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Richard M. Kohn

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Richard M. Kohn is a founder of Goldberg Kohn and a Principal in the firm's Commercial Finance Group. He represents banks and other financial institutions in structuring and documenting credit facilities, with a focus on cross-border lending transactions - an area in which he is widely recognized as a pioneer.

For more than 20 years, Richard has been active in the reform of secured transactions law. He was a member of the Expert Group for the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in preparation of its "Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions" (2007), the related "Supplement on Security Rights in Intellectual Property" (2010), the technical legislative "Guide on the Implementation of a Security Rights Registry" (2014), the "Model Law on Secured Transactions" (2017), and the "Practice Guide to the Model Law on Secured Transactions" (2019). He served as a consultant to the United Nations to co-edit UNCITRAL's "Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions."

In addition, Richard has participated in initiatives to promote secured credit in other countries. For example, in the People's Republic of China he taught asset-based lending to more than 150 bankers at the invitation of the People's Bank of China and the International Finance Corporation World Bank. In Mexico he co-organized a roundtable discussion on the Mexican judicial system with the Mexican government.

From 2001 to 2020, Richard served as Co-General Counsel of the Secured Finance Network (SFNet), the principal U.S. trade association for commercial lenders formerly known as the Commercial Finance Association. During his tenure, he represented SFNet in appellate courts and other venues on issues of importance to the commercial finance industry. He is currently Chair of SFNet's International Finance & Development Committee. In 2019 he was inducted into the SFNet Hall of Fame.

Richard is a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, has been named by Chambers USA as a Senior Statesperson in Banking & Finance, and he holds the AV Preeminent® peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability. Since 2005, he has been recognized annually by Best Lawyers in America in Banking & Finance Law.

Publications and Presentations
Richard is a Lecturer in Law at The University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches cross-border lending. Additionally, he has presented to the American Bar Association, ALI CLE, The New York City Bar Association, the World Bank and the New England School of Law.

He writes and speaks frequently on cross-border lending topics, including:

  • "Coordinating Secured Transactions Reforms With the Private Sector and Non-Governmental Organisations," Fifth Conference on International Coordination of Secured Transactions Reform, Oct. 5, 2022.
  • "The Role of Innovation in Cross-Border Lending," Chapter 13 of "The Future of Commercial Law: Ways Forward for Change and Reform," Ed. O. Akseli and J. Linarelli, Hart Publishing, 2020.
  • "Current Issues in Cross-Border Asset-Based Lending: Lessons From the Field on the Need for Secured Transactions Reform," Chapter 7 of "International and Comparative Secured Transactions Law," Ed. S. V. Bazinas and O. Akseli, Hart Publishing, 2017.
  • "Facilitating a Cost-Free Path to Economic Recovery: Implementing a Global Uniform International Receivables Financing Law," Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal, 44 UCC L. J. 277 (2012) (with S.V. Bazinas and Louis F. Del Duca).
  • "The Case for Including Directly Held Securities Within the Scope of the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions," Uniform Law Review, Vol. 15, Issue 2, April 2010.
  • "Convention to Bolster Exports and Jobs," Washington Times, March 6, 2012.

Richard received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1969, and his B.A., with distinction, from The University of Michigan in 1966. He is admitted to practice in Illinois.

Outside of the practice of law, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brain Research Foundation, a Chicago-based charitable organization that funds pioneering neuroscience research.



Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Chicago Office
55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792

Practice areas

Industry Focus


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1969
  • University of Michigan, B.A., with distinction, 1966

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Secured Finance Network (SFNet), Chair International Finance & Development Committee (2021 to present); Co-General Counsel (2002-2020)
  • Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers
  • Founders Leadership Council of the Commercial Finance Association Education Foundation
  • Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys, Member
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member

Attorneys At Law

55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312.201.4000
Fax: 312.332.2196


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