Firms To Watch: Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms

City-Yuwa Partners is co-led by Koji Matsuda and Masaaki Sawano, and represents a range of clients in insolvency and bankruptcy cases.
Abe Shinichiro leads the Kasumigaseki International Law Office team, which has particular strength in matters related to the car manufacturing industry, financial institutions and ship operation businesses.

Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has extensive experience in both in- and out-of-court restructurings, and is highly active in large scale restructurings and insolvencies for both major domestic and multinational companies. In addition, the department represents a range of equity sponsors, Japanese and international banks, bondholders, hedge funds, and debtors in court proceedings. Hideyuki Sakai, whose practice includes bankruptcies, workouts, and civil rehabilitations, co-leads the department alongside Hiroyasu Ueda, who has notable experience in major bankruptcies and cross-border restructurings and insolvency, and bankruptcy expert Fujiaki Mimura. Zentaro Nihei also co-leads, and has particular expertise handling creditor and sponsor side matters. Taro Awataguchi is another key name within the department, with a strong reputation for restructruing and insolvency. Satoshi Ogino and Kanako Watanabe are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Hideyuki Sakai; Hiroyasu Ueda; Fujiaki Mimura; Zentaro Nihei

Other key lawyers:

Taro Awataguchi; Masaki Fujita; Satoshi Ogino; Kanako Watanabe; Sayuri Tago


‘AMT has a wealth of experience advising with respect to cross-border insolvency proceedings. Moreover, their familiarity with U.S. bankruptcy law and legal principles makes them an excellent partner on U.S. matters that have a foreign law component.’

‘Zentaro Nihei and Sayuri Tago are not only knowledgeable and responsive, but they are also able to establish an excellent rapport with clients.’

‘Mr. Fujiaki Mimura, Partner of Anderson, Mori and Tomotsune. This guy is the highest authority in Japan’s legal society, and able to solve conundrums only by phone call. He also handled many famous cases of bankruptcy and re-organization process with his team.’

‘The team has great capacity of knowledge about re-organization process and how to survive with small cash during insolvency.’

Key clients

Japanese banks, financial institutions, and leasing companies

K.K. Digipoke

MJG K.K., Frontier K.K. and PIM Balance General Incorporated Association

W&D Investment Design Co., Ltd.

Matsuekankyonomori Co., Ltd.

Tibanne Co., Ltd.

Soshin K.K.

Okui Construction 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 Digipoke, which provided a cryptocurrency wallet service and has approximately 2,000 creditors, which is rare for bankruptcy proceedings in Japan.
  • 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

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto advises debtors, creditors and financial advisors in the full range of Japanese bankruptcy and reorganisation proceedings, with experience in pre-packaged reorganisations and out-of-court workouts. The practice is active on corporate restructuring, debt restructuring, and DIP financing, and acts on major cross-border insolvencies on behalf of high profile clients. Soichiro Fujiwara, Ryota Yamasaki, and Takahiro Inou are joint team leads. Fujiwara has significant expertise in restructuring, litigation and M&A, while Yamasaki bring additional experience in corporate law and legal compliance, and Inou covers out-of-court restructurings by ADR and other schemes. Dai Katagiri, who was promoted to partner in January 2021, specialises in litigation, M&A, and corporate law.

Other key lawyers:

Dai Katagiri


‘MHM team has strong integrity for the clients and the projects which we collaborate with them. They also have not only a lot of experience and knowledge but also flexibility for progressing our work. MHM’s professionals are covered wide industries, specialities.’

‘Restructuring and insolvency team of MHM is large enough to deliver good services for complex projects. They have a lot of credentials that show their capabilities and experiences.’

‘Takahiro Inou is very reliable lawyer in this field. He has deep knowledge and experiences with restructuring and insolvency engagements. His communication skill is also great to negotiate with creditors and make clients confortable.’

‘Team is practical and supports our business well. Not only the legal aspect, the team understands nature of our business.’

‘Takahiro Inou is the lead partner who supports our business. I continue to work his him and his team as they understand the nature of our business and provides adivice in practical way.’

‘Great knowledge and experience on difficult restructuring situations.’

‘Very hands on. Provide well thought-through advice.’

‘They were a great team with lots of experience.’

Key clients

KOIKE Co., Ltd.

Daiwa PI Partners Co. Ltd.

Eikido Co., Ltd.

Saikaya Co., Ltd.

Gurunavi, Inc.

Advantage Partners, Inc.

Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko Ltd.

