We will ensure that we explain:

  • How we calculate our fees
  • If a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement is available for your case
  • Any additional costs that may incur

We can act under the following arrangements:

No Win, No Fee

A ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, also known as a contingency fee agreement, means that if we recover debts or damages for you, our fee is an agreed percentage of the recovered amount (we call this ‘success fee’). So if we recover ¥10 million and the percentage is set at 30%, our success fee is ¥3 million. If we don’t recover any, you don’t pay us any.

While we prefer to work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis whereby we are in the same boat, not every case can be run on this arrangement. We offer these arrangements on a case-by-case basis. We must be satisfied that:

  • Your claim has legal merit
  • The disputed amount is large enough to justify our risk
  • The opponent has the means to pay

This arrangement applies to our fees alone. If the case goes to court, you will be required to pay disbursements and expenses such as court fees, translation fees, travel expenses and postage, regardless of the outcome.

No Win, Less Fee

This is the traditional fee structure for Japanese lawyers. This fee structure consists of an initial fixed fee (we call this ‘retainer fee’) and a success fee. We charge a retainer fee at the start of the engagement with our clients and a success fee at the successful outcome of the case.

Below are our fee scales on a ‘no win, less fee’ arrangement for a standard case. Generally, dispute resolution consists of two stages: the negotiation stage and the stage of the proceedings (i.e. litigation, arbitration…). We charge half the amount of the retainer fee in the table below at the negotiation stage. If no settlement is reached through the negotiation, you may further instruct us to commence proceedings by paying the balance of the retainer fee.

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Claim amount Retainer fee Recovered amount Success fee
≤ ¥3M 10% ≤ ¥3M 20%
¥3M < ¥30M 6% + ¥120,000 ¥3M < ¥30M 12% + ¥240,000
¥30M ≤ ¥300M 4% + ¥720,000 ¥30M ≤ ¥300M 8% + ¥1,440,000
¥300M < 3% + ¥3,720,000 ¥300M < 6% + ¥7,440,000

* The minimum retainer fee is ¥300,000.
* The 10% consumption tax is included.
* Disbursements and expenses (court fees etc.) are excluded.

Fixed fee

The retainer fee in a ‘no win, less fee’ arrangement is a sort of fixed fee. Plus, we act on a fixed fee basis when a task is commoditised work, such as preparing a company credit report.

Hourly rate

This is the traditional fee structure for international lawyers and arbitrators. We act on an hourly rate basis only when we work with other professionals as team member, or a task is not typical for us and it is hard to quote in advance. Our attorney’s hourly rate is ¥33,000 (incl. tax).

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Specific practice areas – Debt recovery

We act on a ‘no recovery, no fee’ basis, consisting only of a success fee, to collect undisputed debts. Our commission is 20%, covering 3 stages of our debt recovery service.

However, if the debtor disputes our claim at any point, this will fall outside the scope of our debt recovery service (i.e. this will be deemed a dispute). We can still offer you our dispute resolution service.

Stage Success fee
Stage 1 to 3 20%

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* The 10% consumption tax is included.
* Disbursements and expenses (court fees etc.) are excluded.
* If a long-term payment plan is arranged with the debtor, a management charge is applicable.

Court fees

The court filing fee schedule is available. For instance, if you file a claim for ¥30 million in a District Court, you will be required to pay ¥110,000 for the court filing fee.

You will also be required to deposit a court’s postage fee, which generally amounts to ¥6,000-7,000.