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Grace Legal Professional Corporation

Representative lawyer

Takanori Kotegawa

Takanori Kotegawa
Accelerate the growth of local SMEs

Among more than approximately 16,000 law firms in the country, we have differentiated ourselves since our establishment in 2009, and our growth in income in profit continued for 10 consecutive years. Presently, our firm has three branches in Kagoshima, Tokyo, and Fukuoka and we are expanding our business.
In the future, the centralization of Tokyo will progress as globalization accelerates, causing major social issues concerning support for local companies. There are many local SMEs that do not have a legal department, so we would like to advance into becoming an organization that can fully support the management of a business instead of providing support for legal services alone.

Year of Birth
1975
Birthplace
Oita
Name
Grace Legal Professional Corporation
Headquarters
6F Round Cross Kagoshima, 1-1 Kinseicho, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima Prefecture
Founded
2009
Type of business
Law practice manager
url
http://www.kotegawa-law.com/
In our 10 years in the business, we have provided legal counseling services to more than 340 firms. For a law firm based in a province, this is an exceptional number.
Although it is common for many local offices to take on work in diverse legal fields, these offices tend to become "jack of all trades", which is one of the reasons why they could not improve their expertise in corporate legal services. Because of that, one could say that if a firm is providing legal counsel to about 10 companies, they already have a lot in their hands.
However, the needs of a company definitely exist regardless of region. Since the establishment of the law firm, I have an unwavering belief about the importance of giving a helping hand. For this reason, we have been active in developing our clients to let them focus on corporate support. With such a strong foundation, our firm became more attractive to clients, and we were able to secure them an environment where they can build their track records. It also produced a great synergistic effect when it comes to the training of our lawyers.

In addition to corporate services, we now utilize a department system that includes a corporate legal department, and we have also made it possible to train lawyers that are specialized in each specific field. Our great advantage is having a system that allows one to receive any kind of legal consultation service.
However, new lawyers predominantly concentrate on Tokyo as their preferred place of work, making it difficult for provinces to secure highly-skilled lawyers. Unfortunately, this is still commonplace in the current legal industry.

However, our training environment in the firm produces a number of excellent lawyers. In fact, three of them are called to become lecturers to numerous seminars nationwide targeted to lawyers. I can say that this is one of our achievements that prove that our method of training is heading in the right direction.
At the beginning of the year, each department announces the yearly goals of each individual. These goals are then thoroughly evaluated on a monthly basis through a system that checks its progress. What kind of human resources do I have, and what characteristics does each of them have? We recognize that knowing these things and other internal conditions in the firm are very important.

Such evaluation is common in a typical company, but in the legal industry, lawyers are likely to decide on their own if they want to take additional training after getting hired.
That is why I actively support the independence of my lawyers. If they want to, I would allow them to put up a branch in another place. As long as they are a part of the firm, I would like to provide them an environment where they can continue to grow professionally.

Prior to getting my qualification as a lawyer, I experienced working in sales at IBM Japan. In other words, I was at a totally different world from the legal industry, and because of that, I was able to experience work in a more general view.
That is why I learned about the importance of education and the hardship of keeping business, and I believe that I have experiences that allowed me to see the old customs that are unique to the legal industry first-hand. In addition to law firms, I have launched various businesses and experienced some of them to succeed, and some of them to fail. To specify a few of these businesses, I have already launched a personnel placement agency, real estate business, and solar power-related business.
In the midst of a worsening labor shortage in recent years, a new visa category called Specified Skills Visa was born and will become effective starting April 2019. We are planning to use this opportunity to launch a business that provides personnel staffing services for companies facing worker shortage.

By having a diverse perspective, I would like to possess all the know-how that support the management of our client companies and to be able to establish a system that can accelerate the growth of local SMEs.
As a matter of fact, as part of our efforts, we have introduced a communication tool called Chatwork to our client companies, providing them an environment where they can remotely receive legal advice. Through this, we receive real property assessment requests, and clients were able to receive advices regarding interest negotiation with banks. Consultations that go past legal services have also increased because of this.
Aside from our law office, we are planning to make the organization stable in the future by building new pillars through new business start-ups, while having a viewpoint where we can make choices that are unique from others.
I would like to actively catch up with the needs and issues of local companies and to continue challenging myself to solve them.

Takanori Kotegawa
Takanori Kotegawa

Grace Legal Professional Corporation

Representative lawyer
Takanori Kotegawa