Heights Capital Management, Inc.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted KOIKE Co., Ltd. in respect to complex and challenging civil rehabilitation proceedings undergone by the client after its revenues came under pressure due to changes in consumer trends.
  • Assisted Daiwa PI Partners Co. Ltd. with the corporate reorganisation proceedings of F-Power Co. Ltd., one of the largest power producers and suppliers in Japan.
  • Acted as legal advisor in the out-of-court workout of Eikido Co., Ltd., a long-established company that manufactures and wholesales confectioneries to major Japanese coffee shop and restaurant chains.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu‘s restructuring and insolvency practice operates in conjunction with the firm’s other departments to provide comprehensive service to a range of high-profile domestic and international clients. The team has notable strength in the technology sector. Insolvency and restructuring expert Nobuaki Kobayashi co-leads alongside Yosuke Kanegae, who has significant experience with in- and out-of-court restructuring cases. Other core team members include Tomohiro Okawa, who has expertise across reorganisation and insolvency, distressed M&A, and banking; and Takashi Suzuki, who has a range of experience in restructuring cases both domestic and cross-border in nature.

Practice head(s):

Nobuaki Kobayashi; Yosuke Kanegae

Other key lawyers:

Tomohiro Okawa; Takashi Suzuki


‘The firm was extremely capable and efficient.’

‘Tomo Okawa is one of the hardest working foreign attorneys I have worked with. He is practical and intelligent, as well as a good team player.’

Key clients

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Mitsubishi Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Bain Capital


Sanden Holdings


NTT Anode Energy Corporation

Via Holdings

Watabe Wedding Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Mizuho Bank on its Pre-DIP financing to Marelli Holdings.
  • Represented Watabe Wedding Corporatation on its Business Turnaround ADR case.
  • Trustee of MtGox Co., Ltd. in its bankruptcy.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi has a strong reputation for complex restructuring and insolvency work, particularly out-of-court workouts and turnarounds. The department is particularly focused on representing debtors, and attracts a diverse range of clients from a range of industries. Kenichi Minami, who leads the department, has more than twenty years’ experience in the practice area, and has expertise across corporate reorganisation, civil rehabilitation, bankruptcy, and liquidation proceedings. Restructuring expert Hajime Ueno is another key name, with a strong record of handling complex and custom deal. Yuri Sugano, who has notable experience in cross-border restructuring, is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Kenichi Minami

Other key lawyers:

Hajime Ueno; Takashi Sonoo; Yuri Sugano

Key clients

Aozora Bank, Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sado Steam Ship Co., Ltd.

Spring Airlines Japan Co., Ltd.

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

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

Joyfull Co., Ltd.

Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Aozora Bank, Ltd. and played a pivotal role in client’s involuntary petition for corporate reorganisation proceedings against the core companies in the group, Ise Foods, Inc. and Ise K.K.
  • Advising on a debt restructuring and equity recapitalisation for Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (“JDC”), the only offshore drilling contractor in Japan.
  • Aacted as counsel to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, which provided Mt. Gox Investment Fund (MGIF) with the financing required by the agreement between MGIF and the Rehabilitation Trustee.

Abe, Ikubo & Katayama

Abe, Ikubo & Katayama serves as both trustee and representative of petitioners in large-scale corporate reorganization and civil rehabilitation cases, and benefits from a strong network of relationships with specialists and professionals both within Japan and overseas. The department is co-led by Yasuhiko Ikubo, who covers corporate business rehabilitation and bankruptcy, and Eiji Katayama, whose expertise includes corporate reorganisation and civil rehabilitation. Hisashi Ito is also noted for his work in bankruptcy and special liquidation.

Practice head(s):

Eiji Katayama; Yasuhiko Ikubo

Other key lawyers:

Hisashi Ito; Hideto Sasaki

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners is active on civil rehabilitation cases and corporte reorganisation proceedings across a range of sectors, with additional strengths in alternative dispute resolution and out-of-court turnaround procedures. The department is co-led by Takayuki Maruyama, Tomohiro Kitano, and Naoki Kondo. Also key are So Miyamoto, who has experience in both domestic and global insolvencies and reorganisations, and Takashi Matsunaga, who handles insolvencies and rehabilitations.

Practice head(s):

Takayuki Maruyama; Naoki Kondo; Tomohiro Kitano

Other key lawyers:

So Miyamoto; Takashi Matsunaga

Key clients

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

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

Watabe Wedding Corporation

EuroTec Japan Co., Ltd.

Kyokuto Electric Co., Ltd

Cosmetic AIDA Co., Ltd

Mitake Country Club Co., Ltd.

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

Meijo Gakuin Educational Corporation

AIproject Company Limited

Onkyo Marketing Corporation and Onkyo Sound Corporation

T&P Co., Ltd.

Kanagawa Management Welfare Foundation

MIC Corporation


Work highlights

  • Appointed as deputy trustees of Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (JDC) and Japan Drilling (Netherlands) B.V. (JDN) in their corporate reorganisation proceedings.
  • Represented Elpida in its filing for the reorganisation petition, and appointed as deputy trustees by the Tokyo District Court when the commencement order was issued.