Firm Profile > Vedder Price > Chicago, United States

Vedder Price
CHICAGO, IL 60601-1003
United States

M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 1

Vedder Price acts for public and private companies, family-held businesses, financial institutions, private equity firms and hedge funds in M&A, tender and exchange offers, going-private deals, spin-offs and divestitures, LBOs and asset-purchase transactions; and the firm fields attorneys in regulated industries such as financial institutions and banking, healthcare, construction, gaming, aerospace and investment services. Significant clients are L Squared Capital Partners, GrubHub and Valor Equity Partners. Michael Nemeroff chairs the finance and transactions group and is noted for his advice to private equity firms and hedge funds on leveraged and management buyouts; Nemeroff advised Teaching Strategies and L Squared Capital Partners on the sale of an equity interest in UTJ Holdco (the parent company of Teaching Strategies) to Summit Partners. Joseph Kye and Venu Talanki are the vice-finance and transactions group chairs; Kye acted for Samuel, Son & Co, an integr​ated network of metal manufacturing, processing and distribution divisions, in the acquisition of CAID Industries. The team also acted for Vance Street Capital, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that invests in middle-market businesses in the aerospace, defense, industrial and medical sectors, in the acquisition of Jet Parts. In other matters, it advised MB Financial Bank on its large-deal merger with Fifth Third Bank; assisted Advanced Analytical Technologies, which develops and manufactures nucleic acid and genetic analysis systems, with its merger with Agilent Technologies; and advised Chamberlain Group, which makes garage and commercial door openers and entry systems, on its acquisition of Systems, which manufactures loading dock equipment. Adam LewisGuy Snyder, William Bettman, John ObialaJohn McEnroe and recently promoted Shelby Parnes are also key advisers, Scott Adamson and Jason Reese are notable Los Angeles contacts, and Benjamin Williams is an experienced associate. Attorneys listed above are based in Chicago, unless otherwise stated.

Transport: aviation and air travel - finance Tier 1

Vedder Price fields 'a vast team', with expertise across a full range of aviation finance transactions, including M&A deals, aircraft ABS and debt financing, structured multi-aircraft financing, and sale and leaseback transactions. Global transportation finance head Geoffrey Kass and Los Angeles-based Raviv Surpin advised BBAM on an acquisition by its managed entities of 132 Airbus aircraft, and options to purchase an additional 50 A320/321 NEO family aircraft, from AirAsia Berhad and its subsidiary, Asia Aviation Capital. New York-based Cameron Gee advised Macquarie AirFinance on a $3bn term loan facility, secured by 145 aircraft, and also assisted with its related $1bn unsecured revolving facility. Kass and Adam Beringer advised Castlelake Aircraft Structured Trust 2018-1 (CLAS 2018-1), as issuer, and Castlelake, as servicer, on its fifth structured ABS financing.  In New York, Jeffrey Veber, who is praised for his ‘longstanding experience’ and his ability to ‘foresee the client’s needs’, and Michael Draz acted for ITE Management as the anchor equity investor in Air Lease Corporation’s Thunderbolt II asset backed securitization, which is secured by a portfolio of 18 jet aircraft on lease to 16 lessees based in 15 countries. Christopher Setteducati in New York, Dean Gerber, Los Angeles-based associate Clay Thomas, Mark Ditto, Robert Hankes and John Bycraft are also key figures. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless otherwise indicated. Mehtap Cevher Conti joined Arnold & Porter in 2018.

Transport: rail and road - finance Tier 1

Vedder Price’s asset finance and securitization practice acts for a range of lessors, lenders, manufacturers, government agencies and equity investors in complex rail finance and leasing mandates. Cameron Gee in New York advised National Steel Car on various railcar leasing and financing transactions. Other key figures include John Bycraft, who is experienced in rolling stock transactions, and Michael Draz, who is involved in a number key rail sector transactions. Also recommended are senior associate Clay Thomas in Los Angeles and associate Joel Thielen. Geoffrey Kass heads the firm's transportation finance group. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Land use/zoning Tier 2

The team at Vedder Price is headed by the respected Danielle Meltzer Cassel and operates out of Chicago, where it advises lenders, equity investors, developers, and nonprofits on land use and development entitlements and public incentive programs. The practice group has built a number of longstanding relationships with prominent clients such Brookfield Properties (formerly General Growth Properties), which it advises on land use and zoning matters in relation to the open-air Oakbrook shopping centre. Other highlights included acting for Victory Park Capital in a complex series of redevelopment projects and air rights transfers involving a prime downtown Chicago site, and assisting Suncast with the reestablishment of private rail access for a large industrial manufacturing expansion.

