Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.
Before I went to London, I did any type of legal work that a client asked me to do, Company registrations, Housing issues, Debt solutions or Pre-trial proceedings.
As I had no clients when I started my own office, that was the only way to survive and to retain my office.
Little by little, I built up connections with other Shihoshoshi lawyers and Bengoshi lawyers and with Accountants.
When I decided to follow my husband to London, it was heartbreaking for me to leave behind all my clients and work.
But at the same time, I thought it would be a great chance for me as it would be a great investment for the future if I could speak English fluently, so I decided to go to London.
Since then, I have always been thinking of my career and dearly wanted to specialise as a Shihoshoshi lawyer.
Historically, in Japan, the legal profession was divided.
The most important lawyers are Bengoshi lawyers or advocates, who can represent clients in any case.
A Shihoshoshi lawyer is authorized to represent their clients in real estate registrations, commercial registrations and the preparation of court documents. They may also appear for clients in summary courts and in arbitration and mediation proceedings.
However, the main field in which a Shihoshoshi lawyer was thought to be essential or especially useful was in that of property. Even some Bengoshi lawyers rely on a professional Shihoshoshi lawyer.
Our legal society provides a background for that and I want to be a reliable Shihoshoshi lawyer in the field of property.
When I returned to Tokyo, I went to see a senior colleague who is exactly that sort of professional Shihoshoshi lawyer and he kindly offered me a place in his legal practice.
If I am not busy with my own clients, I practice under his guidance. I have already learnt a lot.
I have learnt about trust registrations, Private Finance Initiative cases, registrations of moveable property transactions and complex property transactions.
Now it is a small step for me but also a great stepping stone to the future.