Vedder Price > Los Angeles, United States > Firm Profile

Vedder Price
1925 Century Park East Suite 1900
Los Angeles
California 90067
United States

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

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.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

An extremely commercial and strategically-thinking aviation team. Highly skilled in difficult situations with airline bankruptcies – the work done for us on an airline bankruptcy was absolutely outstanding, and the outcome was way beyond what we could ever have imagined.

We trust them to deliver. This team has a unique and wide-ranging client base that gives them a broad perspective on the market and market terms.

They provided us with updates when we needed them and delivered exactly as we expected (in actual fact even better than expected).

Their work is unparalleled.

We have complete trust in the integrity and capabilities of Cameron Gee.

Cameron Gee’s work has been outstanding. He went above and beyond what we expected of him on many occasions. Hs is always available, extremely strategic in his approach, and very commercially minded.

Adam Beringer is very knowledgeable, and is great to work with on structuring and strategizing.

Associate Justine Chilvers is excellent. She stands out for her ability to drive deals and offer an excellent service.

Key clients

Air Canada

Aero Capital Solutions

BBAM Aircraft Management

Castlelake

Export Development Canada

Export-Import Bank of the United States

ITE Management

MUFG Bank

SKY Leasing

Southwest Airlines Co

Work highlights

  • Advised Castlelake Aviation Lending on a series of structured lending transactions.
  • Advised Citibank and Credit Suisse on the $553.6m offering of British Airways Pass Through Certificates (Series 2021-1 in two classes).
  • Advised SKY Leasing on the issuance of $663m of secured notes by SLAM 2021-1 Limited and SLAM 2021-1 LLC, which were secured by a portfolio of 16 aircraft (with SKY Leasing as the servicer).

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

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):

Testimonials

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.

Industry focus > Transport: shipping - finance Tier 2

Vedder Price represents both lenders and borrowers in maritime and offshore finance transactions. The team also fields specialists in workouts and restructurings, as well as ship registration and mortgage recordation laws in the US, the Marshall Islands, Liberia and Vanuatu. In recent initiatives, the firm launched an environmental, social and corporate governance task force within its global transportation finance team, which focuses on developing green loans and green bonds. In New York, John Bradley is an expert in cross-border marine finance structures, while John Imhof Jr regularly advises on the financing of transportation and offshore assets. Chicago-based Geoffrey Kass chairs the global transportation finance team, while associate John Geager also assists with maritime and international finance. Former partner Francis Nolan III recently retired from the firm.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Bank of America Leasing & Capital

CIT Group

Global Container Terminals

Maher Terminals

Stonebriar Commercial Finance

Triton Container International

Work highlights

  • Advised a major US-based bank on matters of Marshall Islands and US general maritime law, which concerned its role as administrative agent, collateral agent, security trustee and lender for a senior secured revolving credit facility.

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 2

Vedder Price operates across a broad variety of corporate transactions, namely M&A, spin-offs, divestitures, going-private deals, leveraged buyouts, asset purchases, tenders and exchange offers. Practce head Michael Nemeroff is highly skilled in respect of corporate governance and executive compensation arrangements, while Shelby Parnes provides the group with investment activity, privatee placement, joint venture and minority investment knowhow. Benjamin O. Williams is an integral member of the group, delivering distinguished proficiency in the healthcare and maritime sectors.

Practice head(s):

Michael Nemeroff

Other key lawyers:

Shelby Parnes; Benjamin O. Williams; Joseph Kye; David Swendsen

Testimonials

‘Vedder understands its clients needs and seamlessly acts as if it is or is part of an internal legal team. They realize their role in middle-market M&A and what is needed to get the deal done in light of business requirements or risks involved.’

‘Joe Kye is excellent to work with. He thoroughly understands what is needed in middle-market M&A and doesn’t try to upsell services or work that frankly just isn’t needed in middle-market deals. Joe brings great business sense and feels like an extension of the internal team.’

Key clients

Ace Hardware Corporation

L Squared Capital Partners

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

Merit Capital Partners

Arcline Investment Management

Zebra Technologies

Glanbia plc

The Edgewater Funds

Enova International

Valor Equity Partners

Wynnchurch Capital

CIT Group

Vance Street Capital Partners

LaSalle Capital Partners

Rockwood Equity Partners

Brunswick

Cognitive Capital Partners

Growve

Jump Capital

Tusk Environmental

Investment fund formation and management > Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds Tier 3

The ‘tight knit group of professionals‘ at Vedder Price leverages its ‘exceptional industry knowledge‘ and ‘superb command of the 1940 Act‘ to advise hundreds of separate open- and closed-end registered funds, varying in size from assets of less than $5bn over $100bn. The group regularly assists clients with the organization and registration of new funds, exemptive applications and no-action requests, governance matters, regulatory and compliance issues, SEC examinations, and contracts – including those relating to advisory, custody, brokerage and transfer agency services. In Chicago, Cathy Gonzales O'Kelly focuses her practice on the representation of registered investment companies and their boards of directors, while over in Washington DC, Bruce Rosenblum is predominantly instructed by mutual fund and EFT independent directors. The team also has a presence in the New York office, where Jeremy Senderowicz is a key name to note.  