Transport: shipping - finance Tier 2

Leveraging ‘deep industry experience’ and ‘a practical approach’, Vedder Price handles a variety of finance transactions involving maritime and offshore assets, often working closely with colleagues across the firm’s London and Singapore offices. Contacts in the New York include Francis Nolan and John Bradley, who is ‘readily accessible to address any needs in an efficient and timely manner’. Additionally, John Imhof joined the New York office in 2018 from Seward & Kissel LLP. Geoffrey Kass in Chicago heads the transportation finance team.

Labor-management relations Tier 3

Vedder Price has a comprehensive labor law practice, which advises on collective bargaining agreements, strikes, union organizing and disputes, among other areas. The team is also well versed when it comes to required representation before the NLRB in unfair labor practice and representation (election) matters. Amy Bess, who is based in Washington DC, leads the  practice. A team in Chicago is regularly engaged by AAR Corp for agency representation and litigation matters. Names to note from this office are Patrick SpanglerKenneth Sparks and Mark StolzenburgHeather Sager is a key contact in San Francisco. The Los Angeles office was strengthened by the arrival of Candice Zee from Seyfarth Shaw LLP in August 2018, while Eugene Boyle joined in September 2018 from Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP.

Mutual/registered/ exchange-traded funds Tier 3

Primarily based in Chicago, Vedder Price's team provides 'expert legal advice' to funds and independent trustees across a range of funds work. Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly and Deborah Bielicke Eades continue to advise longstanding client Nuveen Funds on closed-end and open-end fund reorganizations and asset sales. John Marten and Renee Hardt assisted the independent trustees of Invesco ETFs with acquiring an external suite of funds, while Joseph Mannon and Washington-DC based Bruce Rosenblum provide ongoing assistance to Select Sector SPDR Trust regarding changes to a number of ETFs following fund index rebalances. O'Kelly and Rosenblum share leadership of the practice. David Sturms retired in 2018.

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

Notable mandates for the ‘technically competent, easy to work with and very responsive’ team at Vedder Price include ongoing executive compensation advice to Hewlett Packard and 401(k) and defined benefit advice to ArcelorMittal. In a unique matter, practice co-head Kelly Starr is advising newly acquired client Coaching Right Now on executive compensation, employee benefits, independent contractor and contingent workforce issues for its decentralized workforce spanning 20 countries. Patrick Spangler serves as primary outside counsel to aviation services company AAR, and Thomas Hancuch advises educational supplies company Follett on benefits matters including medical and welfare, incentive and deferred compensation plans. Thomas Desmond co-heads the practice, and Daniel Lange and Christopher Collins are also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Chicago.

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

Vedder Price’s Chicago-based team has been involved in several major transactions and has also seen some personnel additions in 2018. Thomas Desmond handled the employee benefit plan issues arising from Byline Bancorp’s $170m acquisition of First Evanston Bancorp; Daniel McKay, Jennifer Durham King and James Morrissey were also involved in the transaction. Further, Christopher Collins and associate Anna Zielinski assisted with MB Financial’s $4.3bn merger with Fifth Third Bancorp. The firm also has an active ESOP practice, where key contacts include Daniel Lange, who recently joined the team from Dentons. Kelly Starr is another contact in the Chicago office, and Scott Adamson is the name to note in the Los Angeles office. John Jacobson Jr. and Stewart Reifler retired in 2018.

Immigration Tier 4

Vedder Price provides strategic business immigration advice to a wide range of domestic and international companies as well as investors. The team handles temporary and permanent visa applications at US embassies and consulates on almost every continent, but also conducts I-9 audits and E-Verify procedures to promote best practices and ensure compliance with immigration rules and policies. Another strength of the firm is the ability to draw upon capabilities in the corporate, employment and tax departments when needed. Chicago-based Sara DeBlaze now leads the practice by herself, after Gabrielle Buckley left in June 2018 to become director of The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership.

