Practice/Industry Group Overview
Duane Morris advises financial institutions, capital markets participants and major borrowers on all aspects of complex financing structures and financial products. The firm's Corporate Finance Group is interdisciplinary, blending the documentation skills of finance attorneys with the industry knowledge of lawyers focusing their practices in such areas as energy, transportation, telecommunications, waste management, infrastructure, healthcare and emerging markets.
The Duane Morris Corporate Finance Group mirrors the complex financing structures and sophisticated financial products that dominate the current financial and capital marketplaces.
Mezzanine/Private Equity/High Yield
Public/Private Debt Placement
Structured Finance Products
Lawyers experienced in developing these structures and products are teamed with industry-specific talent to deliver global capabilities for some of the most prevalent industries/sectors participating in today's financial and capital markets transactions including:
- Aircraft and Surface Transportation
- Natural Resources/Minerals
- Real Estate
- Environmental Management
- Housing and Construction
- Transportation Infrastructure
- Global/Emerging Markets
The core services provided to regional, national and international financial institutions are built around the financing structures they develop and syndicate for their largest transactions. Certain financing structures are long-standing, traditional ones found in leveraged finance and asset-based finance transactions, while others are evolving, cutting-edge structures common to equipment, project, synthetic, and recently, debtor-in-possession (DIP) finance. Duane Morris attorneys analyze, document and organize a wide array of these financing structures and have acquired extensive experience to serve clients effectively.
The Project Finance Practice
The Project Finance Practice provides a full range of legal experience to successfully complete sophisticated, highly structured domestic and international project financings. Our lawyers have been active in project finance transactions for nearly three decades. Skilled documentation professionals are teamed with attorneys possessing industry-specific experience in energy, telecommunications, resources, environmental management, transportation infrastructure, healthcare and emerging markets. Together with the support of environmental, tax, public finance, real estate, securities and insurance lawyers, we deliver an integrated capability to financial institutions, sponsors, borrowers, agents, investors and underwriters.
In addition to traditional project finance models, Corporate Finance attorneys analyze, structure, negotiate and document a full array of project finance vehicles, off-balance sheet and limited recourse financing, leveraged lease and other structured equipment financing, industrial revenue bond financing, and build-own-operate/build-own-transfer (BOO/BOT) structures. Our attorneys often develop innovative project finance vehicles, such as lease-securitized tax-exempt bond financing and 144A debt offerings.
Duane Morris attorneys counsel clients engaging in a wide range of industrial and infrastructure projects, including power generation, waste management, water and mineral resources, air and surface transportation facilities, and other infrastructure projects, as well as telecommunications, healthcare and divergent industrial and manufacturing facilities worldwide.
The Equipment Finance Practice
Few areas of the finance practice have witnessed greater development than the equipment finance arena. Highly leveraged financing structures evolved from simple operating leases to become intricate tax and balance-sheet advantaged structures. The experience of Duane Morris attorneys has likewise evolved, enabling us to advise lenders, lessors, lessees, manufacturers, conduits and credit enhancement providers in debt financings, including secured and unsecured loans, pre-delivery financings and cross-border financings; lease financings, including single-investor leases, leveraged leases, tax benefit transfer agreements and sale-lease back transactions; synthetic leasing; and securitized leases. Our lawyers structure, negotiate and document financing of aircrafts, rolling stock, vehicles and other surface transportation equipment, consumer equipment, and farm, construction, industrial and office equipment on behalf of manufacturers, lenders/lessors, borrowers/lessees, distributors and end users.
The Leveraged Finance Practice
The cash flow sensitivity of leveraged finance transactions presents both opportunity and risk to financial institutions and other senior debt lenders providing necessary credit facilities for acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, restructurings and refinancings. Attorneys in the Corporate Finance Group serve lenders and borrowers efficiently and effectively by utilizing a wide range of model loan documents crafted through decades of experience. Duane Morris loan documentation attorneys focus on short-turnaround documentation, coupled with the detailed legal due diligence necessary to protect the interests of our clients. Working with attorneys in our industry-specific practices, such as healthcare, broker-dealers insurance, real estate, energy, telecommunications, transportation equipment and infrastructure, the Corporate Finance Group delivers a broad range of skills to senior lender clients involved in leveraged financing transactions.
The Asset-Based Finance Practice
Thorough documentation, monitoring and financial reporting are crucial to successful asset-based or collateral-based financing. The Corporate Finance Group provides financial institutions in this market the experience necessary to successfully structure, negotiate, document and restructure asset-based finance transactions. The Corporate Finance attorneys at Duane Morris also deliver concise, definitive advice to asset-based lenders in the administration of complicated credit arrangements, including ever-present intercreditor and subordination issues.
The Synthetic Finance Practice
An increasing number of asset-rich clients have tapped their balance sheets to improve their financial performance and obtain liquidity for operations and investments. Attorneys in the Corporate Finance Group analyze and structure synthetic leases and "double dip" leases to provide tax-advantaged treatment, sale-leasebacks, lease-leasebacks and like-kind exchange of equipment, operational facilities and real estate. The firm's tax lawyers are an integral element in one of the most interdisciplinary practices of the Corporate Finance Group. Attorneys in the Corporate Finance Practice represent lenders/lessors/sellers and large institutional borrowers/lessees/buyers in synthetic finance transactions in the aircraft, rail, real estate, healthcare and industrial sectors, and structure economical, tax-advantaged financing alternatives for Duane Morris clients.
