Costs

What is the success fee?

If the client recovers a debt (in whole or in part) or damages, our fee is an agreed percentage of the recovered amount.

So if the client recovers JPY3,000,000 and the success fee is set at 20% then the success fee will be JPY600,000 (excl. tax).

Does the cap include a consumption tax (VAT or GST)?

No. The cap does not include a consumption tax in Japan (also called VAT or GST in some other countries) and the client remains liable for paying consumption tax.

The rate is 10% as of 1 October 2019. So if the success fee is JPY600,000, the consumption tax will be JPY60,000 (JPY600,000*0.1) and the client pays us a fee of JPY660,000 (incl. tax).

Does the cap include disbursements?

No. The client remains responsible for paying disbursements.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements generally include court fees, courier fees, search fees, translation fees and travel expenses.

How much are court fees?

The courts publish the Court Fee Schedule (Japanese).

According to the Schedule, if the client claims for JPY3,000,000 at first instance, JPY20,000 is to be paid as a court fee.

Can the success fee be recovered from another (unsuccessful) party?

No. Generally, each party must pay its own attorneys’ fees.

However, as the case may be, we try to win a concession from the opponent by agreement out of court.

Interest

Can interest be charged on late payment?

Yes. The statutory interest rate in Japan is 3% as of 1 April 2020 (Article 404(2), Civil Code). You can claim an agreed interest if there’s a different rate of interest in a contract.

Limitation periods

Contractual claims

5 years in most cases (Article 166(1), Civil Code).

Tort claims

3 years from when the right holder (1) discovers that he has suffered damage; and (2) knows the identity of the person or entity liable for the damage (Article 724, Civil Code).