As a member of Husch Blackwell's Financial Services team, Chris is involved extensively in all types of finance transactions, including routine accounts receivable and inventory financing, financing of start-up companies, mergers, acquisitions, syndications of mid-cap and large-cap financings, as well as smaller club transactions and secured and unsecured loans. He represents a diverse range of lenders, including national lenders, regional and community banks, commercial and consumer finance companies, and venture and hedge funds providing cash flow senior financing, second lien, mezzanine and subordinated debt financings.
In commercial finance, Chris represents national and local lenders and borrowers in asset-based lending, cash flow financings and capital restructure and second lien loans, including mid-cap and large-cap syndicated credits.
In consumer credit, he represents national lenders, banks and finance companies, providing all types of consumer financing programs.
Chris' recent accomplishments include:
•Part of team that engineered an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) for a large architectural firm, while also adding a stock appreciation rights plan to provide additional incentives to the employees.
Assisted in the $170-million ESOP acquisition of Casino Queen, a first in the gaming industry.
Counseled Algonquin Power & Utilities, a Toronto-based company, in three separate transactions totaling $470 million.
Awards and Recognitions
The Best Lawyers In America, Banking and Finance Law, Equipment Finance Law, 2006-2014
•Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
•Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Banking, 2007-2009, 2011-2012
Assisted in employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) for a large architectural firm that would account for 100 percent of the company. This transaction included adding a stock appreciation rights plan to provide additional incentives to the employees.
•Counseled in the $170-million ESOP acquisition of the Casino Queen, a first in the gaming industry. Challenging transaction required unanimous consent of 21 shareholders. Further, the lender and its counsel had never completed an ESOP deal.
•Assisted in the closing of three separate transactions for Toronto-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Transactions included acquiring a controlling interest in a wind farm as part of a facility acquisition and financing transaction, assisting with the subsidiary closing of a $285 million acquisition of electric and gas utilities and assisting subsidiary with closing its $127 million acquisition of gas utility assets.
•Handled the negotiation and workout of issues arising out of GE Commercial Distribution Finance Corporation's (CDF) acquisition of a line of dealer financing agreements from Textron Financial Corp. Significant issues arose following the acquisition that related to Textron's priority position with respect to collateral covered by the dealer financing agreements purchased by CDF. Represented CDF in connection with the resolution of all issues among Textron, other purchasers of dealer paper from Textron and CDF.
•Represented GE Energy Financial Services (EFS) as the sole lender in a $60 million secured term loan facility provided to mining operation in Colorado. Issues ranged from contract rights to changes in the ownership of the borrower. Assisted EFS in working though certain issues resulting from geological disturbances at the mine.
•Counseled EFS as the sole lender in a $43.8 million secured credit facility consisting of a revolver, term loan and multidraw loan to a series of companies operating a strip mine in eastern Kentucky. Given the level of interaction between the various entities involved in the strip mining operation and the complexity of the operation itself, advised EFS with respect to a number of transaction structuring issues, including the tracking of intercompany contracts and debt obligations.
2.01.13 The Law of Guaranties: A Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Guide to U.S. and Canadian Law, Missouri and Kansas chapters, American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers
5.24.12 Secured Transactions: Enforcing a Security Interest After Default Under UCC Article 9
4.26.12 Legal Updates for Financial Institutions
Financial Services Seminar Kansas City, MO
3.16.11 Financial Reform Legislation Updates for Financial Institutions
Seminar St. Louis, MO
12.01.10 Financial Reform Legislation Updates for Financial Institutions
Seminar Kanas City, MO
10.01.07 Lawyers and Loan Documents: Ethical Issues in Advising Financial Institutions about the Potential for Engaging in the Unauthorized Practice of Law When Preparing Residential Loan Documents. Is Preemption the Answer? Harland Financial Solutions Network of Federal and State Counsel Conference
10.01.05 Consumer and Commercial Guaranties, Harland Financial Solutions Network of Federal and State Counsel Conference
10.01.05 What Constitutes Unauthorized Law Practice in the Residential Lending Arena?, Harland Financial Solutions Network of Federal and State Counsel Conference
10.01.04 Can't We All Just Get Along? Managing the New Dysfunction in Syndicated Credit Workouts, Commercial Financial Services Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association to the Commercial Finance Association Annual Convention
4.01.04 Avoiding Lender Liability: Be Fair - Be Honest, UCC Institute
In The News
8.16.13 Best Lawyers 2014 Names 109 from Husch Blackwell, 13 Lawyers of the Year
Healthcare, Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals Real Estate, Development & Construction Financial Services Energy & Natural Resources News Release
1.31.13 Husch Blackwell is Lead Counsel for Gaming Industry's First-Ever ESOP
10.15.12 A Combined 84 Husch Blackwell Attorneys are Named 2012 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Missouri and Nebraska
8.23.12 2013 Best Lawyers Includes 106 Husch Blackwell Attorneys in 56 Practice Areas and 7 States
4.03.12 American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers Names Husch Blackwell's Chris Rockers President
3.23.12 Husch Blackwell Represents Algonquin Power Co. in $888 Million Acquisition
Energy & Natural Resources Real Estate, Development & Construction News Release
3.09.12 AmLaw Daily: Husch Blackwell Leads Algonquin Power in $888 Million Wind Energy Deal
Energy & Natural Resources News Coverage
10.19.11 Super Lawyers 2011 Names 71 Husch Blackwell Attorneys from Missouri and Nebraska; an Additional 15 Listed as Rising Stars
9.06.11 More Than 100 Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2012
4.28.11 Chris Rockers Named President-Elect of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers