In the late 1980s, when most U.S. commercial lenders refused to consider making loans secured by collateral located outside of the United States or loans to foreign affiliates of U.S. companies, Goldberg Kohn correctly predicted that, as U.S. middle market companies became more globalized, U.S. lenders would inevitably become involved in international lending in order to respond to their borrowers' global needs. The firm saw this as a tremendous opportunity and embarked on an intensive program to develop proficiency in the representation of U.S. commercial lenders in international asset-based lending transactions, writing and lecturing extensively and developing strong working relationships with law firms in many countries. Those efforts paid off: Goldberg Kohn quickly moved to the forefront of this new area of the law, and remains there today.
During the past 10 years the firm has represented clients in scores of international lending transactions in Europe, Asia, and South and Central America, ranging from simply taking foreign collateral or guaranties to financing complex acquisitions involving funding in multiple foreign currencies. As a result of Goldberg Kohn's international lending experience, the firm has also had the opportunity to work extensively with the United Nations on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on various projects aimed at helping countries modernize their secured transactions laws, including:
- The United Nations Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade, approved by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2001.
- The UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions, which was approved by UNCITRAL in December 2007, including the Supplement on Financing Intellectual Property (approved in 2010) and the current project on registry systems.
Richard Kohn serves on the Expert Group in connection with these projects, and served as a consultant to the U.N. in connection with the Legislative Guide.
A number of the firm's lawyers frequently give presentations regarding international finance and have written several articles on the subject. Richard Kohn is the Co-General Counsel of the Commercial Finance Association (CFA). The CFA is the principal United States trade association for banks and other financial institutions that provide asset-based commercial financing to business borrowers. Among CFA's members are substantially all of the major and regional banks, as well as other large and small commercial lenders in the United States. In the role of Co-General Counsel, the firm plans an annual intensive two-day conference on international lending.
Goldberg Kohn has well-established relationships with law firms throughout the world, and regularly calls upon these firms when conducting cross-border transactions. The firm is a member of Meritas, a long-standing business alliance of nearly 200 carefully selected independent law firms with offices located in most of the principal countries throughout the world.