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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 specializes in representing 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).

Richard is a Lecturer in Law at The University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches cross-border lending. 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 – during which time he represented SFNet in appellate courts and other venues on issues of importance to the commercial finance industry. Richard currently chairs SFNet's International Finance & Development Committee. He has been named by Chambers U.S.A. as a Senior Statesperson in Banking & Finance, is a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers and is an inductee in the SFNet Hall of Fame.

Richard has been active in secured transactions law reform for more than 20 years, having served as a member of the Expert Group for the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in connection with the preparation of UNCITRAL's Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions, the related Supplement on Security Rights in Intellectual Property, the Technical Legislative Guide on the Implementation of a Security Rights Registry, the Model Law on Secured Transactions and the Practice Guide to the Model Law on Secured Transactions, and as a consultant to the United Nations to co-edit the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions. In addition, he has participated in initiatives to promote secured credit in other countries, including the People's Republic of China (where 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) and Mexico (where he was co-organizer of a roundtable discussion on the Mexican judicial system with the Mexican government).

Richard writes and speaks frequently on cross-border lending topics. His publications include:

  • 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, 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, 15 Uniform L. Rev. 413 (2010)
  • Convention to Bolster Exports and Jobs, Wash. Times, March 6, 2012.

Richard's speaking engagements include presentations for the American Bar Association, ALI CLE, The New York City Bar Association, the World Bank and the New England School of Law.

He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brain Research Foundation, a Chicago-based charitable organization that funds pioneering neuroscience research.

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



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

Practice areas

Industry Focus


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

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Professional Activities

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