Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp has filed a formal demand with the Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association to take disciplinary measures against a formal legal representatives it says unfairly billed the company for an “enormous sum” and has refused to return overpaid remunerations.
In an announcement on its corporate website, Universal revealed it was taking action against Yuki Arai, who served as an auditor of the company for one year from 26 June 2014 to 26 June 2015.
The company is accusing Arai of violating multiple legal provisions in the Attorney Act and the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations’ Basic Rules on the Duties of Practicing Attorneys.
“Moreover, as a result of a company-conducted internal investigation prompted by Mr Arai billing the company for an enormous sum based on an illegal and invalid contract … hence the reason why the company filed the formal demand for disciplinary measures in question,” it said.
According to Universal, Arai changed the main executing entity in his contract with the company to a corporation in the British Virgin Islands of which he served as a representative, but which was not registered to provide legal services, for the sole purpose of obtaining compensation.
Universal alleges that in March 2018, Arai subsequently misinterpreted an “economic benefit” stipulation in his contract and billed the company a total of ¥11.2 billion (US$100 million) for his services. The bill, in the name of Director Yuki Arai, “was accompanied with a threatening notice” which Universal says is in violation of Article 24 of the Basic Rules which stipulates, “An attorney shall present appropriate and reasonable fees, considering the economic benefit, difficulty of the case, time and labor and other circumstances.”
Universal is also seeking to recoup almost ¥9 million (US$80,000) in overpaid wages accidentally paid to Arai following termination of his contract, but said he has so far failed to respond to demands to return the money.