Firm Profile > Vedder Price > Chicago, United States

Vedder Price
222 NORTH LASALLE STREET, SUITE 2600
CHICAGO, IL 60601-1003
United States

Industry focus > Transport: aviation and air travel - finance Tier 1

Vedder Price's aviation finance group is among the 'global leaders in aircraft finance', acting in all types of public and private financing transactions, structured lease deals and securitizations, portfolio sales and purchase transactions, and M&A involving significant transport assets. Chicago-based practice head Geoffrey Kass has handled a number of standout deals for clients including BBAM and Castlelake; Jeffrey Veber in New York advised several multinational financial institutions on various secured lending and debt securities transactions; and Adam Beringer (also in Chicago) advised Virgo Investment Group on the establishment of an aviation investment platform. Also recommended in NewYork is Cameron Gee, who has recently been involved in high-value leasing and refinancing deals, acting for commercial air carriers. Dean Gerber and Robert Hankes have left the practice.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Kass

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Vedder Price has significant depth in its practice. They are global leaders in aircraft finance and have broad knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

Aero Capital Solutions

BBAM Aircraft Leasing & Management

Castlelake

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA–CIB)

ITE Management

Macquarie Group

Nord/LB

SKY Leasing

Southwest Airlines Co.

Stonebriar Commercial Finance

Virgo Investment Group/Zephyrus Aviation Capital

Industry focus > Transport: rail and road - finance Tier 1

Vedder Price's Chicago-based transportation team acts for large international financial institutions and lessors in high-value public and private financing deals. The team is led by John Bycraft, a go-to figure for lessors, lenders, and government agencies, among others, in domestic and international leasing deals and debt financing of rail assets. Michael Draz focuses on securitizations, cross-border operating leases, portfolio acquisitions and divestitures. Other names to note are Clay Thomas and Jeffrey Veber, who have experience of sale-leaseback transactions, operating leases, export credit agency-supported financings, and mortgage financings.

Practice head(s):

John Bycraft

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Amtrak

Credit Agricole

Credit Suisse

DVB Bank

Export Development Canada

ITE Management

MUL Railcars

National Steel Car

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 1

Vedder Price advises public and private companies on M&A and private equity transactions, both nationwide and internationally. The practice group has shown its ability to ably act for financial institutions and private investors, including private equity firms, hedge funds and family offices in the financial services and banking, healthcare, construction, gaming, aerospace and investment services industries. Practice co-head Michael Nemeroff is a name to note for hedge fund transactions and private equity deals including leveraged and management buyouts, and Shelby Parnes is a contact for governance issues, including SEC filings, cross-border investigations and crisis management. Also recommended are Venu Talanki and Joseph Kye, who specializes in mid-market transactions and financings, and associate Benjamin Williams, an up-and-comer in the team who has developed experience in the healthcare industry. John McEnroe has retired. Attorneys listed are based in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

Michael Nemeroff; Venu Talanki; Joseph Kye

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Fast, efficient, broad knowledge and strong bench in many different areas’.

‘Business knowledge and commercial pragmatism are key standout features’.

‘Their knowledge of business, profit and loss statement, and tax risks is unparalleled and adds real value to every transaction’.      

‘Their responsiveness and deep understanding of the transactions, including complex financial structures, are head and shoulders above what I have received from law firms with much higher rates’.

‘Joseph Kye is extremely sharp and pays attention to the nuances in drafting complex concepts’. 

‘Joseph Kye is an aggressive negotiator but is always civil’.          

Key clients

Ace Hardware Corporation

L Squared Capital Partners

The Duchossois Group, Inc./Duchossois Group, Inc.

Merit Capital Partners

GrubHub

Glanbia plc

The Edgewater Funds

Valor Equity Partners

ACON Investments

RoundTable Healthcare Partners

CIT Group

Vance Street Capital Partners

LaSalle Capital Partners

Rockwood Equity Partners

Industry focus > Transport: shipping - finance Tier 2

Vedder Price has 'a tremendous amount of knowledge in the maritime industry, coupled with a breadth of expertise' across a variety of transaction types, including syndicated and bilateral lending, export-credit facilities, debt capital markets transactions, and cross-border leasing matters. In addition, the team also lends its hand to cross-border bankruptcies and restructuring matters. The New York-based maritime group is led by Francis Nolan, 'a well known figure in the industry' and 'a safe pair of hands' for the financing of US- and foreign-flagged vessels and off-shore infrastructure, leasing transactions and Jones Act issues. Other key figures include John Bradley, who focuses on the financing of terminal and port projects, and John Imhof Jr., who specializes in vessel finance and other equipment finance. Dean Gerber left the firm in 2019 for an in-house role at ORIX Aviation.

