Firms To Watch: Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms

Boutique firm Kasumigaseki International Law Office houses a broad team, which is led by Abe Shinichiro, with restructuring expert Kiyotaka Matsui supporting the group. Yoshihiro Takatori provides his dispute resolution capabilities in relation to restructuring and insolvency matters.

Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

The team at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune is jointly led by Hideyuki Sakai, Hiroyasu Ueda, Fujiaki Mimura, and Zentaro Nihei. The group is regularly involved in large-scale restructuring and insolvency cases in Japan, acting for major banks, hedge funds and insurance companies. Taro Awataguchi represents both creditors and sponsors in out-of-court restructurings, as well as in corporate reorganisations and civil rehabilitation cases. Mimura handles the full range of restructuring and insolvency matters, including bankruptcy and voluntary liquidations. The team assists an extensive and lucrative client base, with Satoshi Ogino representing debtors. Nihei also adds to the team’s cross-border capabilities, advising overseas funds, along with Ueda, who handles cross-border restructuring matters, and Masaki Fujita, who represents debtors, lenders and investors in cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Hideyuki Sakai; Hiroyasu Ueda; Fujiaki Mimura; Zentaro Nihei

Other key lawyers:

Taro Awataguchi; Masaki Fujita; Satoshi Ogino; Mitsuo Shimada; Masaya Goto


‘A team of lawyers who are very capable and responsive. Regardless of unique and unforeseen situations, all members have done their best to cope with various needs from our side (locally and globally).’

‘The team, led by Fujiaki Mimura, is one of the best for restructuring and insolvency practices in Japan. What charactarises them is their skills, technique, knowledge, experiences, and their dedication to saving the company. Also, this team works well in complicated situations.’

‘Mimura is well respected in Japan’s law society, so his influence can help to save companies. Mimura’s ability to solve the difficult situation is second to no other firms.’

‘Fujiaki Mimura has deep experience, knowledge, skills, networking, and influence among Japan’s law society.’

Key clients

K.K. Digipoke

Matsuekankyonomori Co., Ltd.

Tibanne Co., Ltd.

Hakuyokai Medical Incorporated Association and its representative Mr. Hiroyuki Fujii

Newton Press Inc.

Soshin K.K.

Work highlights

  • Advised consortium of banks and leasing companies to file a creditor’s petition to commence the corporate reorganization proceedings of the debtor, United Ocean Group.
  • Appointed as the bankruptcy trustee of MJG K.K and its affiliates, which had a total debt of around $34m, over 1000 employees and around 200 clinics nationwide at the commencement of the bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Represented Matsuekankyonomori Co., Ltd. for the petition for the commencement of the civil rehabilitation proceedings with total liabilities of approximately $31m.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Maintaining its established position in the market, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has experienced growth in the number of in out-of-court cases it handles, with the restructuring and insolvency team provides its clients with out-of-court workouts and pre-packaged reorganisations. The practice advises on the full range of Japanese bankruptcy and reorganisation proceedings, spanning a variety of sectors and jurisdictions. Practice co-head Takahiro Inou is often involved in cross-border insolvency cases across Asia. Inou leads the team alongside Ryota Yamasaki and Soichiro Fujiwara, who are both restructuring, litigation and M&A specialists. The group acts for a diverse client list which includes debtors, creditors and financial advisors, as well as financially distressed or insolvent clients. Dai Katagiri regularly advises domestic and foreign clients, taking a lead role in a number of the team’s restructuring and bankruptcy cases.

Practice head(s):

Soichiro Fujiwara; Ryota Yamasaki; Takahiro Inou

Other key lawyers:

Dai Katagiri


‘Abundant track record in revitalisation projects for Japanese global companies. Capable of handling finance, markets, M&A, antitrust law, business revitalisation, and all other areas.’

‘Top experts in Japanese corporate turnaround and distressed workout. Top notch both on the deal making side and the litigation side, very well connected in the industry and has insightful and unique approaches. Can rely on them for the documentation, due diligence, and the actual in court proceedings.’

‘Always worked with Soichiro Fujiwara and Takahiro Inou, both partners who know the deals and have vast experience of working with active market participants in Japan.’


Key clients

Marelli Holdings Co., Ltd.

Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

CEF Co.,Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd

Advantage Partners, Inc.

Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Marelli Holdings Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries in the first case in Japanese history where the debtor used simplified rehabilitation proceedings as a tool to ‘cramdown’ minority lenders.
  • Represented Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd in its turnaround ADR.
  • Advised CEF Co.,Ltd. on successfully completing its plan to acquire the business of a retail electricity supplier by using bankruptcy proceedings.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nobuaki Kobayashi co-leads the team at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, which maintains a stellar reputation in the workout and turnaround market, with the team regularly advising on out-of-court matters. The group also draws on its cross-practice experience, such as its experience in technology-related matters, having advised on the civil rehabilitation proceedings of cryptocurrency exchange MtGox. The practice continues to advise an increasingly diverse number of clients on both the debtor and sponsor side, as well as major banks and financial institutions. Kobayashi has expansive experience in acting in high-profile proceedings such as large-scale corporate reorganisations, as well as in out-of-court workouts both in Japan and overseas, and practice co-head Yosuke Kanegae represents numerous listed companies in out-of-court restructuring cases. The team displays strong cross-border capabilities, with Takashi Suzuki and Tomohiro Okawa handling a broad range of global restructuring cases.

