Rising Stars: Bengoshi

Firms To Watch: Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms

Koji Matsuda and Masaaki Sawano co-lead the City-Yuwa Partners practice that boasts experiences representing debtors, creditors, sponsors, investors, suppliers and other business entities in restructuring and bankruptcy cases.
Kasumigaseki International Law Office specialises in restructuring and bankrupcy matters related to the car manufacturing industry, financial institutions and ship operation businesses. Restructuring and insolvency law expert Abe Shinichiro leads the team.
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Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune is known for its extensive experience in both in- and out-of-court restructurings of distressed companies. The firm is active in large-scale restructuring and insolvency cases in Japan, representing a range of companies experiencing difficulties, debtors in court proceedings, equity sponsors, major Japanese and international banks, bondholders, hedge funds and insurance companies. Insolvency and restructuring experts Hideyuki Sakai, Hiroyasu Ueda and Fujiaki Mimura co-lead the team with Taro Awataguchi, who is known for creditor representations in complex corporate reorganization and civil rehabilitation cases, and Zentaro Nihei, whose forte is dealing with creditor and sponsor-side matters.

Other key lawyers:

Masaki Fujita; Sachiko Jimbo

Testimonials

‘We recently worked with Anderson mori and tomotsune (The firm) for the final stage of reorganization practice. The firm is capable of gathering the best lawyers in Japan, and provided us with the best solution.’

‘The firm recruits best people, this makes the firm eminent.’

‘They charge hours for billing which is articulate and reasonable. I find the firm is not expensive for the value they provide.’

‘They changed principles of partnership, therefore foreign lawyers are admitted to be partners. Now, We can find many foreign partner lawyers here.’

‘Mr. Fujiaki Mimura – One of the Chief partners of the firm. His authority is total among Japan’s legal society. Very talkative and polite.’

‘Mr. Hiroki Sekibata. A partner lawyer who mainly specialized in bankruptcy and reorganization, and also good with taxation, IP, litigation and so on.’

‘Mr. Daisuke Fukada – an associate lawyer and Mr. Kazuya Uryu – an associate lawyer – they work so hard for us with so much documentations!’

Key clients

Virgin Australia Group

Japanese banks, financial institutions, and leasing companies

MJG K.K., Frontier K.K. and PIM Balance General Incorporated Association (Court appointed bankruptcy trustee)

W&D Investment Design Co., Ltd.

Tibanne Co., Ltd. (Court appointed bankruptcy trustee)

Okui Construction K.K.

Soshin K.K.

Kuramoto Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised the debtor, Virgin Australis, to seek for the Japanese court order regarding the recognition of the foreign Australian insolvency proceeding in Japan.
  • 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 5 billion JPY, over 1000 employees and around 200 clinics nationwide at the commencement of the bankruptcy proceeding.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Acting on behalf of debtors, creditors and financial advisers, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto provides expertise across the spectrum of Japanese bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings. Members of the team serve as trustees and administrators in bankruptcy proceedings, and the firm’s insolvency practice also acts in out-of-court workouts and pre-packaged reorganizations. Particular strengths include corporate restructuring, particularly out-of-court workouts, debt restructuring and DIP finance matters. Soichiro Fujiwara specialises in restructuring, litigation and M&A. He co-leads the department with Ryota Yamasaki, who has expertise in out-of-court restructurings and court-supervised restructurings and bankruptcy proceedings; Airo Inoue, whose experience covers M&A of distressed companies, and representing debtors and sponsors in restructurings; and disputes specialist Atsunori Nobukuni. Also active in the area is Dai Katagiri, who focuses on restructuring, litigation and corporate law.

Other key lawyers:

Dai Katagiri

Testimonials

‘They gave us great support to set up scheme of DIP financing and reviewed documentation very quickly and accurately.’

Key clients

Cath Kidston Japan K.K.

UMC Electronics Co. Ltd.

K.K.GENDA

Work highlights

  • Acting as local counsel for Cath Kidston Japan K.K. in respect to its inevitable bankruptcy following the entering into administration in the UK of its UK-based global parent company.
  • Assisting a specialized electronics company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with regard to its seeking financial support within the context of the ongoing restructuring of its governance structures and the challenging trading environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advising K.K. GENDA to request a debt waiver and to acquire the shares in financially distressed company SEGA Entertainment Co., Ltd.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

The Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu restructuring practice is particularly strong in technology related matters, an example being the civil rehabilitation proceeding of a cryptocurrency exchange. The firm is known for acting as debtor counsel in large-scale matters, as well as providing experience in a range of in- and out-of-court workouts for international clients. Insolvency and restructuring experts Nobuaki Kobayashi  and Yosuke Kanegae  co-lead the team that includes Tomohiro Okawa, who focuses on restructuring transactions and distressed M&A, and Takashi Suzuki, who has broad experience in corporate reorganisations.

