-  Active involvement in non-dispute areas
- Previously, an attorney typically focused on resolution of “dispute”, which can be called a pathological phenomenon of society.
However, in order to realize the “rule of law” in society, it is necessary to disseminate the spirit of the “rule of law” in the intention formation of businesses and individuals by attorneys involved in not only this pathological phenomenon but also in the physiological phenomenon of society, that is, corporate activities and activities among private people, which are carried out on a daily basis.
Based on this basic understanding, Kikuchi & Partners has been actively involved in “non-dispute” areas in which attorneys have not previously been involved (proper operation of general meetings of shareholders and board of directors’ meetings of small and medium enterprises and presiding over fair consultations on division of estate among heirs, etc.)
-  Focus on provision of proper advice, reports and explanations
- Based on the philosophy of respecting the decision of a client, we focus on management of services preparing and providing each client with accurate and thorough advice (including preparation of statement of opinions and written answers, etc., in addition to oral answers) and reports and explanations.
First, we correctly gather and understand the facts and the present legal position of a client through hearings. Then, we provide detailed explanations on current and future legal positions of the client and legal proceedings which are expected by way of obtaining the understanding of the client.
If attorneys prepare and provide a client with accurate and thorough reports and explanations so that the client is able to make a proper decision, the client and attorney can more smoothly reach common ground on principles for handling a case.
It is our practice to always maintain contact with a client and proceed with case handling with the understanding of each client by building a common understanding with the client about the facts and principles for case handling.
-  Negotiations
- In negotiations, the shortest route to reaching a proper agreement and resolving a dispute promptly is to exchange opinions on facts and legal issues frankly with the counterparty and to build up a relationship of trust.
In a similar manner to provide a client with explanations on current legal positions of a client and legal proceedings which are expected in the future, by providing the counterparty with explanations on such matters at the negotiating table, we can gain a common understanding and therefore build up a relationship of trust with the counterparty.
We present documents and evidence, etc., on the facts and legal issues and try to reach a proper agreement upon gaining a common understanding and building up a relationship of trust with the counterparty.
-  Litigation
- In litigation, we focus on the “jus disponendi,” the basic principle of civil litigation (it is up to the parties what form of judgment on what relations of right are to be sought and to allow the parties to determine how to close litigation), we always provide each client with courteous and detailed reports and explanations on the status of management of the case.
For example, for external documents which are prepared for contentious cases, including litigation, we complete documents after hearing the opinions of clients. If a date for an oral argument on litigation, etc., has been performed, we send copies of all litigation documents and also detailed trial hearing reports, including explanations about the procedures, prepared by the attorney in charge.
In this way, we endeavor that the client can make independent determination on how to close litigation after instituting litigation.
-  Management of procedures incidental to litigation
- We generally manage any procedure incidental to the management of a case on merit such as litigation proceedings, including not only petition for civil preservation and civil execution but also registrations (real property and corporation), tax returns (assignment income tax and inheritance tax, etc.), petitions related to domestic causes inquiries (petition for burden sharing of marriage expenses before commencement of divorce procedures, petition for permission of change of family name of a child and petition for mediation for claim for child support expenses after devorce), etc. Accordingly, prompt, accurate and consistent case management is achieved.
-  Management of Services by a unified organization
We focus on management of services through a unified organization of the entire office consisting of all attorneys and office staff.
- An attorney in charge always consults with the Representative Partner on the policy for case handling to prevent mistakes by sole handling of the attorney in charge. The Representative Partner or a Partner always checks the content of external documents prepared by the attorney in charge.
- In general, attorneys with more than three years of experience shall jointly be assigned to negotiations, settlement and examinations of witnesses. For negotiations, settlement and interrogation of witnesses in complicated and difficult cases, the Representative Partner also works on the case in addition to the attorney in charge.
- Senior office staff first conduct an analysis of any large volume of materials, including accounting books, etc., and investigation of facts, including field investigation and collection of materials and then the attorney in charge will complete the investigation and relevant material collection with the assistance of office staff.
- As it is necessary to manage a large volume of administrative matters in a short period of time for bankruptcy cases and business rehabilitation, the entire office may respond to the handling, including office staff, with the Representative Partner in charge. Handling of individual disputes arising in connection with the handling of cases (litigation and contentious cases) shall be shared by the attorneys.
-  Collaboration with various professionals
- We conduct our services in close collaboration with professionals such as certified public accountants, tax attorneys, patent attorneys, real estate appraisers and registered land and house investigators.
We appoint an advisor consultant of accounting and taxation to one certified public accountant and one tax attorney (affiliated with other offices) and we receive the advice of professionals not only on accounting and tax management of the office, but also on specialized matters necessary for handling cases accepted by the office and also appoint handling of cases to professionals set forth above, if necessary.
In addition, regarding matters such as consultations from foreign companies and non-Japanese clients and cases such as international inheritance, when necessary, we maintain close contact with local attorneys and collaborate with them in handling matters, and ensure that we see to it that we provide services that place importance on communication by, for example, providing clear explanations to clients about the status of progress and procedures that can often be complicated and cumbersome.
- Request and Acceptance
- An introducing person shall generally be required to make a request to the office.
- In acceptance, we prepare an entrustment agreement specifically describing the entrusted matters and Attorney’s fee, etc., to clarify them.
- Characteristics of Handling Cases
- Out of the entire caseload of the office, cases before courts such as litigation account for about 20% and cases related to corporate legal affairs, advice on concluding contracts, negotiations, bankruptcy and corporate rehabilitation, etc., account for about 80%.