J.R. Smith is a restructuring and corporate finance attorney. J.R.’s extensive transactional and litigation background guides clients through the complete life-cycle of deals. His practice focuses on representation of corporate debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, bondholders, lessors, equity interests and trustees in connection with US and international/cross-border restructurings, workouts, Chapter 11 bankruptcies (pre-packs, reorganizations and liquidations), Chapter 15 cross-border bankruptcies, SIPA proceedings and crisis management.
Throughout his legal career, J.R. has designed and implemented innovative transactions and financial structures, each carefully tailored to help clients achieve global business objectives with a clear understanding of relevant economic, social and political issues.
J.R.’s experience includes providing insolvency-related advice in structuring complex transactions for asset-based lending, asset securitization, conduits, derivatives and other financial hedges, safe harbored financial contracts, project finance (traditional and renewable energy; large infrastructure), REITs, REMICs, real estate finance, and other capital markets transactions.
He has represented financial institutions, private equity, hedge funds, project sponsors and developers, utilities, multilaterals, export credit agencies (ECAs) and foreign governments on a broad range of projects in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and the United States.
J.R. is the former managing partner of the firm’s Tokyo office, having opened the office in 2011. Leveraging a rich history of living and working in Japan and throughout Asia for over 20 years, J.R. has a keen insight on transactional and litigation matters affecting interests in Asia.
- Represents clients across multiple industries including, airline, automotive, biotechnology, financial services, leisure, manufacturing, retail and telecommunications.
- Served as debtors’ counsel in corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
- Represents secured and unsecured creditors, bondholders, trustees and other parties of interest in US national and international insolvencies, restructurings, workouts and structured sales.
- Represented numerous purchasers and sellers of assets in Chapter 11 bankruptcies through “Section 363” sales.
- Represent lenders and borrowers in divestiture and acquisition of multi-billion dollar performing and non-performing asset portfolios, including residential and commercial mortgages, servicing rights, tax liens, NPLs, trade receivables and other fixed and floating income generating assets.
- Represent leading Japanese financial and manufacturing companies on a full range of corporate and insolvency-related issues in jurisdictions outside of Japan.
- Represented various project parties in the development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects (traditional and renewable) throughout the globe, including in the United States, Mexico, Bolivia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Ukraine, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand and Japan, including the development and negotiation of novel asset transfer structures and multilateral credit enhancement.
- Counseled the governments of Nigeria, Uganda, Romania, Ukraine Georgia and Pakistan on the privatization of utility assets.
- JD, University of Richmond School of Law, 1997
- BA, Journalism and East Asian Studies, Washington and Lee University, cum laude, 1991
- US Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia
- Chair, The Japan-Virginia Society
- Immediate Past Chair and Appointed Member, Virginia Asian Advisory Board
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
- Member, International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL)
- Appointed Member, World Bank Group’s Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes Task Force
- Secretary, Board of Directors, The Japan-Virginia Society
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