Practice head(s):

Francis Nolan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Vedder Price’s New York group has a tremendous amount of knowledge in the maritime industry coupled with bread of expertise to handle all manner of transactions.’

‘Francis Nolan III, head of team is a well known figure in the industry, a safe pair of hands even in the most complex of transactions’

Key clients

Bank of America Leasing & Capital

Wells Fargo Bank

CIT Group (Including CIT Bank)

General Dynamics Corporation

Triton International

Maher Terminals

Touax Group

Investment funds > Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds Tier 3

Vedder Price prides itself on its client service, and indeed, the firm's client feedback marks it out as a strong choice in this space. The firm has experience in all aspects of the regulation of registered investment companies, advising clients on the organization and registration of new funds, exemptive applications and SEC no-action requests, contractual arrangements, and fund governance. Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly represents investment companies and their boards in broker-dealer and insurance product fund matters, and also provides legal support on myriad regulatory issues and litigation. Washington DC-based Bruce Rosenblum, who jointly heads the practice with Gonzales O'Kelly, focuses on mutual and exchange-traded funds and is active in transactional work. Deborah Bielicke Eades is another name to note for funds transactions; acting alongside Jacob Tiedt, she also advises on shareholder relations and shareholder activism. Named attorneys are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly; Bruce Rosenblum

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Overall the Vedder Price Team is the complete package and gives the independent trustees the confidence of knowing all sides of an issue.  All are accessible and eager to assist with any questions and concerns.’

‘Expertise, responsiveness and quality of communication. The firm is a leader in this area of expertise. A high quality, very professional practice.’

‘The most important attribute of a good trustee counsel is to put the trustees’ interests foremost in advice being rendered.  Vedder does that.  The team is knowledgeable, experienced and deep.  Beyond legal advice, the firm helps out with non-routine matters such as fee capping strategies, investment oversight approaches and board strategy for effective oversight.  These non-legal matters are complex and this is the area where Vedder really stands out.’

‘Excellent in all respect, diligent, timely, experienced and knowledgeable.’

‘Cathy O’Kelly and Jacob Tiedt are the lawyers I deal with in my duties as independent trustee.  Cathy is our main counsel and does an extraordinary job in providing ’40 Act guidance and industry expertise.  Jacob also does an incredible job and is a key advisor in my role as Chairman of the Operations Committee.’

‘Our lead lawyer is Bruce Rosenblum.  The board has known Bruce for years and chosen to retain him even as he has changed law firms over those years.’

Key clients

Principal Funds/ETFs

Nuveen Funds

ICI Mutual Insurance

DWS Funds (Deutsche Bank Affiliate)

Legg Mason Funds

Janus Henderson Funds

Invesco ETFs

Select Sector SPDR® ETFs

Dimensional Fund Advisors

Columbia Funds

William Blair Funds

GraniteShares ETFs

Brighthouse Life Insurance Company

Labor and employment > Labor-management relations Tier 3

The team at Vedder Price is regularly engaged to handle union organizing campaigns, unfair labor practice charges as well as other NLRB proceedings. It is noted for its expertise in representing managements in collective bargaining negotiations. The firm has a particularly strong offering in Chicago, where the line-up includes the experienced Kenneth SparksEugene Boyle, Mark Stolzenburg and Patrick SpanglerCandice Zee is a key practitioner in Los Angeles. The team is led by Amy Bess in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Amy Bess

Key clients

A&E Networks

Astellas Pharma US

BMO Financial Group

Burberry Limited

Euromarket Design d/b/a Crate & Barrel

Follett Corporation

Herrick Corporation

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company

LSC Communications

Zentis North America

California Pizza Kitchen

Vulcan Materials

Reyes Holdings

Real estate > Land use/zoning Tier 3

Vedder Price is a destination for clients seeking counsel on land use and development entitlements in Chicago. The practice advises corporates, lenders and equity investors, and non-profits such as charities and religious organizations on complex zoning rights agreements, master plans, and city ordinance issues. In addition, the team has experience of liquor control issues and matters relating to historic preservation law. Practice head Danielle Meltzer Cassel is the key point of contact. Cassel stands out for her extensive experience in land use and zoning issues arising from suburban and urban transactional real estate; other areas of focus include public incentive and business licensing matters.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Meltzer Cassel

Key clients

Abbell Credit Corporation

Antheus Capital

Berghoff Restaurant

BRE IL Office Owner

CED Food

Crate & Barrel

Farpoint Development

Federal Realty Investment Trust

Fifth Third Bank (formerly MB Financial Bank, NA)

General Growth Properties (now Brookfield Properties)

Greenway Development

La Casa Norte

Miniat Companies

RR Donnelley & Sons Company

Smart Hotels

State Farm Insurance Company

Suncast Corporation

Target Corporation

VPC Pizza Properties Corp.

