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Kaoru Umino

Ka-o-ru U-mi-noShe/herPartner

Kaoru Umino represents corporations, investment banks, commercial banks and export credit agencies in a wide range of cross-border investments, projects and financing transactions, with particular emphasis on corporate finance, structured finance and debt restructuring.

With over 30 years’ experience in New York and Japan, Kaoru advises both Japanese and international clients on many of their strategic, multi-jurisdictional matters that require an understanding and coordination of different legal and regulatory regimes.

Kaoru’s experience includes representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and leading Japanese commercial banks as lenders in major export-import, investment and project financings in the United States, Latin America and Asia. She has also advised Japanese corporations in connection with strategic overseas investments particularly in the energy and natural resources sector, including renewable energy and nuclear power. In Japan, Kaoru has represented international investors, developers and contractors in connection with their investments in solar and other renewable energy projects.

In addition to her transactional practice, as a former general counsel of a major international investment bank responsible for its legal and compliance functions in Japan, Kaoru advises clients on financial regulatory and compliance matters, including anti-money laundering and anti-corruption/bribery.

Professional QualificationsAttorney-at-law admitted with the Supreme Court of New York


  • Representing JGC Holdings Corporation in connection with its investment in NuScale Power LLC, a developer of SMR technology, and their collaboration on SMR plant construction projects.
  • Representing Hitachi Rail STS S.p.A and Hitachi, Ltd. in the financing of the production of train carriages for, and the operation and management of, the Light Rail Transit commuters transportation link in Ontario, Canada.
  • Representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation on a USD 500 million loan facility for Saudi Electricity Company to finance projects in the field of electricity transmission and distribution that contribute toward mitigating environmental impact, with a view to integrating renewable energy to the grid networks and introducing smart meters in Saudi Arabia.
  • Representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation on its equity investment in an Irish company to implement hydrogen-based energy storage systems in Ireland.
  • Representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation in connection with a ZAR 668 million loan facility to Bridgestone South Africa Holding to upgrade equipment in the automotive tire manufacturing plant in Bridgestone’s South Africa subsidiary.
  • Representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export Investment Insurance and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation in connection with three photovoltaic power generation projects in Jordan.
  • Representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation and a syndicate of Japanese banks in connection with a USD 500 million syndicated credit facility for Minera Escondida Limitada, a Chilean mining company jointly owned by BHP Billiton Ltd., the Rio Tinto Corporation plc and a consortia of Japanese companies led by a global Japanese trading company.
  • Representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance in connection with a proposed limited recourse financing of a uranium enrichment plant in Ohio in coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program.
  • Representing Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation in connection with the restructuring of a USD 700 million loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in relation to the Sierra Gorda copper mine project in Chile.
  • Representing NRG Energy, Inc. as project sponsor of a carbon capture and sequestration project in Texas, with limited recourse financing to be provided by Japan Bank for International Cooperation and a syndicate of commercial banks (with insurance by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance).
  • Representing Super Energy Group Co. Ltd. in connection with investments in numerous solar projects in Japan, including a 42 MW solar project in Fukushima Prefecture, 17 MW solar project in Mie Prefecture, a 35 MW solar project in Hiroshima Prefecture, a 30 MW solar project in Miyazaki Prefecture, a 30 MW solar project in Miyagi Prefecture, a 44 MW solar project in Shizuoka Prefecture and a 16 MW solar project in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
  • Representing a U.S. private equity fund in connection with the engineering, procurement and construction contracts relating to a 19MW solar project in Ibaraki Prefecture, a 30.8 MW solar project in Gifu Prefecture and a 82MW solar project in Fukushima prefecture.
  • Representing Gunkul Engineering Public Company Limited in connection with investments in numerous renewable energy projects in Japan, including a 105 MW solar project in Nagano Prefecture, a 90 MW solar project in Kumamoto Prefecture, a 31.75 MW solar project in Miyagi Prefecture, a 33.66 MW project in Chiba Prefecture, a 75 MW solar project in Yamaguchi Prefecture, a 43.5 MW solar project in Shimane Prefecture, a 66.7 MW solar project in Tochigi Prefecture and a 50 MW biomass project in Aichi Prefecture.
  • Advising the Japanese shareholders of a Venezuelan company in relation to anti-money laundering and anti-bribery issue relating to the sale of their equity interests.
  • English
  • Japanese
  • Columbia University, J.D. 1987; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Bowdoin College, B.A. in Philosophy summa cum laude, 1984; Phi Beta Kappa


  • UNICEF Japan Seminar on International Development: Partnership between Private and Public Sectors to Promote Sustainable Development Goals, 6 March 2019
  • Joint Seminar with Japan Institute for Overseas Investment: Africa - Navigating a Continent: An Update on the Opportunities, the Challenges and the Changes, 26 September 2018
  • Roundtable on Addressing Human Trafficking - Emerging Business and Human Rights Legal Risk Landscape, 12 September 2018

Prior Experience

  • 2008 - 2017, Partner, Tokyo Office of US-based international law firm
  • 2006 - 2008, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, JPMorgan Securities Japan, Limited

At JPMorgan, Kaoru managed the legal and compliance department of JPMorgan in Japan and was responsible for overseeing corporate governance, compliance and regulatory matters relating to its Japan operations.

  • 1999 - 2006, Partner, Tokyo Office of US-based international law firm

Additional Information

  • Kaoru is a board member of Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network (LLAN) and Second Harvest Japan.
  • Kaoru has also provided pro bono support to numerous non-governmental organizations, including Liberty Shared (formerly Liberty Asia), in connection with a project analyzing the use of anti-money laundering laws and regulations in Japan to address human trafficking.
  • As a member of DLA Piper's Sustainability and ESG Steering Committee, Kaoru has been involved in numerous S-ESG initiatives, including in connection with COP 26 and other climate change-related events.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Registered foreign lawyer in Japan