Geoffrey R. Kass > Vedder Price > Chicago, United States > Lawyer Profile

Vedder Price
CHICAGO, IL 60601-1003
United States

Work Department

Global Transportation Finance




Mr. Kass counsels and represents clients in corporate and securities matters with particular emphasis on structured financings. He has represented manufacturers, borrowers, lessees, lessors, equity participants, credit enhancers and lenders in various financing structures, including portfolio and company acquisitions and divestitures, secured loans, U.S. and cross-border leveraged leases, operating leases, municipal and cross-border structured financings, public and private securities offerings and debt restructurings.

Mr. Kass has extensive experience in the financing of commercial and private aircraft, railcar, bus, telecommunications, miscellaneous equipment and various facility (including manufacturing, electricity and gas distribution, and water treatment) financings.

In 2010, Mr. Kass advised Macquarie Group Ltd. in a $2 billion aircraft acquisition from American International Group. In 2015, he advised Macquarie in the acquisition of a $4 billion aircraft portfolio from AWAS and Terra Firma, which, with the associated $3 billion of loan financing, was named 2015 “Overall Deal of the Year” by Airfinance Journal. He also acted as lead counsel for Castlelake LP in the private securitization of a portfolio of 79 aircraft leased to 26 different lessees located in 17 countries, recognized as the 2014 “Aviation Overall Deal of the Year” by Airline Economics.


  • Member, International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT)


  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1989
  • Williams College, B.A., 1986, cum laude

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Industry focus > Transport: aviation and air travel - finance

(Hall of Fame)

Geoffrey R. KassVedder Price

Vedder Price‘s global transportation finance practice covers the entire spectrum of aircraft finance transactions. Representative expertise for the ‘extremely commercial and strategically-thinking aviation team‘ ranges from large-value M&A to aircraft-related asset-backed securities work, portfolio debt financings, and structured multi-aircraft financings in the capital markets. The department also has a robust leaseback transactions practice. Heading up the team, corporate and securities law specialist Geoffrey R. Kass is highly rated for structured financings in the aviation transportation industry. Adam R. Beringer and Michael E. Draz are also widely respected aircraft finance experts, while Mark J. Ditto is regularly sought out for complex commercial aircraft and high-value equipment deals. In New York, Cameron A. Gee  routinely handles financing structures established across multiple jurisdictions; and Jeffrey T. Veber has great experience in transportation financings. On the West Coast, Raviv Surpin is an aircraft finance transactions expert in the Los Angeles office. At associate level, Justine L. Chilvers in New York ‘stands out for her ability to drive deals‘, while James Kilner‘s broad banking and finance practice includes aviation sales and leasebacks. All named lawyers are based  in the firm’s Chicago office unless otherwise mentioned.

United States > Industry focus > Transport: rail and road - finance

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.