Other key lawyers:

Tomohiro Okawa; Takashi Suzuki

Testimonials

‘We are Restructuring advisors, We are collaborating with Nagashima, Ohno, and Tsunematsu Law Offices on several large projects. Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu Law Offices are the best law firm in Japan that can handle Restructuring projects of global companies.’

‘Nobuaki Kobayashi is a lawyer who can make the most moderate decisions in Restructuring project and come up with appropriate solutions to new problems.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Mitsubishi Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Bain Capital

Micron Technology

Sanden Holdings

MtGox

NTT Anode Energy Corporation

Via Holdings

Watabe Wedding Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Takata Corporation in its global restructuring and sale of its global assets and operations to Key Safety Systems, Inc.
  • Trustee of MtGox Co., Ltd. in its newly commenced civil rehabilitation proceedings.
  • Advised Mitsubishi Corporation in its involvement in Chiyoda Corporation’s financial revival plan.

Nishimura & Asahi

Known for traditional insolvency work, particularly representing debtors, Nishimura & Asahi is also strong in restructuring and insolvency transactions involving out-of-court workouts and turnarounds. As well as acting in large-scale matters, the firm handles petitions for bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings on behalf of small and medium-sized companies. The practice is active in Japan and throughout Asia, with increasing experience in cross-border workouts and global restructuring. Kenichi Minami leads the department and has a track record in out-of-court workouts and turnarounds.  A deep bench the expertise includes Hajime Ueno, who specialises in structured finance and handles a range of restructuring and insolvency issues.

Practice head(s):

Kenichi Minami

Other key lawyers:

Hajime Ueno; Takashi Sonoo

Key clients

Yamanishi Co., Ltd.

Pepper Food Service Co., Ltd.

Toyota Industries Corporation

Garrett Motion Inc., Garrett Motion Japan Inc.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Seibi Kogyo Co., Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Works Applications Co., Ltd.

Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Yamanishi Co., Ltd., a shipbuilding company based in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, in filing for corporate reorganisation protection.
  • Advised Pepper Food Service Co., Ltd. in its financial restructuring efforts.
  • Supported Garrett Motion Inc. and Garrett Motion Japan Inc. – Chapter 11, the Japan subsidiary of a US auto parts-maker through its Chapter 11 proceedings, an unusual occurrence for a Japanese company.

Abe, Ikubo & Katayama

Abe, Ikubo & Katayama has expertise acting as trustee and representative of petitioners in large-scale corporate reorganization and civil rehabilitation cases, including assisting in restructuring plans, executing the plans and completing the reorganization and rehabilitation process. The firm has a good relationship with audit firms and accounting firms, as well as with the bankruptcy court. Yasuhiko Ikubo co-leads the team with Eiji Katayama, who provides broad experience in international and corporate matters, with a focus on  bankruptcy.

Practice head(s):

Yasuhiko Ikubo; Eiji Katayama

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

Cross-border insolvency specialist Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners has broad experience advising debtors and creditors with high-profile bankruptcy cases. The firm handles civil rehabilitation and corporate reorganisation proceedings across a range of sectors, as well as providing expertise alternative dispute resolution and other out-of-court turnaround procedures. The 20 partner team is co-led by Takayuki Maruyama, Naoki Kondo and Tomohiro Kitano.

Key clients

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

Micron Memory Japan, Inc.

Rakuten General Insurance Co., Ltd.(“Rakuten Insurance”)

A foreign creditor of Mt. Gox

WBF Hotels & Resorts Co., Ltd. , WBF Holdings Co., Ltd. and White Bear Family Co., Ltd.

WATABE WEDDING CORPORATION

Kyokuto Electric Co., Ltd

Mitake Country Club Co., Ltd.

AIproject Company Limited

T&P Co., Ltd.

Meijo Gakuin Educational Corporation

Tokiwa Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

MIC Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acting as attorneys for petitions and appointed by the Tokyo District Court as deputy trustees of Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (JDC) and Japan Drilling (Netherlands) B.V. (JDN) when the commencement order was issued. Petitions were filed by the client  for commencement of corporate reorganization proceedings with the Tokyo District Court.
  • Represented Elpida for filing of the petition and the Tokyo District Court  appointed deputy trustees of Elpida in its reorganization case which was the largest ever for a Japanese manufacturer, with total liabilities of 448 billion yen.
  • Represent Rakuten Insurance because Rakuten Insurance had provided insurance coverage to the local public offices that ordered construction of the public facilities to M-tec, who filed for civil rehabilitation in October 2018, and went into liquidation proceedings in November 2018.

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai provides expertise in insolvency, corporate turnaround and bankruptcy administration, as well as  advising on the negotiation of corporate reorganisations, civil rehabilitations and special liquidations. Key names in the area include insolvency and restructuring specialists Toyoki Emoto and Norio Suzuki.

Other key lawyers:

Toyoki Emoto ; Norio Suzuki