Practice head(s):

Nobuaki Kobayashi; Yosuke Kanegae

Other key lawyers:

Tomohiro Okawa; Takashi Suzuki

Key clients

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Mitsubishi Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Bain Capital


Change Inc.


SBI Shinsei Bank Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Mizuho Bank on its Pre-DIP financing to Marelli Holdings.
  • Acted as trustee of MtGox Co., Ltd. in its bankruptcy.
  • Assisted Change Inc., a listed company, in its investment in the distressed business of another listed company, Hope inc.

Nishimura & Asahi

Displaying deep bench strength in handling cross-border mandates, the team at Nishimura & Asahi handles multi-jurisdictional workouts and international restructuring matters, which are particular areas of focus for Yuri Sugano. Beyond traditional insolvency proceedings and significant bankruptcy cases within Japan, practice head Kenichi Minami is noted for his deep knowledge of in out-of-court workouts and turnarounds. Kentaro Yokoyama also has extensive experience in handling both in-and out-of-court reorganisations. The group is known for representing a variety of debtors, also counting major banks, financial institutions and creditors among its clients. The team draws on the varied expertise of its members to further strengthen its offering; Hajime Ueno is an expert in structured finance; Daisuke Koriya displays vast knowledge of accounting and tax issues; and Yonson Minami advises on M&A aspects of restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Kenichi Minami

Other key lawyers:

Yuri Sugano; Kentaro Yokoyama; Hajime Ueno; Daisuke Koriya; Yonson Minami

Key clients

Aozora Bank, Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

REINOWA Holdings Inc.


J-Will Partners Co., Ltd.

Sado Steam Ship Co., Ltd.

The Rockport Company, LLC, Rockport Japan Ltd.

Joyfull Co., Ltd.


TEPCO Energy Partner and Incorporated, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented MUFG Bank in the conversion of Marelli Holdings’ turnaround ADR to a civil rehabilitation as a result of a failure to secure all lenders’ approval of the restructuring plan.
  • Represented Aozora Bank, Ltd. and played a role in the client’s involuntary petition for corporate reorganisation proceedings against the core companies in the group, Ise Foods Inc. and Ise K.K.
  • Represented the operator of the transportation vessels between Honshu and Sado Island in its restructuring through an equity capital injection from a new sponsor, a debt-to-equity swap conversion of debts owed to the primary bank, and rescheduling of debts owed to other financial creditors.

Abe, Ikubo & Katayama

The restructuring and insolvency team at Abe, Ikubo & Katayama has broad corporate expertise, handling the full gamut of bankruptcy matters, including significant insolvency cases in Japan, in addition to cross-border restructuring mandates. Practice co-head Eiji Katayama handles corporate reorganisations, and Kazuyuki Taguchi has experience in advising on the turnaround of corporate businesses. Hisashi Ito acts in an array of civil rehabilitation cases and liquidations on behalf of various companies. Business rehabilitation is also an area of focus for Hirofumi Kato, whose practice consists of legal and voluntary liquidation mandates. The firm’s disputes practice covers both in- and out-of-court cases, and Rikita Karakawa contributes her broad experience of negotiation and litigation in out-of-court private rehabilitations.

Practice head(s):

Eiji Katayama; Yasuhiko Ikubo

Other key lawyers:

Hisashi Ito; Kazuyuki Taguchi; Hideto Sasaki; Hirofumi Kato; Rikita Karakawa; Koichiro Sato; Naotada Yokota

Key clients

Nippon Logistech Corporation


Work highlights

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

Active in both domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings, civil rehabilitations, and corporate reorganisations, the restructuring and insolvency team at Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners, led by Takayuki Maruyama and Naoki Kondo, advises debtors, creditors, sponsors and lenders across a range of sectors. The group is noted for its extensive experience in out-of-court turnaround procedures, with Tomohiro Kitano heading the team from Osaka, primarily handling domestic insolvency and reorganisation matters. The Tokyo office maintains its focus on cross-border insolvency cases, with So Miyamoto contributing his longstanding experience in both domestic and global insolvency matters, while Hirotake Tanaka is known for handling bankruptcy proceedings. Alternative dispute resolution continues to be one of the team’s primary areas of strength, being an area which Takashi Matsunaga has expansive knowledge.

Practice head(s):

Takayuki Maruyama; Naoki Kondo; Tomohiro Kitano

Other key lawyers:

So Miyamoto; Hirotake Tanaka; Takashi Matsunaga; Yuta Shozaki; Kazuma Doi

Key clients

Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. and Japan Drilling (Netherlands) B.V.

EuroTec Japan Co., Ltd.

Kyokuto Electric Co., Ltd

JMIC Co., Ltd.

Tsuchiyama Printing co., Ltd. and Okamura co., Ltd.

AIproject Company Limited

Onkyo Marketing Corporation and Onkyo Sound Corporation

Hotel Chocolat Co., Ltd.

Kanagawa Management Welfare Foundation

MIC Corporation

Escada Japan Co., Ltd.

Pets Best Japan Co. Ltd.


Work highlights

  • Acted as attorneys for petitions for Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. and Japan Drilling (Netherlands) B.V. and as deputy trustees when the commencement order for corporate reorganisation proceedings was issued.
  • Acted as receiver and deputy receivers of the insurer in a disposition issued by the Kanto Local Finance Bureau, ordering business and property administration by receivers of the insurer for Pets Best Japan Co. Ltd.
  • Acted as one of the dispute resolution providers in charge of the turnaround ADR filed by Nichi-Iko.