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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. He focuses on energy, shipping and maritime law, including LNG, ship finance/trading documentation and traditional B/L and L/C disputes. He also has experience representing clients in defending their interests in insolvency cases, ship-arrests in particular. In the financial sector, he has handled term/syndicated loans, asset-financing, derivatives, and aircraft financing. He has advised clients on a wide range of projects, including water-treatment businesses, hospitals, subsea development deals, and coal-fired power projects.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Tokyo Bar Association (Chairman of its International Committee since 2017)
  • Maritime counselor registered at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism of Japan.
  • Association of Average Adjusters of Japan (associate member)
  • Observer in the legislative council, Ministry of Justice of Japan for amendment of the Commercial Code (trading and maritime) of Japan (2014 – 2016).
  • Engaged in providing information to refugees from the Fukushima nuclear power generator malfunction; appointed by the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Organization, established by the Japanese Government (2012).
  • Appointed legal concierge by Japan Federation of Bar Associations for its pilot business to support overseas business development by small and middle size Japanese enterprises (2012).   
  • Appointed a member of the business study council of Okinawa’s financial special district by Mr. Yonamine, then governor of Okinawa (2004).

Speaking Engagements

  • “Unique legal issues found in a bankruptcy case of “Hanjin” as a container carrier.“ (October 2017, Kyoto University, presented by the Maritime Law Association of Japan).
  • “Maritime insolvency special seminar – maritime insolvency and ship-arrest: in the context of the 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).
  • “History of the prosperity and decline of port cities.” (January 2012, Kobe, presented by the Japan Shipping Exchange, Inc.).

Additional Information

  • English Legal Methods Summer Program, University of Cambridge, 1995
  • The Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan, 1992
In addition to his career as in-house counsel, Mr. Yamahara's experience includes the following cases and transactions:
  • Advised a client with respect to agreement for LNG gassing up and cooldown services
  • 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 the sale of a vessel 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.
  • Filed a case with the Tokyo Maritime Arbitration Commission (TOMAC) for a ship seller.
  • Advised financial institutions and insurance companies on several asset-backed finance deals.
  • Advised financial institutions with respect to aircraft finance.