Wood Creek Courts Environmental Preservation Association

Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 4

Key names at Vedder Price’s Chicago-based executive compensation practice include practice head Christopher Collins and Kelly Starr, who provide support on severance agreements, change-in-control programs, and equity-compensation or deferred compensation arrangements. The client list spans public companies, management teams and individual executives in the healthcare, manufacturing, consumer electronics and financial services sectors. Daniel Lange is noted for representing ESOP-held companies, while administrative support on 401(k) plans and health or welfare programs is routinely provided by Thomas Hancuch.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Collins

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team at Vedder Price is thoughtful and well reasoned in their analysis of issues and practical in terms of guidance and recommendations.

Thomas Hancuch is simply put a great attorney.  He has the subject matter expertise, is accessible, responsive, and considerate. He truly feels like part of the team in the way he provides counsel and keeps the end goals of his client in mind at all times.

Key clients

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

Follett Corporation

ArcelorMittal USA LLC

Coaching Right Now

AAR Corporation

Thompson Pipe Group

Byline Bancorp

Huron Consulting Group

Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 4

Vedder Price's Chicago-based employee benefits and executive compensation team recently advised on a suite of lower- to mid-cap M&A transactions in the manufacturing, aviation and healthcare sectors, as well as larger-scale mergers in the financial services sector. Practice head Christopher Collins, Thomas Desmond and Kelly Starr regularly represent public companies, management teams, compensation committees and individual executives in deferred compensation, equity-based compensation and severance package negotiations. Daniel Lange is noted for his expertise in representing buyers, sellers and management teams in transactions involving ESOP-owned companies.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Collins

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Byline Bancorp, Inc.

Follett Corporation

ArcelorMittal USA LLC

Central Steel & Wire Company

Essendant, Inc.

AAR Corporation

Huron Consulting Group

Coaching Right Now

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

Thompson Pipe Group

Labor and employment > Immigration Tier 4

Vedder Price handles a variety of immigration work including family-based and labour visas, and naturalization processes for clients. The team is led by Sara DeBlaze in Chicago. Supported by associates across the firm, DeBlaze advises on global immigration policy and strategy, and has extensive experience of I-9 compliance and E-Verify requirements.

Practice head(s):

Sara DeBlaze

Labor and employment > Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense Tier 4

The team at Vedder Price handles employment disputes for the managements of companies from a variety of industries, such as financial services, retail and technology. Led by Amy Bess in Washington DC, the group defends clients in disputes concerning restrictive covenants, ADA public accommodation issues, torts, wage-and-hour, discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, among others. Like Bess, practitioners such as Nicholas Anaclerio and Thomas Wilde in Chicago and Thomas Petrides in Los Angeles impress with a broad practice. The team is also noted for its able bench of more junior practitioners, which includes Sadina Montani in Washington DC, and Elizabeth Hall and Patrick Spangler in Chicago. Joseph Mulherin joined McDermott Will & Emery LLP in January 2019 and Heather Sager left for Perkins Coie LLP in September 2019.

Practice head(s):

Amy Bess

Key clients

A&E Networks

Astellas US LLC

BMO Financial Group

Burberry Limited

Euromarket Design

Follett Corporation

Herrick Corporation

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company

LSC Communications

Vulcan Materials

Zentis North America

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 5

Vedder Price has 'great experience and skill with all manner of SEC enforcement defense and other securities litigation matters', according to one client who also praises the lawyers as 'highly competent, practical and easy to work with'. The firm regularly defends publicly traded companies, officers and directors, board committees and auditors in federal and state court securities actions. Among its clients are numerous commercial banks, investment banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual funds, private equity funds, hedge funds and real estate investment trusts. Randall Lending and Thomas Cimino lead the 11-partner practice from Chicago, where former SEC senior attorney Junaid Zubairi also plays a key role. The firm also has enforcement and litigation capability in its Los Angeles and New York offices.

Practice head(s):

Randall Lending; Thomas Cimino

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

I think the Vedder team has great experience and skill with all manner of SEC enforcement defense and other securities litigation matters. They are particularly strong with matters involving asset managers.

The firm is highly competent, practical and easy to work with as co-counsel. The lawyers have very good touch with clients.

Key clients

Power Solutions International, Inc.

Mark Wogsland/Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc.

