Legal Counsel, Japan

  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Full-time

Company Description

As the world’s leader in digital payments technology, Visa’s mission is to connect the world through the most creative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s dedication to innovation drives the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and fuels the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.

At Visa, your individuality fits right in. Working here gives you an opportunity to impact the world, invest in your career growth, and be part of an inclusive and diverse workplace. We are a global team of disruptors, trailblazers, innovators and risk-takers who are helping drive economic growth in even the most remote parts of the world, creatively moving the industry forward, and doing meaningful work that brings financial literacy and digital commerce to millions of unbanked and underserved consumers.

You’re an Individual. We’re the team for you. Together, let’s transform the way the world pays.

Job Description

Position Summary
The Legal Counsel will provide professional legal services to Visa Japan office with a collaboration with global and AP Legal teams, to enable the organization to operate within applicable legal and regulatory parameters and reporting into Senior Counsel for Japan.


  • Provide primary legal support to business colleagues and various functions in Visa Japan office. Work effectively and collaboratively with the Japan office colleagues, as well as with members of Visa's global and AP legal department.
  • Provide strategic and business-focused advice on a wide range of legal matters related to the business operations and proposed initiatives in Visa Japan office, including competition law, anti-bribery law, employment law, intellectual property law, privacy law, and general commercial law. Conduct legal researches in various areas of laws stated above when required.
  • Draft, review, and negotiate a broad range of commercial agreements, such as client incentive agreements, advertising and promotion agreements, memoranda of understanding, sale and purchase agreements (technology), service agreements, consultancy and contractor agreements, and confidentiality agreements, mostly in English but occasionally in Japanese.   
  • Provide legal support for various initiatives relating to Tokyo Olympics Games 2020. 
  • Provide legal support to the Visa Japan Innovation Centre. Work effectively and collaboratively with them and the business colleagues, as well as with members of Visa's AP and global legal department.
  • Determine when external legal advice is required and manage external counsel efficiently.
  • Develop, implement, and update legal documentation as required. 
  • Meet the high personal standards of integrity, confidentiality and diligence consistent with a lawyer's duty.
  • Make a direct and positive contribution to Visa's value equation that is clear, prompt, and commercially relevant within the framework of a detailed understanding of the company's business operations and its strategies.
  • Provide additional market support to AP colleagues when required.
  • Advising Visa of legal requirements for the relevant jurisdictions, managing advice from external counsel where appropriate.

Strategic Nature, Management Accountability & Scope
Actively collaborate with Japan office business colleagues and various functions for developing strategies and initiatives and effective engagement with various players in the market.
As part of the legal team, actively participate in developing strategies, objectives, policies and programmes.  
Take lead role or assist in developing initiatives to improve legal service.  Proactively move strategic thinking to operational concept and tactical deployment of service.  Proactively work with global, regional and functional colleagues on deployment of projects and developments. 
As part of the team, actively participate in developing policies and processes to meet business objectives. Support change in the function to ensure that it delivers value


  • Law degree from a leading university.
  • Qualified to practice law.
  • 8-10+ years post qualification experience, with commercial legal experience in private practice and/or in-house with multinationals in the payments industry a plus.
  • International legal experience; knowledge of US or English common law ideal
  • Excellent legal analytical skills with the ability to integrate legal advice and business knowledge, while providing balanced advice regarding risks and benefits.
  • Ability to develop and implement strategic approaches to resolution of complex or sensitive legal issues.
  • First class written and verbal communication skills, including ability to lead or participate in conference calls to negotiate agreements in both English and Japanese. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and proven ability to build strong working relationships with internal clients at all levels of management and work on cross functional teams over multiple geographical locations. 
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet tight deadlines.
  • Qualification to practice Japanese law desirable.
  • Experience working with regulatory bodies (METI, FSA, JFTC etc.) desirable
  • Experience working in a US Multinational/ highly matrix organisation is preferred
  • Experience in payment industry highly advantageous (but not essential)
  • Experience in the following areas will be advantageous (but not essential):  competition law, banking and Fintech related regulations, data privacy laws, marketing and advertisement laws. 
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