Practice head(s):

Cathy Gonzales O’Kelly; Bruce Rosenblum

Other key lawyers:

Renee Hardt; Jacob Tiedt; Deborah Bielicke Eades; John Marten; Jeremy Senderowicz

Testimonials

‘Exceptional industry knowledge. Regular updates on trends and developing issues that are timely and efficient.’

‘Deep understanding of the mutual fund industry and our firm’s specific issues and challenges.’

‘We believe the team to be well balanced, informed, and detailed in their knowledge of each of their particular areas of expertise. They communicate often and thoroughly about their various client issues and challenges, which enables the entire group to benefit from their individual experiences. We believe that it provides an added level of review and thought regarding any legal, and/or business concerns that we as independent directors face.’

‘Our experience in working with John Marten and Jacob Tiedt has been very positive. They are knowledgeable in both their areas of expertise as well as other aspects of legal issues that we are challenged with. They are well rounded in their backgrounds and their views, and approach issues with an open mind focused on finding the best result given the various perspectives of all concerned parties. They are both accessible and have the foresight and relationships to include other members of Vedder’s Investment Services team on issues that may require more focused expertise. Both John and Jacob have invested their time in understanding our organization.’

‘The team and practice is right sized; that is, there is enough depth of knowledge and experience while still having a tight knit group of professionals. Vedder Price continues to add quality shareholders to improve their coverage of the industry.’

‘Superb command of the 1940 Act and concise, actionable advise.’

‘A high quality practice. Interaction with partners and associates is efficient and of the highest quality.’

‘Renee Hardt is a standout practitioner of Vedder Price. She has a broad and in-depth knowledge of industry, legal and business issues. She has always been quick to respond and has managed the communication issues resulting from Covid extremely well. Billing has always been transparent and appropriate for work performed. She has always been timely with communication and work product.’

Key clients

Janus Henderson Funds

Great-West Funds

ICI Mutual Insurance Company

Independent Board Members of Principal Funds/ETFs/Interval Fund

Independent Trustees of Columbia Funds

Independent Trustees of Invesco ETFs

Nuveen Funds

Janus Henderson Funds

Select Sector SPDR® ETFs

Columbia Funds

Dimensional Fund Advisors

William Blair Funds

Independent Trustees of SPDR Funds

Perpetual Limited

Independent Trustees of Franklin Templeton Funds

Work highlights

  • Advising the funds and independent directors of Great-West Funds, including a recent successful representation of the independent directors in connection with litigation under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act alleging breach of fiduciary duty by the investment adviser.
  • Advising the independent trustees since the inception of the Invesco ETFs in 2004, including assisting with change-of-control and other transactions, new products and approval of advisory contracts, as well as two acquisitions of external suites of funds.
  • Advising the independent trustees of mutual funds and ETFs in the Franklin Templeton Investments complex on numerous matters, including the outsourcing of fund accounting and administration to a third party and the acquisition of Legg Mason.

Labor and employment > Labor-management relations Tier 3

Vedder Price advises clients on sensitive employment matters and policy development, routinely working with clients to help them proactively and effectively address workplace claims or risks and identify areas for improvement. The team is led by Elizabeth N. Hall, while Kenneth F. Sparks has worked in all aspects of healthcare claims. Patrick W. Spangler and shareholder Eugene A. Boyle primarily work with manufacturing companies. All lawyers mentioned are based in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth N. Hall

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth F. Sparks; Patrick W. Spangler; Eugene A. Boyle

Testimonials

‘Vedder is a top notch firm. We regard them highly and use them for a number of employment and labor matters. Their responsiveness and service are excellent. Their legal counsel has been excellent… concise, to the point, clear, decisive.’

Key clients

BMO Financial Group

Follett Corporation

Option Care Enterprises

Signode Industrial Group LLC

University of Chicago Medical Center

Euromarket Designs dba Crate & Barrel

Cresco Labs, Inc.

Able Services

Ferrara Candy Company

Satellite Healthcare

California Pizza Kitchen

Adventist Health

Balyasny Asset Management, L.P.

OpenText, Inc.

