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Eiji Yamahara

Fax +81.3.3597.6421
Eiji Yamahara is counsel in the firm’s Tokyo office. In addition to his time at law firms in the US, UK and Japan, he served as in-house counsel for more than 10 years in leading financial institutions and a Japanese trading company. His primary focus is on shipping and maritime law. He also has experience representing clients in defending their interests in insolvency cases, in particular ship-arrests. In the financial sector, he has handled syndicated loans, asset-financing, derivatives, and acquisition and term loan financings. He has worked on a wide range of project financings, including water-treatment businesses, hospitals, subsea–development deals, and coal-fired power projects.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Tokyo Bar Association (a vice-chair of its International Committee since 2011)
  • Maritime counselor registered at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism of Japan.
  • Association of Average Adjusters of Japan (associate member)
  • Participation as observer in the legislative council, the Ministry of Justice of Japan, for amendment of the Commercial Code (trading and maritime) of Japan (2014 – 2016).
  • Engaged in information provision work to refugees from the Fukushima nuclear power generator malfunction, appointed by the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Organization, established by the Japanese Government (2012).
  • Legal concierge, appointed by Japan Federation of Bar Associations, for its pilot business to support overseas business development by small and middle size Japanese enterprises (2012).
  • Business study council member for Okinawa’s financial special district, appointed by Mr. Yonamine, then-Okinawa-governor (2004).

Speaking Engagements

  • “Maritime insolvency special seminar – maritime insolvency and ship-arrest: in the context of amendment of the Commercial Code (trading and maritime) of Japan (March 2016), Shanghai. Joint seminar with Wang Jing & Co.
  • “Our role in disaster – update of Japanese bar associations’ disaster relief to victims in the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake and Fukushima Shock.” (World City Bar Leaders in Philadelphia, September 2014).
  • “Prosperity and decline of port cities from a historical viewpoint.” (January 2012, Kobe, presented by the Japan Shipping Exchange, Inc.).

Additional Information

  • Attendance to English Legal Methods Summer Program, University of Cambridge, 1995
  • The Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan, 1992
In addition to his working career as in-house counsel, Mr. Yamahara has advised on, among others, the following cases and transactions:
  • Advised a creditor with respect to Sanko Steamship Co., Ltd., before and after Sanko’s corporate reorganization filing in 2012.
  • Advised a client with respect to the OW Bunker group’s insolvency.
  • Advised a cargo-owner in defending the cargo-owner’s interest in the cargo when the ship was arrested by the ship’s creditors.
  • Advised a Japanese client with respect to vessel sale to an Indian buyer.
  • Advised an internationally-acting overseas container carrier regarding regulations applicable to port businesses in Japan.
  • Appointed by a Japanese district court as an agent for the bankruptcy trustee for the maritime-related assets of an entity.
  • Advised financial institutions and insurance companies on several asset-backed finance deals.