On 4th and 5th July, The Law Society welcomed a high level delegation of 18 lawyers from the Dai Ichi Tokyo Bar (DITB). The delegation was led by the former President of the DITB, Mr Hiroaki Jin and the current Vice President of the Bar, Mr. Hidetaka Mihara. The delegation enjoyed a tour of legal London on the first day of visit, followed by a welcome dinner, hosted by former Law Society President, Jonathan Smithers.

Jonathan highlighted the importance of the relationship we have with the DITB, mentioning the Memorandum of Understanding we have with them. He also touched on topics such as the Future of Legal Services in the UK and BREXIT. He assured the audience that there will be no immediate changes to anyone’s legal rights or obligations and that this vote does not affect the open character of our legal jurisdiction. The feedback from our members on our dinner was that it was very easy to network with the delegation, it was well organised and very well attended. Thank you to all those who came.

The following day was a full on programme full of seminars and discussion. The day kicked off with a presentation by Rukaiya Bhegani, International Policy Assistant for Asia, where she gave an introduction to the role of the Law Society and the importance of international work carried out by the International team. Jessica Crofts-Lawrence from the Bar Council gave a similar presentation on the function and international work of the Bar.

Throughout the rest of the day, the delegation made a number of visits to firms in the area, namely, Farrer & Co where they attended a seminar and lunch focusing topics such as Sports Law, IP and a look into the firm’s international strategy. The delegation then moved on to Stephenson Harwood where they heard from a panel of speakers on BREXIT, IP and anti-corruption and anti-money laundering. The day concluded with a visit to Osborne Clarke where the delegation engaged in discussion after listening to a presentation on artificial intelligence. During each firm visit, a member of the Dai Ichi Bar made a presentation on Doing Legal Business in Japan, so it was a very productive and informative day full of discussion, questions and answer sessions and successful networking for both sides.

For more information on the Japan legal market, please see our brochure here . If you would like to be involved in similar incoming visits from Asian delegations, please send an email to Asia@lawsociety.org.uk