I’ve contacted four lawyers in Japan, and narrowed the selection to one.
I’m in negotiations with Mugi Sekido, a respected Japanese bankruptcy lawyer at MHM Japan. It’s one of the big four Japanese law firms. You can see the email exchange I’ve had with him at the google group [email protected], in an email entitled Negotiations with Sekido.
His rate is 47,000yen/hour, and he has agreed to cap it at $30,000. He is also asking for an uncapped success fee of 2.5% of any increased pay out over 50,058Yen/BTC.
I have asked him to consider a 2% success fee, and requested there must also be a clear link between increased payout and his intervention.
I have also recommended that we start by providing a retainer of up to ~$10,000 for research work to develop a plan/strategy. Once we have obtained that, we as creditors can review it before proceeding to make up the rest of the $30k retainer, which will include the cost of taking action and litigation.
I’m expecting to hear back from him this week. As soon as we have agreed terms I will start fundraising.
Fundraising will happen through this website. It will be by credit/debit card using a stripe account I have set up expressly for this task.
The first target is to raise the $10k (plus transaction fees). Initially I am asking for a flat fee of $100 from each creditor who wants to be involved. This is a small enough that I hope everyone can afford it, and with just 100 creditors we can reach the target. It represents great value for dedicated legal advice.
If further funds are needed, then we will look at a fairer way of asking for those funds. This might be a pro-rata based on the size of claims, or might again be a tiered fee fee.
Why not do it all pro-rata? Because someone has to verify all claims sizes, and this takes time and effort to do. If you want to volunteer that time, let me know. Also there is an issue of creditors sharing their information which makes this problematic. Even if we do calculate a price pro-rata, then someone decides to opt out, we have to recalculate everyone’s share. It’s hours of work, so for now, it’s a flat fee. I appreciate it’s less fair on very small creditors, but that’s why it’s only $100. If you can think of a better way, then do it.
What’s to stop creditors sitting on their pockets and benefiting from others who contribute? Firstly, the advice and information provided by the lawyer will only be shared with creditors who contribute financially. Secondly action taken by the lawyer will be done in the name of creditors who contribute. While it’s possible that that action will benefit all creditors, it’s also possible that the lawyer will find a way to enhance the claims he is representing. We don’t know yet, but if that second scenario is the case, then we will instruct “our” lawyer to act on “our” behalf, and we are not obliged to declare it to other creditors. Other large creditors have already done this and currently stand to benefit from the advantage their legal representation has given them.
However that’s not the intention. The hope is that many creditors will be involved in this initiative, and it will benefit them all. It is open to all creditors to join at this stage.