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

Led by Amy Bess in Washington DC, the team at Vedder Price is regularly engaged by clients from the retail, financial services, manufacturing and distribution industry sectors. Heather Sager is 'a go-to lawyer in complex issues'; she defended a Californian retailer in a class action involving allegations of missed meal and rest breaks and unpaid overtime, among others. Brendan Dolan was successful in obtaining a voluntary dismissal for Oracle relating to a claim in a class action brought by the Sanford Heisler law firm alleging Oracle's sales compensation plan violates California state law. Sager and Dolan are based in San Francisco, while Nicholas AnaclerioJoseph MulherinThomas Wilde and Patrick Spangler are key contacts in Chicago. Thomas Petrides in Los Angeles is also noted. Washington DC's Sadina Montani was promoted to partner. New arrivals include Nicole Smith from Venable LLPCandice Zee from Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Eugene Boyle from Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP; the new recruits are based in Washington DC, Los Angeles and Chicago respectively.

Securities litigation - defense Tier 5

Vedder Price defends publicly traded companies, officers and directors, board committees and auditors in federal and state court securities actions and regulatory enforcement proceedings. Randall Lending, who is chair of the litigation practice, and  Thomas Cimino, who chairs the financial services litigation practice, lead on securities matters from Chicago. Junaid Zubairi, who was formerly a senior attorney in the SEC's enforcement division, is the key partner for regulatory enforcement proceedings. Zubairi and Cimino are representing Power Solutions International in parallel SEC and DOJ investigations stemming from a restatement of the company's financial statements.

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 (312) 609-7858
Operating Shareholder Douglas M. Hambleton (312) 609-7684
Vice Chair, Executive Committee Jeffrey T. Veber (212) 407-7728
Chair, Labor and Employment Practice Area Amy L. Bess (202) 312-3361
Chair, Corporate Practice Area Jennifer Durham King (312) 609-7835
Chair, Litigation Practice Area Randall M. Lending (312) 609-7564
Chief Marketing Officer Katherine Miletich (312) 609-5043
Photo Name Position Profile
 Nicholas Anaclerio  photo Nicholas Anaclerio
 Adam R. Beringer  photo Adam R. Beringer
 William J. Bettman  photo William J. Bettman
 Eugene A. Boyle  photo Eugene A. Boyle
 John T. Bycraft  photo John T. Bycraft
 Danielle Meltzer Cassel  photo Danielle Meltzer Cassel
 Thomas P. Cimino, Jr.  photo Thomas P. Cimino, Jr.
 Christopher T. Collins  photo Christopher T. Collins
 Sara B. DeBlaze  photo Sara B. DeBlaze
 Thomas P. Desmond  photo Thomas P. Desmond
 Mark J. Ditto  photo Mark J. Ditto
 Michael E. Draz  photo Michael E. Draz
 Deborah Bielicke Eades  photo Deborah Bielicke Eades
 Thomas G. Hancuch  photo Thomas G. Hancuch
 Renee M. Hardt  photo Renee M. Hardt
 Geoffrey R. Kass  photo Geoffrey R. Kass
 Jennifer Durham King  photo Jennifer Durham King
 Joseph H. Kye  photo Joseph H. Kye
 Daniel B. Lange  photo Daniel B. Lange
 Randall M. Lending  photo Randall M. Lending
 Adam S. Lewis  photo Adam S. Lewis
 Joseph M. Mannon  photo Joseph M. Mannon
 John S. Marten  photo John S. Marten
 Daniel C. McKay, II  photo Daniel C. McKay, II
 James W. Morrissey  photo James W. Morrissey
 Michael A. Nemeroff  photo Michael A. Nemeroff
 John R. Obiala  photo John R. Obiala
 Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly  photo Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly
 Shelby E. Parnes  photo Shelby E. Parnes
 Guy E. Snyder  photo Guy E. Snyder
 Patrick W. Spangler  photo Patrick W. Spangler
 Kenneth F. Sparks  photo Kenneth F. Sparks
 Kelly A. Starr  photo Kelly A. Starr
 Mark L. Stolzenburg  photo Mark L. Stolzenburg
 Venu V. Talanki  photo Venu V. Talanki
 Joel R. Thielen  photo Joel R. Thielen
 Thomas M. Wilde  photo Thomas M. Wilde
 Benjamin O. Williams  photo Benjamin O. Williams
 Junaid A. Zubairi  photo Junaid A. Zubairi