Sonendo

Madden Corporation

University of Southern California

Reyes Holdings

Canvas Worldwide

AAR Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising an acute care hospital that is part of a larger system negotiating its first registered nursing contract with a national nursing union.
  • Advised a national cannabis provider on labor strategy (including state labor peace agreement legislation), labor strategy, union organizing, COVID-related labor relations matters and first time union contracts in New York, New England and Illinois and new contracts in California.
  • Representing a large super-regional healthcare system and its research hospital on a broad range of labor matters.

Labor and employment > Workplace and employment counseling Tier 3

Vedder Price deals with complex and challenging labor and employment issues, and provides counsel on sensitive and high-risk employment decisions. Its team has developed a comprehensive workplace harassment training program for its clients, who have increasingly requested this service since the expansion of media reporting on sexual harassment claims. The team is led by Chicago-based Elizabeth Hall, whose work involves providing advice to employers and executives relating to remote working and pandemic-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Hall

Other key lawyers:

Amy Bess; Nicholas Anaclerio

Testimonials

We have received a level of service, counsel, strategy and direction that has caused us to prevail in every matter that they have supported us in. They are personable, fact-based compassionate professionals.’

They have a willingness to help and the ability to empathize with a situation. They listen and and collaborate with other lawyers as needed.

We have had the opportunity to work with several members of the Vedder Price workplace and employment counseling practice. The team has made a major impact on our organization by helping us in the development and delivery of training.’

Vedder Price is responsive, efficient and works hard to understand their client’s interests, pain points, and culture. I feel like they are a true partner and deeply invested in our success.’

Amy Bess is the most thoughtful, intelligent, and helpful attorney ever. Amy responds to every question – no matter how big or small – with attention, thoughtfulness and insight. Amy is always ready to brainstorm solutions and ensure she us supporting our success.’

Key clients

BMO Financial Group

Follett Corporation

Option Care Enterprises

Signode Industrial Group LLC

University of Chicago Medical Center

Euromarket Designs dba Crate & Barrel

Cresco Labs, Inc.

Able Services

Ferrara Candy Company

Satellite Healthcare

California Pizza Kitchen

Adventist Health

Balyasny Asset Management, L.P.

OpenText, Inc.

Sonendo

Madden Corporation

University of Southern California

Reyes Holdings

Canvas Worldwide

AAR Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised a national cannabis provider on labor strategy, union organizing and Covid-related labor relations matters.
  • Advised a client on Covid-19-related collective bargaining and economic negotiations, including work rules, implementation of OSHA and state regulations.
  • Provides ongoing labor and employment advice and counseling for Ferrara and its US operations.

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

Based in Chicago, the ‘top notch’ team at Vedder Price handles an array of benefits matters pertaining to 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, as well as equity-based and deferred compensation plans. Christopher Collins leads the practice and focuses on retirement and welfare plan design matters, while Thomas Hancuch handles ERISA fiduciary compliance issues and Kelly Starr is ‘a star’ when it comes to advising on all aspects of employee benefits plans and executive compensation mandates. Associate Jason Faust is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Collins

Testimonials

‘The lawyers are top notch. Very knowledgeable, but also very practical. Always available and very responsive.’

‘Tom Hancuch and his team are responsive and intelligent. They know our business and we trust them to do the important things well.’

‘Knowledgeable, practical, and very good with clients.’

‘Kelly Starr is a star. Great attorney, hard working and the staff loves working with her. She’s our go to person. So is Tom Hancuch.’

‘Tom Hancuch is calm, bright and always available. He is one of our most trusted advisors.’

Key clients

Coaching Right Now

ArcelorMittal Sales and Administration LLC

Burberry Limited

Follett Corporation

Byline Bancorp, Inc.

Sun-Times Media

Huron Consulting Group, Inc.

Ferrara Candy Company

Oil-Dri Corporation of America

Cleveland-Cliffs Steel LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Cleveland-Cliffs Steel LLC on day-to-day employee benefits and executive compensation matters.
  • Advising Follett Corporation on employee benefit and executive compensation, issues, from 401(k) plans, medical plans and other welfare plans to incentive plans, executive deferred compensation plans and executive employment and separation agreements.

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

Vedder Price represents employers in single plaintiff and class actions before all relevant courts. The team is led by Chicago-based Elizabeth Hall, with experience in allegations of employment discrimination and retaliatory discharge. Supporting the team in Chicago is Nicholas Anaclerio, an experienced trial and appellate attorney with expertise in wage and hour, discrimination and class actions. In Los Angeles, Thomas Petrides and Candice Zee are noted, covering Occupational Safety and Health Administration matters, and traditional labor issues such as unfair labor practice charges, respectively. Cara Ottenweller is also noted as a key contact in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Hall

Testimonials

‘Logical, no-nonsense, and realistic advice and feedback is given to the client.’

