In April 2020, Mr Yuji Okuchi, a lawyer with experience in maritime & logistics field, joined as a partner, and thus our Shipping & Logistics Section was established with Mr Okuchi being the Head of the Section.
Our Shipping and Logistics Section will provide comprehensive services from a wide perspective, utilising practical experiences with a wide range of customers, such as shipowners, shipping companies, P & I clubs, insurance companies, shipyards, logistics companies, NVOCCs and forwarders, warehouse companies, ship management companies, trading houses, ship brokers, salvage companies, investors, financial institutions and leasing companies.
In addition, with a strong belief that maritime and logistics industries are indispensable infrastructure for society, we would like to be a group of legal experts who will seek out what we can do to contribute to society.
Our Head, Mr Okuchi, has a strong belief that lawyer practice has to be not a commerce but a professional. Mr Okuchi has been especially good at strategic consulting and dispute resolution (negotiation, litigation and arbitration) in maritime & logistics field. Mr Okuchi has various experiences, such as settlement of a lot of claims in a large ship sinking case, settlement of claims in international mediation case where three parties are involved, a winning settlement of a multi-billion-Japanese yen claim in shipbuilding dispute, advice in the event of a U.S. class action, assistance in competitive bidding, advice on a project involving the Government of Japan, advice to a new entrant in maritime & logistics field, preferential recovery using maritime lien during insolvency proceedings.
When it comes to dispute cases, some may be in a disadvantageous situation due to mighty power of the other party. Others may be struggling with prejudice or unfavorable reputation from the public who doesn't know true background of the case. We would like to do our best effort to break the situation.
In addition, Mr Okuchi has practical experience in a wide range of legal fields, including commercial transaction law, labour law, company law and general civil or criminal matters. Taking advantage of this, our Shipping & Logistics Section has the desire to "be not only a specialist for maritime & logistics companies but like a home doctor.
Further, our firm has an advantage of having various lawyers with different backgrounds. Taking advantage of this, after the initial diagnosis by a lawyer of our Shipping & Logistics Section, we can cooperate in our firm, if necessary. Moreover, in the event outside experts are required to deal with certain case, we would like to form a team and cooperate with the experts. Bearing in mind various circumstances, we would like to seek out what the best solution for our clients is.
Shipping alliance, charterparty (bareboat charter, time charter and voyage charter), COA, carriage of goods, Bill of Lading, Sea Waybill, cargo claim, etc.
On board investigation of marine accident (such as ship collision, fire, grounding, sinking and oil spill), appointment of and cooperation with surveyors, negotiations with counterparts and authorities, salvage, wreck removal, criminal defense, limitation proceedings of shipowners’ liability, etc.
Litigation, arbitration, mediation, appointment of and cooperation with overseas lawyers, negotiations, strategic consulting, etc.
Civil provisional remedies, arrest of vessels, exercise of security interests, strategic consulting for preferential collection, etc.
Reviewing contractual documents, dealing with non-payment, cancellation and guarantee issues, consulting on negotiation strategy, arbitration, closing, etc.
Reviewing contractual documents, dealing with non-payment, cancellation and ship condition issues, consulting on negotiation strategy, arbitration, closing, etc.
Reviewing contractual documents, dealing with disputes on compensation issues, consulting on negotiation strategies, arbitration, etc.
Participation in insolvency proceedings, negotiations with trustees, exercise of security interests, strategy consulting for preferential collection, etc.
Providing opinion on interpretation of contract clauses, negotiations on loan transactions, strategy consulting, dispute resolution about contractual breach, etc.
Identifying and sorting out issues, reviewing schemes in collaboration with other professions, reviewing related contracts, providing a written opinion on legal issues, strategy consulting, advice on personnel restructuring, etc.
Employee training, personnel reassignment, dismissal, changes in rules of employment and collective agreements, overtime dispute, mental health, advice on work style reform law, labour trials, litigation, etc.
Dealing with cargo claims, reviewing contractual documents, advice on business schemes to reduce risks, etc.
Response to accidents, reviewing contractual documents, collection of accounts receivable, etc.
In case a transaction develops into a dispute, it will eventually be settled in litigation or arbitration. How can we take preventative measures for such future disputes at consultation phase of daily transactions? Or, how can we prepare to ensure better results in case of litigation or arbitration? Even at transaction stages, we will respond with such viewpoints in mind. It is to be noted that, our firm, to which our Shipping & Logistics Section belong, is originally set up with the desire to be good at litigation.
Maritime and logistics cases are frequently international and require appointments of overseas lawyers. We have connections with international lawyers in the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, China, South Korea, Panama, BVI and others, and will work together as needed.
For maritime and logistics companies, a case may arise where it is necessary to cooperate with other professionals than lawyers, such as tax accountants and certified public accountants. We have connections with such other professionals and will work together as needed. Our lawyers actually have experience forming a team with certified public accountants in a large maritime insolvency case and an international joint venture transaction, for example.
It wouldn’t be enough to handle only the laws specific to maritime and logistics field. We believe that we cannot satisfy clients’ real demand without capability of consultation on a wide range of legal field surrounding maritime and logistics companies. Our firm handles a wide range of legal fields other than shipping and logistics, and so clients can make use of that experience.
We have connections with other law firms having different expertise. For example, in a complex and large maritime insolvency case, it may be better to team up with a lawyer whose first-specialty is insolvency law. Depending on each case, we may offer an option of teaming up with outside lawyers.
Most of our lawyers are relatively young, and so we believe that our footwork goes well. We can provide our legal consultation in clients' office, not in our office. In case of accidents, we believe that lawyers should look at the site of accidents as far as possible. For instance, we have experience in boarding survey of an old ship that was inundated from her breach.
Sapia Tower 8F, 1-7-12,
Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005, Japan
Mimura, Komatsu & Yamagata Law Firm
※Entrance gate to office floors is located at 3rd Floor