Mr Joseph Topolski > Katten > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

NEW YORK, NY 10022-2585
United States

Work Department

Structured Finance and Securitization


Joseph Topolski represents issuers, underwriters, placement agents and investors in asset-backed securitizations and other structured finance transactions. He has extensive experience with retail auto loans, retail auto leases and dealer floorplan finance receivables, as well as with a wide variety of other asset classes, including home equity loans, franchise loans, commercial mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit and equipment leases. In particular, Joe acts as counsel to Ford Motor Credit Company, which routinely issues more than $10 billion of asset-backed securities annually on all of its US securitization and structured finance transactions.

Joe has worked on all major types of structured finance transactions, including public and private domestic and cross-border offerings, term note and variable funding note offerings, existing asset and future flow transactions, on- and off-balance sheet secured warehouse lending facilities, single-seller and multi-seller commercial paper conduits and cash-flow and market-value collateralized debt obligation (CDO), collateralized bond obligation (CBO) and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) transactions. He also frequently counsels clients in derivatives transactions utilizing International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) documentation, including interest rate swaps, caps and floors, total return swaps, currency swaps and credit default swaps.

Joe is heavily involved in regulatory and advocacy matters affecting the structured finance and securitization markets, including those arising under the Dodd-Frank Act, Regulation AB II and Basel III, and is an active participant in industry trade groups such as the Structured Finance Industry Group. He has drafted several regulatory comment letters on behalf of a group of 19 captive and independent vehicle finance companies relating to recent regulatory initiatives. 

Joe’s clients call him a “superb lawyer – creative, smart, hard-working,” according to Chambers USA.


Mr. Topolski is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Securitization Forum.


JD, University of Michigan Law School; BA, University of Michigan

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Finance > Structured finance: securitization

Katten is ‘one of the few firms with the depth of experience necessary to handle complex issuer-side CRE CLOs‘. Leveraging ‘an impressively deep bench‘, the firm is able to ‘provide excellent legal service across a variety of related practice areas‘, and is driven by ‘a keen understanding of its clients’ business needs‘. Jointly headed by Howard Schickler and Washington DC-based Anna-Liza Harris, the team is among the market’s most active issuer-side counsel, and is especially well known in the RMBS, auto and equipment sectors. Harris, alongside Chris DiAngelo and Washington DC-based Seth Messner, are acting for Aspen Capital and its affiliated public REIT in the securitization of re-performing and non-performing mortgage loans. Also in the mortgage loan space, the team advised Marathon Asset Management, as collateral manager, on its first CRE CLO since the 2008 financial crisis. Other key contacts include Joseph Topolski, who advised Westlake Financial Services on multiple issuances of sub-prime auto loan ABS, and Stanford Renas, who acts for clients such as Deutsche Bank Securities in CLO transactions. Joshua Yablonski in the Charlotte office, and Claudine Chen-Young in Washington DC are also recommended. GM Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company and Fannie Mae are among the team’s key clients.