The Debtor-in-Possession Finance Practice
Bankruptcy filings provide a particular challenge to the Corporate Finance Group. Working closely with the Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring Practice, the Corporate Finance Group directs our clients through the intricate courtroom proceedings involving First Day orders, cash collateral orders, creditor committee meetings and adversarial proceedings, as well as the documentary labyrinth necessary to structure a secure, successful DIP financing.
Duane Morris attorneys counsel lenders, creditors, trustees and sometimes debtors, in connection with reorganizations and DIP financings in the retail, transportation (infrastructure and equipment), power and industrial arenas.
The Duane Morris Corporate Finance Group provides services to investment banks and other capital markets participants that are built around the complex financial products developed and distributed by these institutions in the capital markets. These financial products include private equity and high yield debt, mezzanine financing, commercial paper, public and private debt instrument placement, structured finance products and derivative and risk hedging products. Duane Morris attorneys have represented capital markets participants since the inception of these innovative financial products and financing techniques, and continue to mold and adapt these products to the ever-changing needs and demands of the capital markets landscape.
The Mezzanine/Private Equity/High Yield Practice
Today's mega-sized acquisitions and buy-out transactions require multilayering of debt and equity investments. This investment-focused practice of the Corporate Finance Group offers in-depth experience at each stage of the development process, from "angel" investment for seed capital, through second and third equity raises and pre-public offering mezzanine lending and investment, to mature "club deal" private equity recapitalization, buyouts and leveraged acquisitions. Corporate Finance attorneys counsel venture capital and private equity firms, funds and investors in their investments and portfolio companies in their organizations, add-on acquisitions, roll-up programs, public and private equity offerings and debt placements.
The firm also represents the users of capital, representing a myriad of start-ups and mature companies in their negotiations with investors in connection with working capital, bridge and acquisition investments. Our attorneys often negotiate the unwinding of burdensome, preexisting investment structures. Recently, one of our attorneys successfully restructured the accelerated, outstanding "death spiral" preferred stock issued by a public company client, thereby rescuing a life-preserving merger with another public company.
High yield investments enable highly leveraged transactions by spreading credit risk with hybrid, noninvestment grade securities sold in the private or public markets. Our high yield practitioners counsel issuers, underwriters, placement agents, purchasers and advisors in the most involved high yield financing transactions. Our attorneys focus beyond traditional interest rate setting issues to structure and document redemption, covenant, market-influenced terms and other provisions that increasingly impact success or failure in the public or private markets.
The Public/Private Debt Placement Practice
Attorneys in the Corporate Finance Group are seasoned in working with issuers, underwriters and placement agents, as well as purchasers, in a wide array of debt instruments placed or sold in the private and public markets, including commercial paper, indentured notes, high yield debt, securitized instruments and debt conduit programs. The attorneys of the Corporate Finance Group have witnessed vast change in the complexity of these debt instruments and the manner in which they are sold. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in Rule 144, Regulation S, Securities Act, Investment Company Act, Uniform Commercial Code, insurance regulations and derivative regulatory issues arising from the public sale and private placement of debt securities. The attorneys in this practice work closely with our pension and insurance lawyers to serve insurance company clients in the purchase of debt securities for their portfolios and for mutual funds under management.
The Structured Finance Products Practice
The Corporate Finance Group provides the full range of legal experience necessary to structure, aggregate, sell and invest in the extremely complex world of structural finance products. Duane Morris attorneys counsel issuers, trustees, servicers, originators, underwriters, insurers, conduit entities and investors in transactions involving a full array of financial assets, including collateralized debt obligations, mortgage-backed securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities, accounts receivable purchases, innovative collateralized loan obligations, and structured settlement and healthcare receivable programs, both nationally and internationally.
The Corporate Finance Group coordinates with Duane Morris attorneys focusing on environmental, tax, bankruptcy and regulatory law to successfully achieve bankruptcy remote entities, substantive nonconsolidation, true sale treatment and marketable products for the standard and nonstandard asset securitization industry.
The Derivative Products Practice
Banks, investment managers, funds, insurance, pension and other institutional investors utilize derivative products to hedge a broad range of market risks. These clients rely on Duane Morris to advise, structure and document private swaps, collars, options, currency forward purchase contracts, repurchase agreements and participation agreements, as well as synthetic securities and exchange-traded contracts, to hedge currency, commodity price and interest rate risks. Our clients increasingly require negotiation and documentation of customized agreements and industry standard dealer agreements in their hedging activities. The Corporate Finance Group works closely with attorneys in our pension, insurance, financial markets, tax and regulatory practices to deliver effective and efficient counsel.
The Trade Finance Practice
The international laws of commerce and international trade practices have become increasingly important concerns of our clients. Our lawyers have negotiated, drafted and analyzed a wide range of international trade finance documents and their concomitant reimbursement documents. We have litigated document provisions under the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Customs and Practices Act, national laws and the rules and practices of international arbitral tribunals. Our lawyers advise financial institutions in the use of standby and commercial letters of credit, in the financing of domestic and international trade transactions and relationships, and in the use of letters of credit as credit enhancement instruments.