Thomas Berger
represents financial institutions, private companies, and individuals in a wide range of litigation involving debt collection and real property. He also represents private companies with liquor licensing, business formation, corporate governance, and government relations. His work includes routinely advising financial institutions and creditors on state collection strategies including foreclosures, execution sales, attachment, and discovery. Thomas also has substantial litigation experience representing creditors in the recovery of money and personal property fraudulently transferred by debtors. Prior to joining Watanabe Ing, he practiced civil litigation with a Honolulu law firm, where he worked on bid protest work, including some of the largest concession contracts in the state, and represented clients inevictions in every county in the State of Hawai‘i.


Jonathan Lai
is the Managing Partner of Watanabe Ing LLP and also heads the Creditors’ Rights Group, a practice group within the firm devoted to providing “one-stop shop” legal services for financial institutions.  Jonathan has broad experience representing lenders in a wide variety of scenarios, including consumer and commercial loan documentation, advising and consulting on financial regulatory compliance issues, complex commercial loan structuring, troubled debt workouts and restructuring, consumer and commercial collections, foreclosures,  the protection of creditors’ rights in bankruptcy and lender liability claims.  Moreover, recognizing that depth is just as, if not more important than breadth of expertise, the Creditors’ Rights Group has assembled a diverse team of specialists across this spectrum of disciplines to ensure that the needs of every client are given the same degree of attention and focus.  From smaller niche credit unions to Hawaii’s largest credit unions and banks, to large, nationally-based lenders, Watanabe Ing takes the long view, with an emphasis on building lasting partnerships with its clients.

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Tom Yee
is a partner with Watanabe Ing LLP and a member of the Creditors’ Rights Group, specializing in representing creditors in a wide variety of bankruptcy-related situations, including for example, protecting security rights in real and personal property, defending against debtor claims for alleged automatic stay violations, and negotiating preference payment avoidance claims in national Chapter 11 bankruptcies.  He spent over ten years in private practice in commercial litigation, has served as in-house counsel for one of Hawaii’s largest banks and, over the better part of the last decade, has focused on representing financial institutions.  In addition to his bankruptcy practice, Tom also advises his clients on a variety of financial regulatory compliance issues.  He recognizes that as is often the case with bankruptcy, the increasingly complex and pervasive requirements of financial industry regulations can be overwhelmingly burdensome, particularly to smaller institutions that may lack the resources to devote to such matters exclusively.  As such, Tom is a believer in client empowerment through education.