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Leighton O’Brien

Janice Yew | October 21st, 2015

mdp helped Leighton O’Brien negotiate, structure, draft and implement its joint venture with Showa Kiki Kogio, and provides continued support in maintaining the relationship.


Leighton O’Brien (LOB) is a global leader in specialist tank and fuel management services to the petroleum industry. They specialise in tank and line testing, tank cleaning and fuel restoration, and wetstock management.

Their expertise enables customers to achieve the tightest storage systems, the lowest fuel losses, the most accurate wetstock management, the highest compliance, the cleanest fuel and fewer meter calibration checks, overlaid on the best reporting platform available. Leighton O’Brien has operated for over two decades and grown to 43 service distributors globally operating in 19 countries.

The Challenge

LOB sought to expand into Japan, and deliver innovative technology to assist Japanese petroleum companies reduce risk and drive greater cost savings and operational efficiencies.

The Solution

Over the last 5 years, mdp’s director Michael McDonald flew to Japan on many occasions to meet with various executives and government officials to negotiate a joint venture agreement with Showa Kiki Kogio (SKK), a leading Japanese supplier and manufacturer of equipment for service stations. Four years ago, a heads of agreement was signed with SKK.

mdp assisted LOB with drafting various agreements, including the joint venture agreement and customer facing agreements for SKK’s use in Japan. This process involved considering Australian and Japanese law, ensuring the deal was structured in the most tax-effective manner, balancing commercial and legal practices in both countries, while being mindful of language and cultural nuances and sensitivities specific to Japan.

The team at mdp worked closely with the executive and engineers at LOB and SKK to navigate the regulatory environment for such technology in Japan. After a lengthy technical process, SKK obtained accreditation from the Japan Association for Safety of Hazardous Materials to use the Statistical Inventory Reconciliation Analysis (SIRA) solution developed by LOB as a continuous leak detection method for UST and underground piping in Japan.

The Results

The years of negotiation and support culminated in the signing of a final joint venture agreement on 11th May 2015. Since then, SKK has obtained a contract with Idemitsu, the second largest petroleum refiner in Japan, to roll out the SIRA system throughout the Idemitsu network.

Janice Yew

Janice Yew

Lawyer, BCom JD at mdp
Janice joined mdp in 2013 as a law clerk while completing her Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne. In 2015, she came onboard full-time as a law graduate, and started working in the firm’s property, commercial and intellectual property practices.
Janice Yew

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