How did your interest in Japan begin and what synergies do you see between France and Japan?
I first started working for Japanese clients in the 2000’s. Due to word of mouth, the number of my Japanese clients increased, in industrial sectors as diverse as printing presses manufacturing, computer numerical control manufacturing or pharmaceutical companies.
In 2014, I was contacted by a Japanese law firm who was looking for assistance for one of its Japanese clients. I was hired to advise them on the dismissal of unscrupulous managers, defend the company before the employment court, build up and lead a taskforce of lawyers to file criminal claims and fight before commercial courts.
The stakes were high, so I travelled to Japan to discuss our strategy in person with the CEO and my Japanese colleague. During my meetings with them and my stay, I discovered a culture full of courtesy and respect.
These are values that our two nations share. In the uncertain times that we know, combining our actions is a way to promote a more compassionate approach to business as well as the rule of law.
What assistance can you and Ydès provide Japanese investors and companies looking to establish businesses in France?
Ydès is a multi-service business law firm founded in 1945. Our team of 70 lawyers and legal experts, based mainly in Paris and Lyon, covers 13 areas of expertise in business and tax law, including M&A – corporate law, IP/IT law, Data Protection, Commercial law, Human Resources & Employment Law.
We are strongly connected to trustworthy service providers (accountants, auditors, international advisory experts…) with whom we can work as a team in the interest of our clients.
We advise and defend foreign clients with humility and pay attention to cultural differences. Being independent, we do not compromise with conflict-of-interest rules and always act in the best interest of our clients. All our lawyers are “solution providers” who will favor negotiation over litigation whenever possible. We aim at delivering high quality work for reasonable fee rates.
You co-founded the ‘Association des Avocats Japonophiles’, a perfect example of how closely France and Japan can, and do, work together. What are expectations for the Association and for the future of Japan – France relations?
The Association des Avocats Japonophiles (AAJ: 親日フランスの弁護士) was established in 2019 in the wake of a seminar of 100 French lawyers held in Tokyo in partnership with the France Chamber of Commerce in Japan. It aims at creating a bond between lawyers who have a special interest in Japanese culture.
AAJ’s main goal is to offer a framework for quality exchanges between Japanese and French lawyers while building up a network. As soon as travel restrictions are lifted and foreigners are allowed to enter Japan, the members of AAJ will travel and meet Japanese lawyers in Japan with a view to creating or strengthening their relationships.
In the meantime, AAJ organizes various cultural events in Paris and remains at the disposal of the Japanese community in France to provide guidance about French law and judicial proceedings.