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“Our business partners have learned what we know: you have rare depth and expertise. You find answers to problems where no one else is looking.”

Bennett L. Cohen

P: 847.480.7989

Practice Area
Secured Lending

Bar Admissions
Oregon Bar
Illinois Bar
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

J.D., University of Oregon
B.A., University of Oregon

Federal Tax Liens
Security Interest in Deposit Accounts
Security Interests in Securities Accounts
UCC Financing Statements- Debtor’s Name
UCC Terminations
UCC Rules
Collateral Perfection
Perfection in Fixtures
Priming Liens and Other Landmines

Mr. Cohen has always concentrated his practice in secured lending. Mr. Cohen regularly represents large and medium-sized banks and finance companies in the structuring, documentation and closing of secured lending transactions, including commercial and industrial loans, commercial real estate loans, asset-based loans, loan modifications and restructurings, commercial equipment lease financing transactions and factoring transactions.

Mr. Cohen served for fifteen years as general counsel to the Midwest Association of Secured Lenders, a trade association of over eighty banks and finance companies located in Chicago and outlying areas. Mr. Cohen is a member of the American Bar Association and serves on the ABA Committee on Commercial Financial Services and the ABA Subcommittees on Secured Lending, Loan Documentation and the Uniform Commercial Code. He is also a member of the ABA Joint Task Force on Deposit Account Control Agreements, the ABA Model Intercreditor Task Force, and the ABA Joint Task Force on Filing Operations and Search Logic.

Representative transactions:

  • Combined $26,000,000.00 loan facility made to seven (7) affiliated borrowers involving ten (10) different revolving, term and mortgage loans that were cross-collateralized, cross-defaulted and cross-guaranteed, and included three commercial mortgages and a blanket security interest in all borrowers’ and corporate guarantors’ assets.
  • $12,500,000.00 term loan to a borrower secured by a collateral assignment of a $13,500,000.00 first mortgage loan made by the borrower to an unrelated third party.
  • $10,000,000.00 mortgage facility consisting of six separate loans, which loans were cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted and included five separate affiliated borrowers, and the collateral included eight separate mortgaged properties.
  • $24,500,000.00 revolving line of credit loan cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted with three mortgage loans to three affiliates totaling $7,000,000.00.
  • $10,000,000.00 revolving line of credit loan made to co-borrowers and secured by, among all general business assets, five securities accounts which made up part of the borrowing base formula.
  • Combined $19,000,000.00 facility consisting of revolving lines of credit, term loan and equipment line to borrower and cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted with separate loans to two affiliates.
  • $50,000,000.00 revolving line of credit loan made to equipment leasing company secured by among other assets, tangible and electronic chattel paper financed by lender, with the financed electronic chattel paper maintained in lender’s e-vault.

Richard M. Hoffman

P: 847.480.8925

Practice Area

Bar Admissions
Illinois Bar, 1990
U.S. District Court,
Northern District of Illinois, 1996
Western District of Michigan, 2000
Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, 2002
Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, 2005
Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, 2005
Central District of Illinois, 2007

J.D., University of Minnesota, magna cum laude, 1990
B.S., University of Minnesota, 1987

Mr. Hoffman is an experienced trial lawyer who has litigated in both federal and state courts on behalf of individuals, small and mid-sized businesses and sophisticated multi-national Fortune 100 corporations. He has extensive experience in mediations and arbitrations, jury and bench trials, appeals and settlement negotiations. His practice has included several groundbreaking commercial litigation matters that have involved novel evidentiary and legal issues, such as obtaining the first ever jury verdict of $156 million in an unprecedented action under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act. He has represented clients in cases involving breach of contract, business divorces, common law and statutory torts, data privacy and security, securities and consumer class actions, trade secrets, license disputes, successor liability and defamation. Mr. Hoffman focuses a significant portion of his practice on real estate litigation, including foreclosures, construction disputes, lease disputes, limited partnership disputes, and lien disputes.

Representative Cases:

