Wilf Wakely

Wilf Wakely

Principal at Wakely Foreign Law Office

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Wilf Wakely developed a strong interest in Japan when here on a youth exchange in 1965. Since then he has lived in Japan on and off for more than 35 years. His diverse work and professional experience in JAPAN spans advertising, media, law and government. Wilf is fluent in Japanese, and holds a Law Degree from the University of British Columbia School of Law.

After graduation, articling and being called to the bar of British Columbia in 1980, Wilf practiced law first in Vancouver and then in Tokyo before being seconded to the federal Department of External Affairs to be posted to Canada’s Embassy in Tokyo From 1984-1987.  He served there as First Secretary and head of public affairs and as press officer and later as legal officer in charge of planning of the re-development of the Canadian Embassy.

From 1993-1997, he was appointed Commissioner, Trade and Investment for the government of British Columbia, in Kobe. After the disastrous Kobe Earthquake in 1995 Wilf became a member of a number of reconstruction planning committees and ultimately invited to join the cabinet office’s prestigious Japan expert’s committee on inward bound investment.

Wilf Wakely has been a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan since the early 1980s lserving as Corporate Secretary, and twice as Governor. In September of 2011 he was elected President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan. As Chairman of the Board of Governors, Wilf managed the significant growth of the Chamber through the engagement of the membership in its workings. Among other initiatives, under Wilf’s leadership, this took place through activated and expanded committees, and concurrent with reengagement with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Ottawa, developing a significant role for the CCCJ in the ongoing free trade discussions between Canada and Japan, the first series of industry lead international conferences on Public Private Partnerships opportunities for Japanese buyers and investors in Canadian energy and other more specific business programs all supported by another of his initiatives, the Honorary Board of Advisors.

Our CCCJ terms for elected governance is strictly limited and thus, in November, Wilf stepped down as chairman.  He was simultaneously appointed as a member of the Honoary Board of Advisors and he currently serves as chair of the CCCJ External Affairs Committee.

Professionally, Wilf is a Canadian lawyer admitted to practice in Japan as a registered foreign law solicitor, and is principal of Wakely Foreign Law Office. In 2006, Wakely Foreign Law Office joined in a qualified joint venture with TMI Associates (www.tmi.gr.jp), now one of Japan’s two largest law firms. His focus is on corporate and business law advisory regarding international commercial transactions, such, licenses’, distribution agreements and representation - including as resident Director and statutory auditor. He also advises regarding government relations including regulatory negotiations and provides advice on sovereign developments, in particular Public/Private Partnership project financings including projects such as mentioned above the re-development of the Canadian Embassy, the European Union Delegation building and other foreign missions in Tokyo. Through TMI’s network of offices across Asia, Wakely offers a wide range of Japanese legal services and enhanced scope. He has spoken extensively in front of Asian regional audiences on best practices of P3 finance and in 2015 wrote a major Japanese language essay on Public/Private Partnerships published in two parts: V. 43, # 2 and #3 of the Journal of the Japanese Institute of International Business Law.; most likely the first written by a Canadian practitioner in Japanese

Wilf Wakely has said “I have been honored to be a member of the CCCJ and always delighted to be a part of chamber initiatives which engage in what I love best; bringing Canadian and Japanese business people together in common purpose”.