Next Generation Partners

Transport: rail and road - finance in United States

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP's team is 'acutely focused on the financing and leasing of railroad rolling stock‘. The practice represents major US banks in their acquisitions and dispositions of rail assets, as well as the leasing and financing of those assets. It has extensive experience in financing structures for rolling stock, locomotives, chassis, containers, automobiles, tractors, and other equipment across North America. In Atlanta, Carolyn Alford leads both the financial services and leveraged finance and restructuring teams, while Jeff Dutson  is a restructuring and bankruptcy specialist. In the Charlotte office, the ‘exemplaryChristopher Buchanan is experienced in a wide variety of transportation-related financing structures that include cash flow and asset-based loan facilities. Buchanan’s recent track record includes advising clients on the unwinding and disposing of rolling stock in leveraged leases, and structuring finance transactions for fleets of vehicles and other hard assets. Also in Charlotte, associate Kathryn Wilson routinely represents parties in railcar leases, as well as acquisition and disposition deals. In 2021, former transportation finance group head Jason Huff departed the firm.

Practice head(s):

Carolyn Alford


King and Spalding has a team that is acutely focused on the financing and leasing of railroad rolling stock.

Having attorneys that understand the rail business is key for any client.

The understanding of lessee and lessor/borrower and lender issues positions K&S to meet any challenge for its clients.

Strong market knowledge – relative to other firms we have worked with, they excel at providing advice that is consistent with their mandate.

The individuals in the rail practice are customer-centric.  They are evenly-keeled individuals, but resolute negotiators that advocate with eloquence and ferocity on behalf of their clients.

They are always learning from their experiences, turning then round immediately and applying that knowledge to the benefit of their clients. Christopher Buchanan is exemplary in this context.

Christopher Buchanan provides prompt, effective and thought-out counsel that can be shared with the client.

Key clients

Truist Bank

Wells Fargo Rail Corporation

KKR Credit Advisors

Work highlights

  • Represented a Canadian-based investment manager in its investment in a company that provides passenger and freight train operators across Europe.
  • Represented Truist Bank (as successor to SunTrust Equipment Finance and Leasing Corp) in matters related to the leasing of mobile solar generators to International Speedway Corp.
  • Represented Truist Bank (Truist) in the Dean Foods bankruptcy case, where Truist was the lessor of milk trucks and related equipment.

Vedder Price

Vedder Price‘s team has an enviable track record in representing lessors, lenders, manufacturers, government agencies, equity investors and operators. It routinely assists with the domestic and international leasing and debt financing of rail assets. The firm is able to leverage dedicated transportation asset finance and securitization lawyers in Chicago, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as from its London and Singapore offices. With extensive experience in railcar financings, structured finance specialist Geoffrey R. Kass chairs the global transportation finance team. Also  integral to the group are John T. Bycraft, who represents borrowers, issuers, servicers and lenders on structured finance transactions involving rolling stock portfolios; and Michael E. Draz, who is ‘unmatched in his pragmatism, collaboration, sharpness, efficiency, and lack of ego‘. In New York, Jeffrey T. Veber is a transportation finance expert, while Los Angeles-based Clay C. Thomas is a rail industry specialist. At associate level, Joel R. Thielen‘s practice includes rail finance deals, while Jillian S. Greenwald regularly assists with railcar financings. All attorneys mentioned are based in the firm’s Chicago office unless otherwise mentioned.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Kass


Really strong depth and focus on the rail and transportation industry.

Michael Draz is unmatched in his pragmatism, collaboration, sharpness, efficiency, and lack of ego – amazing market knowledge too.

Key clients

Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co

Crédit Agricole

Credit Suisse

Export Development Canada

Greenbrier Leasing Company

GBX Leasing

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba)

ITE Management

MUL Railcars

National Steel Car

Riverside Rail

Stonebriar Commercial Financing

Trinity Industries Leasing Company

Trinity Industries

Work highlights

  • Represented Trinity Industries in a series of large-value financings, including green financings.
  • Represented ITE Management in the acquisition of the railcar leasing business of The Andersons (and related acquisition financing).
  • Represented GBX Leasing in the formation of a new railcar leasing platform and bankruptcy-remote warehouse loan facility.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown‘s New York-based practice has a strong track record in the rail and automotive sectors. George Miller focuses his practice on international and domestic finance and leasing, particularly in relation to the infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors. Barbara Goodstein is a specialist in commercial and structured financing, along with restructuring deals.

Other key lawyers:

George Miller; Barbara Goodstein

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP‘s wide-ranging automotive practice routinely acts for traditional automakers, suppliers, technology developers and financial institutions. The group is increasingly focused on connected cars, autonomous vehicle development, ride-share platforms, and electrical vehicles and other alternative forms of vehicle power. Heading up the firm’s automotive and mobility industry practice, Philip Russell, who works across the firm’s Chicago and New York offices, acts on a variety of automotive-related corporate and structured finance transactions. Also key to the team is Silicon Valley and San Francisco-based commercial, IP and technology transactions specialist Rahul Kapoor. In New York, Robert Dickey‘s experience includes advising automotive and mobility sector companies, while the practice of global structured transactions practice head Reed Auerbach includes auto loan and lease receivables.

Practice head(s):

Philip Russell

Key clients

Toyota Motor Credit Corporation

10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp

Insurance Acquisition Corp

Work highlights

  • Represented Toyota, as issuer’s counsel, in an SEC-registered issuance of $1.56bn of notes, which were secured by a pool of fixed rate auto loan receivables.
  • Representing 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp, a publicly traded SPAC, in its entry into definitive agreements to effect a business combination with REE Automotive.
  • Represented Insurance Acquisition Corp, a publicly traded SPAC, in its business combination with Shift Technologies for approximately $440m in common stock.