100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2016-2017 -The region's best brightest, most promising-


Owner, Representative Lawyer
Kensaku Yamamoto

Osaka Prefecture
Message to young people
Try to focus on your student life while you are at school. While you are a student, I think you should do things you have to, or things you can do only when you are a student, such as studying, watching movies and reading books. Layers of those experiences will be useful to you after you graduate from school, I think. A serious student sometimes thinks he/she has to study something extra before graduating, but you can learn things more effectively while working under pressure.

A legal suspense TV drama I saw when I was an elementary school student inspired me to become a lawyer. I remember very well how dashing and attractive the lawyer looked when he was in court. Since that moment, I only thought about being a lawyer, so, when I was at senior high school, I began to consider what subjects I would have to major in to study law at a university. When I sought advice about it from my father, who is a patent attorney, he, however, told me something different. “In future, a lawyer with a science background who is familiar with scientific technology will be more useful and in demand. You can study the law anytime, so, how about gaining some scientific knowledge first?” he told me. I was interested in the sciences, too, so, I followed his advice and took science courses at high school, and entered the pharmaceutical department at a university. At the university and graduate school, I majored in organic chemistry, mainly working on research for the synthetic production of new pharmaceutical products. I started studying for the bar exams after graduating and I fortunately managed to pass them at my third try.

It was while I was a trainee on a legal practice program that I became acutely aware of serving the best interests of a client. A legal trainee is required to go through practical training programs for the positions of judge, prosecutor and lawyer. Of those three, only lawyers are paid, by their clients, to practice law. I wondered about the financial difference between the three and asked my legal trainer if clients always pay for the work as promised, or if clients may disappear without paying. I remember very well he told me that clients always know if a lawyer is working in their best interests, and if so, the client will pay for the work as promised, even if the legal outcome is not satisfactory to the client.

A lawyer is a job that offers services to a client and the top priority is to make a client happy. It may sound obvious to say that a lawyer will do his/her best for a client, but it is not that easy. Sometimes, a lawyer has a great deal of influence over a client’s decision that could affect the entire future course of the client’s life. That pressure is enormous and sometimes I have the urge to run from it. But I always try to discipline myself not to run from an issue, but to face it, to serve the best interests of my clients.

Company Profile

Osaka Prefecture
Intellectual property, corporate legal affairs, regulatory compliance, competition/antitrust laws, technology/media/information and telecommunications technology, settlement for lawsuits, conflicts