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Masafumi Kodama

Partner / Attorney at Law

Osaka Office

Major Practice Areas
International Practice / International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration and Mediation) / Mergers & Acquisitions / Restructuring and Insolvency / North America / Southeast Asia / Middle East
Other Practice Areas
International Contracts / Sales Agent and Distributor Agreements / Joint Ventures
Other Qualifications
Attorney at Law Admitted in New York, U.S.A. / CEDR Accredited Mediator
Japanese / English


The main focus of Masafumi Kodama’s practice is international dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He also counsels clients on, and represents clients in, negotiations for the prevention or soft-landing of disputes by handling matters such as the preparation and negotiation of international agreements, debt collection, bankruptcy, and withdrawal of overseas offices. As international disputes are often inclined to become complicated, prolonged, and costly, Mr. Kodama strives to offer the most appropriate resolution for each case by listening intensely to clients’ needs in terms of cost, time, consequences, reputation, and other factors. As a council of the Japan Association of Arbitrators and Executive Director of the Japan International Dispute Resolution Center, Mr. Kodama also promotes international arbitration in and outside Japan by frequently delivering lectures to attorneys and businesspersons, writing books and articles, and teaching and guiding law students in moot arbitration competitions.

Education & Professional Career

Arbitration (as arbitrator/arbitration agent)

Major Dispute Types Handled

  • Infringement of representations and warranties in M&A transactions
  • Termination of JV, continuous sales and distributorship agreement
  • Violation of franchise agreement and agreement for the development and operation of online games

Major Issues in Dispute Handled in Arbitration Proceedings

  • Binding effect of arbitration agreement for non-signatories
  • Res Judicata of arbitral awards
  • Grounds for rescission of arbitral awards
  • Expedited procedures and emergency arbitration

Bankruptcy and Business Rehabilitation (as attorney for petitioner, attorney for creditor, attorney for sponsor, and trustee (deputy trustee))

  • Airlines and truck transportation business
  • Construction business and real estate business
  • Household appliance retailer
  • Resort operation business and golf course operation business
  • Manufacturing business
2007 – PresentKitahama Partners, Representative Partner
2001 – PresentKitahama Partners, Partner
1999Admitted to practice in the State of New York
1998 – 1999Foreign Associate with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (formerly Winthrop Stimson, Putnam & Roberts), at its New York Office and Singapore Office
1998Cornell Law School (LL.M.)
1993Graduated from the Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan; Admitted to practice in Japan; Joined Kitahama Partners
1990The University of Tokyo (LL.B.)

Other Activities

2019.12- Present Executive Director, Japan International Dispute Resolution Center
2018 – PresentDeputy Secretary General, Japan International Dispute Resolution Center
2016 – 2018Committee Coordinator, Inter-Pacific Bar Association
2015 – PresentOutside Director (Audit and Supervisory Committee Member), The Nihon Seima Co., LTD.
2012 – PresentCouncil, The Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law
2011 – PresentCouncil, Japan Association of Arbitrators
2010 – PresentPresent Independent Committee Member, Sansei Co., Ltd. (Published Recommendation in December 2020)
2008 – 2015Outside Auditor, The Nihon Seima Co., LTD.
2008 – 2011Outside Auditor, ELK Corporation
2004 – 2008Professor, Kobe Gakuin University Law School (execution / preservation act and bankruptcy law)
2001 – 2003Adjunct Lecturer, Konan University, Faculty of Law