Head of Legal, Japan

  • Coinbase
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Jan 20, 2021

Job Description

Coinbase has built the world's leading compliant cryptocurrency platform serving over 30 million accounts in more than 100 countries. With multiple successful products, and our vocal advocacy for blockchain technology, we have played a major part in mainstream awareness and adoption of cryptocurrency. We are proud to offer an entire suite of products that are helping build the cryptoeconomy, and increase economic freedom around the world.

There are a few things we look for across all hires we make at Coinbase, regardless of role or team. First, we assess whether a candidate demonstrates our values: Clear Communication, Positive Energy, Efficient Execution, and Continuous Learning. Second, we look for signals that a candidate will thrive in a culture like ours, where we default to trust, embrace feedback, disrupt ourselves, and expect sustained high performance because we play as a championship team. Finally, we seek people with the desire and capacity to build and share expertise in the frontier technologies of crypto and blockchain, in whatever way is most relevant to their role.

Read more about our values and culture here.

About the Team

We are looking for an exceptional lawyer (Associate General Counsel) to join our International Legal team and support Coinbase's Japanese operations and the wider Coinbase group across a broad set of corporate and legal issues affecting the world's most trusted digital currency business.

The role will be based in our Tokyo office. Working closely with our London, Dublin, Singapore and US-based executive teams, business stakeholders and colleagues in Legal and Compliance globally, you will play a key role in advising Coinbase KK and the Coinbase group on a broad range of legal matters in Japan and the wider APAC region, including compliance with applicable payment services and financial services law and regulation, consumer protection law, product roll-outs and strategic initiatives. You will also establish and manage legal policies and procedures and assist with the smooth running of legal operations to ensure that our business receives the highest quality legal advice as we continue to expand globally.

What you'll be doing (ie. job duties):
  • Work closely with business executives and the Compliance team to ensure compliance of Japanese operations with applicable e-money / payment services and financial services law and regulation and digital currency exchange best practices
  • Provide legal support to Coinbase KK. Includes responsibility for ensuring legal and regulatory compliance of new products and services, inter-company operating arrangements, commercial relationships and banking partnerships, retail and institutional terms of business, assisting the business in rolling out products and services to new jurisdictions and co-ordinating support and advice with the U.S. based legal team, and wider International legal team, as appropriate
  • Keep abreast of all regulatory and policy developments involving digital currency in Japan and other key international (especially APAC) jurisdictions and assist Coinbase in its advocacy for effective regulation
  • Continuously assess operating risks and legal needs and ensure that the legal department is equipped to provide outstanding support as Coinbase's international business continues to grow
  • Manage outside counsel effectively where they are engaged in connection with specific projects
  • Co-ordinate closely with members of the broader Legal team in London, Singapore and San Francisco to ensure consistency of approach

What we look for in you (ie. job requirements):
  • Qualified lawyer with 8+ years experience working in a regulated payment services or financial services institution in Japan (e.g. payment service firm, broker dealer / asset manager) or in a law firm supporting such clients (ideally with some previous in-house experience)
  • Strong familiarity with financial services regulation is required
  • Exceptional professional judgment, exercised in a multicultural, global workplace
  • Experience dealing with the JFSA and/or other key APAC regulators
  • Ability to manage complex projects involving coordination across multiple time zones, challenging legal issues and tight deadlines
  • Ability to work closely with Compliance to deliver coordinated input to the business and other stakeholders
  • Ability to manage a large and varied time-sensitive workload and exercise excellent judgment, analytical rigour and commercial pragmatism. Must be able to provide crisp and practical legal advice to business executives across a broad range of matters with limited supervision
  • Enthusiasm for and a basic understanding of digital currencies/blockchain
  • Highly driven and proactive - keen to create process and structure and strive for continuous improvement
  • Comfortable working independently in a fast-paced, growth-stage environment, subject to regulatory scrutiny, operating excellence and Coinbase's demanding standards to operate the world's most trusted digital currency exchange
  • Fluent verbal and written proficiency in English and Japanese

Nice to haves:
  • Proficiency with Google Suite (Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar) or Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Powerpoint, Excel)
  • Experience with technology companies (ideally Fintech) whether with clients while at a law firm or as an employee