Our people

Sae Kawakami



While working in the Tokyo office as a vacation scheme student, I was impressed by the intelligence of the lawyers and their ability to find solutions to complex legal and commercial issues.

I thought that a career in international commercial law at Clifford Chance would be rewarding due to the cross-border nature of work and interaction with the clients, combined with the expertise and collaborative nature of the team. 

I’m now a senior associate (a solicitor in England and Wales) specialising in international capital markets, including international debt and equity offerings, convertible bonds, medium-term note programmes and repackaging programmes. 


The sense of development motivates me and keeps me at the firm. For example, I enjoy learning about how our transactions are structured and the reasons behind them, discussing the legal and commercial issues with our clients, negotiating the terms with counterparties and searching for the most optimal outcome. When approaching difficult problems, I try to understand the commercial drivers of the clients’ decisions, think about the possible legal and business issues, discuss my proposed solutions with colleagues and then explain them to the clients. 

My advice 

When applying for a vacation scheme or a training contract, do not be afraid to be your true self, as there is no typical Clifford Chance lawyer. Having worked in our London, Singapore and Tokyo offices, I feel that we embrace diversity, and that each and every one of us brings something unique to the firm.

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