• 2022.12.06
  • Dispute Resolution

GRANT DEED Represented a Hong Kong company in litigation in Japan

Outline of International Dispute Cases

A Hong Kong company exported and sold beauty equipment to a Japanese company. The Japanese company refused to pay for the merchandise (approximately 2.5 million Japanese yen) due to lack of funds. The Japanese company initially offered to postpone the payment period, but eventually, probably on the advice of its Japanese lawyer, the Japanese company began to add a claim that it could not pay the product price because the product was defective. The Hong Kong company could not leave the matter as it was, so it requested Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office to file a lawsuit against the Japanese company. After our review of the relevant evidence, it was determined that there was no problem with the claim and that the case was highly likely to be won. We prepared an Engagement Agreement and sent a demand for payment by certified mail on behalf of the Hong Kong company, but no payment was received from the defendant by the deadline set by the Japanese company. Therefore, Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office represented the Hong Kong company to file a lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court.

Dispute Resolution by Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office

The amount claimed in this lawsuit was 2.5 million yen, which was not a very expensive case, but the evidentiary materials were available, and it was thought to be an easy case to prove the cause of the claim. Therefore, from the very beginning of the case, we sent a notice to the Japanese company by certified mail, and clarified that unless the defendant made a sincere proposal, we would immediately file a lawsuit after the deadline for response had passed. At the beginning of the lawsuit, the defendant claimed that the goods delivered by the plaintiff were defective. However, since the defendant had done business with the plaintiff many times in the past, it seemed to have judged that it would be difficult to claim that the goods were defective. The plaintiffs, for their part, were also concerned that the lawsuits might be delayed for a long period of time or that the plaintiffs might be forced to pay in installments. The plaintiffs, for their part, decided to accept the defendant’s proposed settlement of payment in installments on the premise that they would pay the full amount of the claim (2.5 million yen), since it was determined that legal fees would have to be high if the lawsuit were to be protracted and witness examinations were to be conducted. After the settlement was reached in court, the defendant made the installment payments as promised in the settlement, and the Hong Kong company was able to achieve recovery of the full 2.5 million yen.

Key Points of International Dispute Resolution

When a Japanese attorney represents a foreign company, a Power of Attorney prepared in English and Japanese must be prepared and submitted to the court. Although it is possible to prepare the Power of Attorney in English and submit it to the court with a Japanese translation, the English Power of Attorney alone is considered insufficient. In addition, when filing a lawsuit in which a corporation is a party, a certificate of qualification of the corporation must be attached to prove that the representative of the corporation (the person who signed the power of attorney) has the authority to represent the corporation. For countries that have a corporate registration system and the name of the representative is also registered (e.g. Korea), it is sufficient to attach the certificate of registration of the country, a translation and a certified translation document. In the case of countries where the representative’s name is not registered, such as the U.S. and Canada, a document called “Corporate Nationality” must be prepared, certified by a local notary public (signature certification), and submitted to the court together with the translated document. In addition, when a foreign company is a party to the case, documents such as purchase orders, delivery slips, waybills, invoices, etc., are often prepared entirely in English. Therefore, when these documents are submitted to the court as evidence, they need to be translated into Japanese. In lawsuits in which a foreign company is a party, unlike lawsuits between Japanese companies, there is a heavy burden of translation work, etc. However, the lawsuit itself is conducted in a Japanese court, and a Japanese judge renders a judgment, so there is no difference from an ordinary lawsuit.

Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office Services

As international transactions increase, disputes between foreign and Japanese companies are becoming more common. Most of these disputes are about payment for goods or about compensation for damages for defective goods. It is best if the foreign company and the Japanese company can settle the dispute through settlement discussions, but if this is not possible, the foreign company will have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office has represented Japanese companies in many cases in which we have filed lawsuits against foreign companies in Japanese courts. When a Japanese company sues a foreign company, it requires knowledge of issues of jurisdiction and international service of process. In addition, Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office often represents foreign companies in filing lawsuits against Japanese companies in Japanese courts, demanding payment of debts from Japanese companies and representing foreign companies in filing lawsuits against Japanese companies when they do not receive voluntary payment from Japanese companies. Such lawsuits include lawsuits for payment of accounts receivable, lawsuits for compensation for damages, lawsuits for refund of loans, etc. In the above case, we received a starting fee of 300,000 yen and a translation fee of 100,000 yen as attorney’s fees, and upon recovery of the full amount, we received a contingency fee of 400,000 yen. The fee for filing a lawsuit on behalf of a foreign company will be determined on a case-by-case basis according to the attorney’s fee rules of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (with the addition of a translation fee) or on a time charge basis. In either case, however, client companies which have “Komon Keiyaku” are entitled to a 20% discount from the normal attorney’s fees. For more information, please contact us through the Kuribayashi Law Office inquiry form.