Legal malpractice lawsuits in Japan: past, present and future

Kay Wah Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Until recently, Japan has been known for its small number of lawyers (bengoshi). Aggrieved clients also rarely brought lawsuits against their bengoshi for malpractice. However, in 2001, Japan embarked on a sweeping reform of its legal system. As a result, the number of bengoshi dramatically increased. However, there are claims that there has been a decline in the quality of the new generation of bengoshi and that legal malpractice lawsuits are increasing. Is this really the case and, if so, will there be a crisis in the near future? To explore these questions, this paper will analyse the factors that arguably contribute to the hitherto small number of legal malpractice lawsuits in Japan and then examine whether any of these contributory factors has changed or will change and whether such change (if any) will cause a substantial increase in legal malpractice lawsuits and a crisis in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-176
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of the Legal Profession
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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