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Lawyers

By James D. Blum

Worsening relations in recent years between Japanese and U.S. corporations have revealed flaws in the work of U.S. attorneys based in Japan. Coleman said American firms have found that litigation undertaken against their Japanese partners has been thwarted by the discovery that the corporate charter of their operation in Japan--negotiated by American lawyers residing there--violated Japanese law. As the Japanese government does not ordinarily investigate the legality of corporate charters except in the event of litigation, it may not learn of the existence, for instance, of an illegal "holding company" so long as the Japanese and American partners remain amicable.

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