Kaizen Advisory LLC

Knowledge Leaders Capital LLC

Arjuna Ariathurai

Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund (IMET)

Phil Scroggin/Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Elevation, LLC

With 300 lawyers and growing, we serve sophisticated clients of all sizes and in virtually all industries from our offices in Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Singapore.

The firm offers a unique mix of finance, corporate, labor and employment, and litigation skills, including market-leading practices in global transportation finance, middle-market finance/M&A, executive compensation, employment class actions and more. Vedder Price has enduring relationships with marquee organizations, and many of the firm’s clients have been with the firm since its founding in 1952.

The firm earned three Top-Tier Firm rankings by Legal 500 United States in 2019; two in Transportation (Aviation and Air Travel – Finance; Rail and Road – Finance) for the ninth year in a row and M&A/Corporate and Commercial – M&A – Middle Market for the sixth year in a row, as well as two Second-Tier rankings for Transport: Shipping – Finance and Real Estate – Land Use Zoning. Eight attorneys were recommended as Leading Lawyers, 58 recommended in Legal 500, three noted as Next Generation Lawyers and one noted as a “Rising Star.”

Ten practice areas and 21 attorneys achieved recognition in Chambers USA in 2019, including a nationwide Band 1 firm ranking for Transportation: Aviation Finance, the guide’s highest honor for the ninth year in a row.

You can expect practical, responsive, results-oriented, cost-effective service, delivered by a firm with a world-class reputation in key practice areas:

  • Personalized service.
  • Distinctive credentials, enduring relationships.
  • Competitive rates, with a particular focus on efficiency.
  • Strong professional relations.
  • Sound leadership and long-term stability.
Department Name Email Telephone
President & CEO Michael A. Nemeroff mnemeroff@vedderprice.com (312) 609-7858
Operating Shareholder Douglas M. Hambleton dhambleton@vedderprice.com (312) 609-7684
Vice Chair, Executive Committee Jeffrey T. Veber jveber@vedderprice.com (212) 407-7728
Chair, Labor and Employment Practice Area Amy L. Bess abess@vedderprice.com (202) 312-3361
Chair, Corporate Practice Area Jennifer Durham King jking@vedderprice.com (312) 609-7835
Chair, Litigation Practice Area Randall M. Lending rlending@vedderprice.com (312) 609-7564
Chief Marketing Officer Katherine Miletich kmiletich@vedderprice.com (312) 609-5043
Photo Name Position Profile
 Nicholas Anaclerio  photo Nicholas Anaclerio Shareholder
 Adam R. Beringer  photo Adam R. Beringer Shareholder
 Eugene A. Boyle  photo Eugene A. Boyle Shareholder
 John T. Bycraft  photo John T. Bycraft Shareholder
 Danielle Meltzer Cassel  photo Danielle Meltzer Cassel Shareholder
 Thomas P. Cimino, Jr.  photo Thomas P. Cimino, Jr. Shareholder
 Christopher T. Collins  photo Christopher T. Collins Shareholder
 Sara B. DeBlaze  photo Sara B. DeBlaze Shareholder
 Thomas P. Desmond  photo Thomas P. Desmond Shareholder
 Michael E. Draz  photo Michael E. Draz Shareholder
 Deborah Bielicke Eades  photo Deborah Bielicke Eades Shareholder
 Elizabeth N. Hall  photo Elizabeth N. Hall Shareholder
 Thomas G. Hancuch  photo Thomas G. Hancuch Shareholder
 Geoffrey R. Kass  photo Geoffrey R. Kass Shareholder
 Joseph H. Kye  photo Joseph H. Kye Shareholder
 Daniel B. Lange  photo Daniel B. Lange Shareholder
 Randall M. Lending  photo Randall M. Lending Shareholder
 Michael A. Nemeroff  photo Michael A. Nemeroff President and CEOShareholder
 Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly  photo Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly Shareholder
 Shelby E. Parnes  photo Shelby E. Parnes Shareholder
 Patrick W. Spangler  photo Patrick W. Spangler Shareholder
 Kenneth F. Sparks  photo Kenneth F. Sparks Shareholder
 Kelly A. Starr  photo Kelly A. Starr Shareholder
 Mark L. Stolzenburg  photo Mark L. Stolzenburg Shareholder
 Venu V. Talanki  photo Venu V. Talanki Shareholder
 Jacob C. Tiedt  photo Jacob C. Tiedt Shareholder
 Thomas M. Wilde  photo Thomas M. Wilde Shareholder
 Benjamin O. Williams  photo Benjamin O. Williams Shareholder
 Junaid A. Zubairi  photo Junaid A. Zubairi Shareholder