TMI puts innovative, proactive spin to superior legal services in borderless society
Practice serves all industries, from construction to finance, pharmaceuticals, information technology, insurance, environment and biotechnology
[Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com]
As early as 1990, Tokyo-based TMI Associates had already foreseen a borderless society where businesses are limited no longer by geographic boundaries, but by the global market’s intricate legal systems – and by the law firms that help navigate through them.
Today, TMI is trusted by some of the biggest multinational and Japanese industry leaders, including Microsoft, Toyota, Eisai and Recruit, alongside small and medium enterprises that equally enjoy the firm’s comprehensive, high-calibre services.
“Nearly three decades since TMI was established with the specific aim to provide professional legal services that address the increasingly complex and international demands of the legal marketplace, we continue to provide services embracing the new age of furthering globalisation,” says Katsuro Tanaka, CEO, partner and co-founder. “We have built our practice around a diverse team with extensive experience in domestic and international areas. Not only do we work closely with our clients, but we also collaborate with overseas law, accounting and consulting firms, tax offices and other specialised entities.”
TMI’s international partners include Simmons & Simmons; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Wakely Foreign Law Office; and ARQIS Foreign Law Office. Through these partnerships, the firm has developed a global network that can efficiently respond to its clients’ global needs. TMI serves all industries, from construction to finance, pharmaceuticals, information technology, insurance, environment and biotechnology. It also works in various areas of the law, focusing on corporate, finance, bankruptcy, litigation matters and intellectual property – a specialisation where the firm has earned much of its distinction.
“We have nearly 80 patent attorneys whose technical backgrounds cover every single type of technology, enabling us to provide legal services – from drafting patent specifications to litigation and licensing,” says partner and co-founder Yoshiyuki Inaba. “Combined with our world-class team of lawyers and support staff, this strength enables us to be proactive and innovative on top of providing superior legal services in a changing society.”
The firm also works closely with other local government offices such as Japan’s Ministry of Justice, with whom it helps develop regulations and address disputes and other legal issues. One new area of expertise is space law, where TMI serves the national aerospace organisation Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
“Among the latest testaments to our successful working relationship with the government is our role as the official law firm representing the Japanese Olympic Committee,” Inaba says. “TMI is the firm in Japan arranging all the legal work for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as well as the 2019 Rugby World Cup.”
Offshore, TMI supports its Asian clients through branches in Shanghai and Beijing in China, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Singapore. The firm also has a French desk, an Indian desk and a Chinese desk, alongside multilingual lawyers who assist inbound clients aiming to bring their business to Japan.
“TMI is the first Japanese law firm to set office in Myanmar and Silicon Valley,” Inaba says. “Now we are set to open seven more offices abroad to follow and grow along with our expanding clientele.”
Recognising the strong economic growth coming from Asia, TMI is also keeping an eye on key markets such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
“TMI does not seek to become merely a large-scale firm; we aspire to earn the trust of clients from all over the world through our expertise, hard work and dedication,” Tanaka says. “Complemented by our ability to handle complex cases and integrate international legal trends, our strong client-centric commitment will hopefully help break down even more borders and barriers – while building global businesses and bridging nations.”