JFBA to help smaller firms jump legal hurdles abroad

Kyodo

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations said Saturday it intends to offer legal assistance to small and midsize companies looking to do business overseas so they can avoid legal trouble arising from different customs.

The federation will set up a working group on the issue while fostering lawyers specialized in overseas business customs. About 20 lawyers are expected to take part in the first meeting on Wednesday.

The federation is also considering establishing a cooperative framework with economic groups and local governments and consolidating calls for legal advice from companies.

The move came after economic organizations urged the JFBA to provide such support at a time when not only major companies, but also small businesses, are shifting operations abroad because of the historic surge in the yen.

Yoshiaki Muto, head of the JFBA’s Committee on International Legal Affairs and Foreign Attorneys, said while major companies have their own attorneys, small and midsize companies usually go overseas without obtaining significant legal support.