Human Resources Manager


Permanent - Full Time


Minato-Ku, Tokyo

Job Role

Human Resources

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About us

Withers opened its Tokyo office in 2015 and under Withers Japan Zeirishi Houjin, the office has historically focused on Japanese and cross-border tax advice for international clients in Japan.

In Oct 2018, under the affiliated names of Withers Gaikokuhou Jimo Bengoshi Houjin and Withers Bengoshi Houjin, the Tokyo office expanded its investment management and real estate offering where our lawyers, who are leading individuals in their specialist areas, are equipped with the expertise to advise Japan’s most prominent companies and international corporations on inbound and outbound cross-jurisdictional transactions.

Withers Japan is a Foreign law joint enterprise (gaikokuhou kyoudou jigyou) between Withers Gaikokuhou Jimu Bengoshi Houjin and Withers Bengoshi Houjin.  Withers Japan Zeirishi Jimusho is a separate but affiliated entity to Withers.

The role

The Human Resources Manager will perform a central role in ensuring the people and administrative functions are managed across the Tokyo office.  They will work directly with the Tokyo Office Managing Director, the Head of HR and Operations (APAC) and the Tokyo Office Manager, in helping support and manage the day to day people requirements in the office including providing advice and deliver at a local level of firm-wide initiatives, policies and procedures.

The Human Resource Manager is a 'people-person', and is skilled in managing the day-to-day activities and HR requirements in Tokyo.  It is a highly varied role, requiring the incumbent to have strong decision making, influencing and excellent communication skills.  This position suits an experienced manager with strong people, communication and problem solving skills, all developed within an international law firm environment.

Areas of focus and responsibilities

HR Management

The Human Resources Manager will manage the day-to-day people requirements for the Tokyo office.  This includes, but is not limited to:


  • Primary liaison for general partner and staff employment related queries
  • Oversee the Tokyo office's Work Rules and Part Time Work Rules; provide input to these procedural documents, ensure they remain up-to-date, implement the Rules and continually monitor to ensure they are in line with the Firm's own policies & procedures document(s)
  • Manage new joiner processes, including (but not limited to):
  • on-boarding processes (inductions, seating arrangements, enrolling with benefit providers, etc)
  • mid-probation and end of probationary periods
  • Manage off-boarding processes, including (but not limited to):
  • Preparation of final letters
  • Conducting exit interviews
  • Instructing payroll
  • Organizing the return of equipment, etc
  • Updating the HRIS with joiners, leavers, movements, etc
  • Monitoring of annual leave and managing absences (eg. parental leave)
  • Coordinating annual performance appraisal process and mid-year conversations
  • Contribute to the annual HR budget setting and oversee/authorise expenditure
  • Work with the global HR team on any HR related initiatives and projects

Secretarial coordination

§ Work with the relevant partners, the legal secretaries and the Office Managing Director, ensure the Tokyo office maintains a high level of secretarial support to each of the teams, by:

  • arrange necessary secretarial cover during periods of absence
  • identifying opportunities for training, workflow efficiencies and support structures
  • for office-wide projects, collaborate and assign tasks to the secretaries and other business support staff located in the Tokyo office (where applicable) to ensure projects are completed efficiently and effectively

Regulatory and compliance

  • Immigration
  • Manage work/visa permits for new hires
  • Work visa extensions and terminations
  • Keep abreast of any changes with the Immigration department with regards to the hire of foreign employees
  • Manage foreign lawyer registrations as appropriate for the Tokyo office
  • Managing annual Practising Certificate renewals and ensure all fee-earners are compliant with relevant Law Society and Bar Associations

Compensation and benefits

  • Support the annual salary review process for the Tokyo office
  • Managing local benefit providers (partner health insurance policy and procedures)
  • Arranging annual health checks (where applicable)


  • Liaising with our external payroll provide (currently Tricor) to submit the monthly payroll report
  • Collecting payroll information for joiners and leavers
  • Processing overtime forms monthly
  • Processing partner pay
  • Coordinating consultant invoices and processing for payment
  • Calculating labour insurance with Tricor
  • Collecting information for annual payroll reporting, as required.


  • End-to-end recruitment for all fee-earner, secretarial and support roles for the Tokyo office
  • Preparation of job descriptions, placing adverts, briefing agencies
  • Shortlisting of candidates and arrangement of interviews
  • Supporting hiring partners/managers to conduct interviews and assess candidates
  • Preparation of offer letters (and associated documentation) and managing acceptance processes (reference checks, documents completed, etc)
  • Using the Firm's recruitment portal, manage roles and candidate applications online.  Also work alongside the central recruitment team to provide recruitment data/status and online advertising (eg. LinkedIn)
  • Establish relationships with relevant recruitment agencies to ensure the firm remains top of mind for outstanding candidates

Learning & Development

  • Identify any development needs for fee-earners and support staff
  • Assist in the arrangement of internal training events – global, regional, local
  • Tracking of CPD (Japanese equivalent) for fee-earners (on Firm's online training platform)

Ad Hoc Responsibilities

  • Work with the Tokyo Office Manager in making sure the office is functioning properly and providing a "welcoming" work environment
  • Working with colleagues within the Tokyo office, help to plan and manage the office's social activities and initiatives
  • Provide back-up support to the Tokyo Office Manager during periods of absence and/or periods of heavy workload
  • Support HR Managers with regards to projects, knowledge share, Divisional resourcing and other opportunities to work together as a regional team
  • Contribute to global HR related projects as required


Attributes, skills and experience

  • Minimum of 5-7 years of generalist Human Resource experience within an international law firm or within a professional services environment
  • Sound general knowledge of Japanese employment law and regulations, including requirements regarding Japanese Work Rules and immigration
  • Excellent written & verbal communication (both English and Japanese are essential)
  • Highly proficient in using Word, Excel, PowerPoint and HRIS (the firm uses SelectHR)
  • Well organised and able to multitask in a busy role
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, an ability to encourage a collaborative work environment, cultural sensitivity, ability to inspire integrity and trust
  • Robust with the ability work to tight deadlines under pressure
  • Ability to communicate effectively with management, lawyers and support staff

The Essentials

  • Reporting to the Office Managing Director and the Head of HR & Operations Manager (APAC). The incumbent will also have key lines of responsibility to the partners in the Tokyo office.
  • Will be responsible for office management & HR in the Tokyo office.
  • Business hours:  Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm however given the nature and scope of the role, flexibility in availability is required (eg to carry out office moves, upgrades, candidate interviews and the like).
  • 20 annual leave days per annum + an annual "Wither's Day"

Equal Opportunities Employment Statement

It is the policy of Withers Worldwide to provide equal opportunities for all employees in relation to recruitment, training and promotion.  Decisions in these areas will be made only by reference to the requirements of the job and shall not be influenced by any consideration of ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability.

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