  • Breach of Contract – Successfully represented land owner seeking indemnification under easement agreement for losses suffered due to flooding.  Obtained seven figure judgment.
  • E-Commerce/Commercial Dispute – Helped Toys “R” Us to protect its brand and regain control of the content of its web site by representing it in a billion dollar dispute with, resulting in termination of the parties’ contract and the recovery of more than $12 million in misappropriated fees. On appeal, Toys “R” Us’ damage claim was reinstated and it was able to obtain another $51 million in settlement.
  • Statutory Torts – Obtained a $156 million judgment for terrorism victims in the first suit brought under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act against U.S. based financial supporters of Hamas. Seventh Circuit’s en banc ruling became the seminal case establishing the standards governing liability under the Act.
  • Partnership Litigation – Obtained a seven-figure trial verdict for a limited partner against the general partner of a series of real estate limited partnerships.
  • Mortgage Foreclosure and Creditors’ Rights- Represents local lenders in a variety of actions to enforce defaulted loans, including mortgage foreclosures, confessions of judgment and actions on personal guaranties.
  • Landlord Tenant – Negotiated a seven-figure settlement on behalf of Urban Retail Properties in a lawsuit brought against a major national retailer that had breached its lease.
  • Consumer Class Action – Protected national retail and restaurant industry clients from potentially multi-billion dollar liability as the lead attorney in cases brought by plaintiffs asserting claims under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.
  • Insurance Class Action – Defending an Illinois based insurance company in two putative class actions challenging company claims practices and policy forms.
  • Trade Secrets – Successfully defended a manufacturer in a trade secrets misappropriation case. Obtained a ruling that the client never used the information in question. Client subsequently negotiated a favorable settlement.
  • Licensing – Defended at trial a manufacturer accused of infringing on patents and trademarks. Case focused on validity and scope of client’s license.
  • Zoning – Prosecuted a claim that village improperly denied client’s application for a special use permit.

Publications and Presentations:

  • Co-author, “Hawala Banking: A potential Tool for Funding Terrorism,” Bank & Lender Liability Litigation Reporter, Vol. 14, Issue 09, September 15, 2008.
  • Speaker, “Emerging Class Action Threat: Credit Card Data Protection Under FACTA,” Class Action Law Monitor and Stafford Publications Teleconference, October 16, 2007 and March 12, 2008.
  • Speaker, “Understanding the Law of Data Protection: How to Comply with Your Legal Obligations,” Navigant Roundtable, October 30, 2007.
  • Co-author, “Retailers Under Siege on Data Security: Today, FACTA Class Actions; Tomorrow…?” Retail Law Strategist, Vol. 7, Issue 10, October 2007.
  • Co-author, “Class Actions Under FACTA: Lots of Activity, But What Do They Actually Accomplish?” WLF Legal Backgrounder, Vol. 22, No. 38, September 21, 2007.
  • Co-author, “Is Dumpster Diving the Real Threat? FACTA Class Actions Consume Judicial Resources But Do Nothing to Make Consumers Safer,” Andrews Litigation Reporter, June 2007.

Christyl L. Marsh

P: 847.480.1677

Practice Areas
Real Estate
Secured Lending

Bar Admissions
Illinois Bar, 1996
U.S. District Court,
Northern District of Illinois, 1996
Wisconsin Bar, 2015

J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1996
B.A., Marquette University, 1992

Ms. Marsh has concentrated her practice in the areas of real estate and real estate lending. Her real estate experience includes representing sellers and purchasers in connection with transactions involving the acquisition, development and sale of commercial, condominium, mixed-use and single-family residential real estate properties throughout the United States, and representing both landlords and tenants in connection with the leasing of a variety of commercial and residential real estate properties.

Ms. Marsh has significant experience representing lenders and borrowers in connection with mortgage loans, secured business loans, construction and development loans and assumptions, modifications and restructuring of existing loans.

Representative transactions:

  • Represented a regional bank in connection with its extension of a mortgage loan facility to a borrower, which facility was secured by a sixty-nine parcel collateral pool of properties located in Illinois and Georgia, and which was cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted with five other loans to affiliated borrowers.
  • Represented a regional bank in connection with the assumption and modification of $9,900,000.00 in existing loans to two borrowers which had merged their assets and operations into a single, new company.
  • Represented buyers, sellers and owners of commercial properties in connection with purchases, sales and leasing of commercial properties in numerous states including Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida.
  • Represented a developer in connection with its 31-story mixed-use building in Chicago, including drafting and negotiating commercial and residential sale contracts and handling all aspects of the related closings.

Bruce J. Waldman

P: 847.480.7872

Practice Areas
Real Estate

Bar Admissions
Illinois Bar, 1977
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1978
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1978

J.D., University of Illinois, 1977
B.S., University of Iowa, Phi Beta Kappa, 1974

Mr. Waldman concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate transactions and business law matters.

His real estate experience includes representing clients in the purchase and sale of various properties, including shopping centers, retail properties, single tenant investment properties such as drug stores, industrial buildings and vacant land.  He also represents both landlords and tenants in commercial leasing transactions throughout the United States, involving shopping centers, industrial buildings, and office buildings.

Mr. Waldman’s business law experience includes representing clients in a variety of general business legal matters, including contract matters, formation of new corporate and limited liability company entities, and the purchase and sale of on-going businesses.

Representative transactions:

  • Leasing of retail space in shopping centers.
  • Purchase and sale of single tenant investment properties such as drug stores.
  • Purchase, sale and leasing of industrial properties.
  • Purchase and sale of business assets of various types of on-going businesses.