Tetsuo Kurita, Managing Partner, One Asia LawyersTetsuo Kurita, Managing Partner
A rising number of Japanese companies are looking to expand their business across the ASEAN region. However, the unique perspective on fair play, justice, and the association between individuals and corporations in different ASEAN nations hinders them from building a solid foundation for international partnerships and client relationships. This is compounded by labor disputes, visa-related problems, and concerns with immigration currently plaguing ASEAN member states.

Enabling companies to navigate the complex laws in each ASEAN jurisdiction with its network of independent law firms that provides seamless and comprehensive legal advice is One Asia Lawyers (OAL). Its members combine years of Southeast Asian legal experience in virtually all specialties, from mergers and acquisitions to finance, real estate, and employment statutes. Through its global network of offices and member firms, OAL also offers legal assistance to help clients create compliance rules and set up a whistle-blowing hotline in Japan and beyond.

OAL has offices in every ASEAN country and offers robust advisory services with lawyers certified by each nation. Its portfolio comprises services like providing fundamental legal data, advice on basic laws like company and labor mandates, and a review of basic transaction contracts (sales or employment), which it provides through a single legal platform. A unified service delivery allows OAL to ensure consistent results within legal departments across the ASEAN region at a significantly reasonable cost. Its widespread footprint enables it to react quickly and effectively to evolving local requirements.

OAL enables many Japanese companies to manage crisis responses for internal irregularities (criminal or ethical). Simultaneously, it has built a proven track record of successfully defending numerous businesses from various sectors in employment dispute lawsuits through its prowess in employment law. It also offers consulting services to help clients enhance their workforce management, leveraging 20+ years of labor law experience to guide employees from the recruiting process to the end of their organizational tenure.
These competencies drive OAL to reliably assist Japanese clients with offices across the ASEAN region in seeking visas, permanent residents, travel permits, and more. Its seasoned attorneys and expert consultants provide specialized support while promptly updating them on each jurisdiction’s recent trade and visa regulations. This team-driven capability played a pivotal role in helping many clients cope with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the resulting changes in the geopolitical landscape.

“Thanks to our network of member enterprises throughout the ASEAN area, we have expertise in practically all disputes, including dismissals and reconstruction, civil actions and mediation, and discussions with labor unions,” says Tetsuo Kurita, Managing Partner at One Asia Lawyers.

Thanks to our network of member enterprises throughout the ASEAN area, we have expertise in practically all forms of disputes including dismissals and reconstruction, civil actions and mediation, and discussions with labor unions

One of OAL’s distinctive features is its global whistle-blowing system (GWS), which assists clients in adhering to laws and regulations of Japan, other ASEAN countries and Oceania, voluntary private sector guidelines, corporate ethics, and compliance policies of overseas subsidiaries. GWS enables attorneys to act quickly in cases of misconduct within companies in Japan or another nation and defend its clients. OAL also enhances credential policy and whistle-blowing management activities through GWS, handling all reported job-related difficulties, including harassment or other wrongdoing.

Recently, a management kickback in a firm was reported to OAL through the GWS. In response, it reviewed the report with the client’s legal department at the corporate level, conducted an inquiry, and put the management operation on hold. This collaboration perfectly exemplifies OAL’s ability to act as a whistle-blowing window that helps clients rectify problems before it receives media attention.

Driven by its thorough awareness and expertise in ASEAN employment legislation and regional norms, OAL remains a leading advisory partner for all employment law-related issues. Moving forward, it plans to expand its South Asian legal experience to become a truly international law firm for companies in Japan and beyond, serving a more global market.