Richard Kohn : Courses and Seminars
Cross-Border Transactions: Lending
The worlds of corporate finance and secured transactions law reform interact to make cross-border lending a dynamic and rapidly evolving area of law. Due to the rapid globalization of U.S. business, U.S. banks are increasingly being asked to finance the international business activities of U.S. middle-market companies, often in countries that have laws incompatible with U.S. secured transactions law. At the same time, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the World Bank and other international organizations are actively encouraging developing countries, where access to capital is scarce, to modernize their secured transactions laws to promote the availability of low-cost secured credit for small and medium-sized enterprises as a way of creating jobs, raising standards of living and contributing to a country's overall economic growth and political stability. This seminar explores both worlds. Students will examine the broad array of legal and practical issues encountered by U.S. lenders as they make loans to foreign companies, obtain security interests in foreign collateral and finance foreign corporate acquisitions. They will also study recent initiatives in secured transactions law reform, and consider how they are exerting a profound influence on cross-border corporate finance in developed as well as developing countries. There are no prerequisites. Grades will be based on a team project involving interaction with lawyers in other countries, a number of short papers and a take-home exam. Richard Kohn, a founder of the Chicago law firm Goldberg Kohn Ltd., specializes in representing banks in cross-border lending transactions and has been active for over a decade as a member of the Expert Group in the development of various UNCITRAL instruments. Because cross-border lending touches upon many areas of law, the seminar provides a useful introduction to international commercial transactions in general.