the philosophy of coexistence and collaboration between young and fresh lawyers and well experienced lawyers.

Approach to Various Aspects of Corporate Law

From the time he first set up his own legal practice, Lawyer Yoshihiro Kataoka had his own theory that Japanese corporate law has developed into the various aspects of legal practice which are “Clinical -> Prevention -> Planning -> Strategy -> Policy,” which he has developed across all the areas of legal work and put into practice since then (Note 1).
This approach has continued on in our law firm where we provide legal services in areas ranging from legal disputes typified by lawsuits, which are clinical legal work, to lobbying and responding to revisions to existing laws and enactment of new laws, mainly, in the field of financial law, as well as drafting bills and subordinate codes.
Thus, we have been engaged in practice with the aim of providing legal services capable of dealing with “Past -> Current -> Future” legal matters.
(Note 1) Yoshihiro Kataoka “Shakai no Sofutoka to Kinyu Homu” (Increasing Software Adoption in Society and Financial Legal Affairs) published in the Financial Law Journal “Kinyu Homu Jijo” No. 1056, Page 2 (May 1984), and Yoshihiro Kataoka “Kigyo Homu no Shoso to Youken Jijitsu” (Aspects of Corporate Law and Requisite Facts) Civil Requisite Facts Course, Volume 5 (Seirin-Shoin, June 2008). Please refer to the list of Lawyer Yoshihiro Kataoka’s writings and treatises.
(Note 2) Lawyer Akihiko Kobayashi has won two successive reversals of rulings in the Supreme Court, in November 2001 and February 2007 (February 15, 2007 ruling) as Chief Counsel in appeal hearings pertaining to the assignment of future loan receivables (mortgage debts) against the national tax authorities. Given the magnitude of the impact this had on financial legal affairs, a special feature was also written for the Shojihomu Co., Ltd., journal New Business Law (NBL) Issue No. 854 (April 2007 edition).

Team Approach

In our law firm, as a general rule, we form a team comprising (1) a responsible partner, (2) a mid-career lawyer and (3) a junior lawyer to work on cases, with one of these three serving as a main person in charge.
In some cases the responsible partner conducts the actual work as a main person in charge, and in some cases a partner lawyer serves as a mid-career lawyer (referred to in (2) above) of the team. This team will then seek the expertise of other lawyers outside the team as appropriate, or, depending on the point of contention, may discuss it at the Lawyers’ Meeting held once a week attended by all our lawyers.
In this way, we endeavor to provide prompt and high-quality services by combining the knowledge of our senior lawyers with the energy of our junior lawyers, as well as the collective knowledge of our law firm as a whole.