Practice Expertise


Areas of Practice

  • Insolvency & Financial Law Group

WSG Practice Industries


Joe Sakay is a Shareholder in the Firm’s Seattle, Portland and Denver offices and a member of the Insolvency and Financial Law practice group. He has a lender and banking industry-focused insolvency and bankruptcy litigation practice, representing creditors in both Oregon and Washington. For three decades, Mr. Sakay has provided common-sense advice and no-nonsense representation to financial institution clients. He currently represents lenders and secured creditors on matters ranging from workouts and state court receiverships to active participation in complex bankruptcy cases. Mr. Sakay routinely advises both companies and individuals on emerging issues in cryptocurrency bankruptcies.

Mr. Sakay has successfully represented clients in a full range of litigation settings, including arbitrations, bench, and jury trials. Over his 30-year career, Mr. Sakay has appeared as creditor counsel in over 750 bankruptcies up and down the West Coast and across the U.S. His cross-border insolvency work has spanned the globe associating with co-counsel in countries including Japan, China, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Cayman Islands.

Awards and Honors

  • College Founder’s Award
  • Honors Thesis – The Civil Rights Struggle in Seattle, WA

Professional Involvement

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Oregon State Bar Association
  • Colorado State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Washington

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Colorado

Areas of Practice

  • Insolvency & Financial Law Group

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments
<ul><li>Lead creditor counsel to national bank holding a $42,000,000 claim in closely watched aviation bankruptcy. Assisted client in realization of aircraft collateral from five different countries.</li><li>Counsel to secured creditors in hospital bankruptcies in Eastern Washington.</li><li>Obtained dismissal of a high stakes Chapter 11 bankruptcy while preserving both the client’s secured claim and equity interest.</li><li>Successfully represented creditor and cryptocurrency mining farm owner in one of the first cryptocurrency bankruptcies. Routinely consult on cryptocurrency bankruptcy issues.</li><li>Advised construction lenders in receiverships in both Washington and Oregon involving large mixed-use and hotel properties.</li><li>Represented various regional and national lenders in single-asset real estate bankruptcies.</li><li>Provide ongoing advice to commercial landlords in large Chapter 11 bankruptcies.</li><li>Handled adversary proceedings in bankruptcies as well as expedited insolvency hearings in state court. For instance, the bankruptcy court appointed Joe Special Litigation Counsel to the Debtor-in-Possession – In re Partners Mortgage Corporation. He recovered several million dollars for creditors.</li><li>Assisted banks with internal investigations, including advising special board committees, crisis management, leading internal investigations and advising clients on corporate governance and regulatory/compliance issues.</li><li>Represented the plaintiff in a multi-week jury trial involving allegations of harassment and invasion of privacy. Joe and his team prevailed at trial and successfully collected the client’s judgment.</li><li>Led the trial defense of a secured creditor in a title insurance and lien priority action involving a prominent mixed-use development where priority claims exceeded $4,000,000.</li></ul>


  • Temporary Changes to Bankruptcy Code in New COVID-19 Legislation
  • Cryptocurrency in Bankruptcy: When an Irresistible Force Meets an Unmovable Object
  • Where Did All the Chapter Elevens Go? Washington’s Little-Known Statute That Could Topple a Monolith
  • The SBRA During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • COVID-19: Options for Distressed Small Businesses in Washington, Oregon, and California
  • President Trump Signs Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into Law
  • Small Business Bankruptcy and Receiverships
  • What Commercial Lenders Need to Know About the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019
  • New Small Business Reorganization Act to Provide Powerful Tools for Small Business Debtors
  • Three Recent Significant Changes to the Bankruptcy Code Affecting Veterans, Reservists, and Family Farmers

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