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Capabilities / Ag Finance

Ag Finance

Transactional, regulatory and litigation advice for ag lenders.

Husch Blackwell features years of practical, hands-on experience representing banking, lending, and other financial institutions who operate in the agriculture space, including the Farm Credit System.

We field a team comprised of veteran ag lending and banking lawyers, including former in-house legal and banking professionals, who often can anticipate problems before they occur and who provide practical legal guidance on a wide range of issues, including loan documentation, secured credit, regulatory compliance (including Borrower Rights, TRID, ECOA, FDCPA and FCRA, and CFPB-related concerns), consumer disclosures, loan origination services, online banking, form development, risk management, corporate governance, policies and procedures, internal investigations, cybersecurity, criminal referrals, Standards of Conduct, agent retention, and audit and examination-related inquiries and outcomes.

Our firm’s unique configuration and thorough conversance with agricultural lending and the Farm Credit System provide clients a compelling value proposition. Among large national law firms, Husch Blackwell has a footprint that covers all major agricultural centers and regions, especially in the Midwest and coastal regions, and we have built a national ag finance practice with specific expertise in Farm Credit.  

We also know that in lending, time is often of the essence. Whether it’s an issue involved with a closing, a harm (or potential harm) associated with malfeasance or a potentially criminal act, a data breach or security incident or event, or anything else in between, we are ready to address and help manage through the event.

We endeavor to give clients a 360-degree perspective grounded in the law and informed by our deep industry and practical expertise. We look to build relationships, and while capable of providing advice on all transactions, whether large or small, we look to develop long-term relationships with clients where we advise on all areas of operation.

Representative Experience

  • Our team includes two former in-house General Counsel and Standards of Conduct Officials for Farm Credit associations and former in-house counsel at a funding bank
  • From a lending perspective, we routinely advise on:
    • Loan documentation, including custom loans, syndications, and participations
    • Perform loan document and loan file reviews
    • Secured credit, including UCCs, security agreements, deeds of trust, and mortgages
    • Distressed lending and Borrower Rights
    • Restructures and workouts
    • Mechanic and materialmen liens 
    • All loan forms and lien perfection forms
    • Corporate checklists and certificates, consents, and resolutions
    • Corporate entity document reviews and reviews of trust agreements
  • From a risk management perspective, we are often engaged to:
    • Perform independent, internal investigations, and prepare and file criminal referrals
    • Address, investigate, and respond to data breaches and security incidents and events and handle reporting on same
    • Develop policies and procedures to satisfy regulatory requirements and reflect best practices
    • Advise Boards, management members, departments, and Standards of Conduct Officials
    • Interact with the regulator on matters involving internal investigations, audits, examinations, and complaints
    • Provide training at all levels within the organization on all operation, regulatory, and risk-based topics, including data privacy and cybersecurity
    • Advise on Borrower Rights and other regulatory requirements
    • Serve as board or management consultants
  • We routinely advise on and litigate “bet the company” matters and other matters of import.  Some representative types of matters include:
    • Identifying, investigating, and addressing internal malfeasance and fraud, as well as external criminal acts, including money laundering and kiting activity
    • Discovering and litigating bank fraud, security fraud issues, collateral fraud (including cattle kites), Ponzi schemes, and check kites
    • Identifying and addressing harassment and other types of inappropriate conduct within an organization and successfully handling related claims and litigation
    • Investigating and successfully addressing officer and director breaches of fiduciary duties and violations of corporate guidance
    • Performing extensive loan reviews for credit-related issues, distressed loans, and internal misconduct and providing solutions for same
    • Handling complex portfolio distress and related bankruptcies, including Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, and Chapter 7 cases
Speaking Engagements | September 5, 2018
Speaker, "Be In The Know: Legal Tips for Your Ag Start-Up," The National Agricultural Law Center webinar

Joe Thompson and Jim Ash presented "Be In The Know: Legal Tips for Your Ag Start-Up," at the National Agricultural Law Center webinar.

Media Mentions | August 24, 2020
Kansas City Business Journal: Virtual Husch Blackwell office attracts first attorney outside firm's footprint

"This is just a great concept and I hope more firms embrace this sort of thing," Benefield said. "It gives me an opportunity to join a law firm as reputable and amazing as Husch Blackwell without having to pick up and move my family across the country to one of their offices."

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