‘Cara Ottenweller was our lead attorney. Her care and attention meant that we, as a company, could relax in the knowledge that our case was in excellent hands.’ 

Key clients

University of Chicago Medical Center

Euromarket Designs (Crate & Barrel)

Cresco Labs, Inc.

Able Services

Ferrara Candy Company

Satellite Healthcare

California Pizza Kitchen

Adventist Health

Balyasny Asset Management, L.P.

OpenText, Inc.

Sonendo

Madden Corporation

University of Southern California

Reyes Holdings

Canvas Worldwide

AAR Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Adventist Health Hanford in connection with discrimination claims brought by a former employee regarding age, race, and an alleged disability.
  • Successfully defended Roman Catholic diocese in retaliatory discharge suit, shielding religious institutions from secular judicial review of employment actions involving ministerial employees.
  • Represented International Vitamin Corporation in a wage and hour class action complaint seeking penalties under the PAGA.

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 5

The Chicago office of Vedder Price is particularly strong in SEC and DOJ investigations and enforcement actions, offering ‘outstanding securities litigators with vast experience‘. The group frequently defends publicly traded companies, officers and directors, board committees and auditors in federal and state court securities actions. Among its clients are commercial banks, investment banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual funds, private equity funds, hedge funds and real estate investment trusts. Thomas Cimino, who successfully represented a former director of accounting for publicly traded Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc. following a two-and-a-half week trial, and Randall M. Lending are the lead partners. Regulatory enforcement specialist Junaid A. Zubairi is ‘a very practical and effective advocate‘.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Cimino; Randall M. Lending

Other key lawyers:

Junaid A. Zubairi

Testimonials

‘Outstanding securities litigators with vast experience in Chicago cases and beyond.’

‘Junaid Zubairi is my main contact. I’ve known him for years. Very practical and effective advocate for his clients and works effectively with other counsel. I have referred him to important clients and he has consistently performed extremely well.’

‘Unique understanding of the investment advisory space to assist in resolving issues experienced by advisors; practice group collaborates with others within the firm to provide a comprehensive approach to issues.’

‘Very knowledgeable in the advisory space.’

‘Vedder Price has the staff to dig thru millions of documents in order to find and build a defense that a jury will believe in. The trail experience and competanvy is second to none.’

‘The team has deep knowledge in both DOJ and SEC issues. Partners were employed by both of these agencies in the past giving them insight into their practices and tactics. The lawyers at Vedder Price are always honest and straightforward related to issues and expectations.’

Key clients

Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund (IMET)

Independent Directors of Great-West Funds

Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc

Power Solutions International, Inc.

Tyler Sadek

Arjuna Ariathurai

Palmer Square Capital Management, LLC

Lawrence C. Blaney

Zachary Horwitz and 1inMM Capital, LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing IMET in connection with a $175 million+ fraud, including asset recovery and defending against claims made by participants in IMET who invested in the defrauded fund.
  • Represented a former director of accounting for a publicly traded logistics company who had been charged with securities fraud in obtaining a complete defense verdict following a two-and-a-half week criminal jury trial.
  • Advised a publicly traded engine and power solutions supplier in a joint SEC and DOJ investigation stemming from a restatement of financial statements.

Real estate > Land use/zoning

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

The government investigations and white-collar defense group at Vedder Price is based out of Chicago and caters to corporate entities and individual clients. It has broad experience in regulatory investigations, internal investigations and litigation.
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Vedder Price is an international business-focused law firm serving sophisticated clients of all sizes and industries from offices in Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, London 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.

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
DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
President & CEO Michael A. Nemeroffmnemeroff@vedderprice.com+1 (312) 609 7858
Operating Shareholder Dana S. Armagnodarmagno@vedderprice.com+1 (312) 609 7543
Vice Chair, Executive Committee Jeffrey T. Veberjveber@vedderprice.com+1 (212) 407 7728
Chair, Labor and Employment Practice Area Elizabeth N. Hallehall@vedderprice.com+1 (312) 609 7795
Chair, Corporate Practice Area Jennifer Durham Kingjking@vedderprice.com+1 (312) 609 7835
Chair, Litigation Practice Area Thomas P. Cimino, Jr.tcimino@vedderprice.com+1 (312) 609 7784
Chair, Finance & Transactions Practice Area Venu V. Talankivtalanki@vedderprice.com+1 (312) 609 7749
Chair, Global Transportation Finance Practice Area Geoffrey R. Kassgkass@vedderprce.com+1 (312) 609 7553
Chief Marketing Officer Katherine Miletichkmiletich@vedderprice.com+1 (312) 609 5043