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Christopher J. Rockers

Christopher J. Rockers

Partner
Kansas City
office: 816.283.4608
fax: 816.983.8080
Overview

Chris is involved extensively in all types of finance transactions, from routine accounts receivable and inventory financing to mergers and acquisitions. 

Chris's experience extends to financing of start-up companies, syndications of mid-cap and large-cap financings, as well as smaller "club transactions" and secured and unsecured loans.

He represents a diverse range of lenders, including national lenders, regional and community banks, commercial and consumer finance companies, and venture and hedge funds providing cash flow senior financing, second lien, mezzanine and subordinated debt financings.

In commercial finance, Chris represents national and local lenders and borrowers in asset-based lending, cash flow financings and capital restructure and second lien loans, including mid-cap and large-cap syndicated credits.

In consumer credit, he represents national lenders, banks and finance companies, providing all types of consumer financing programs.

Chris’ recent accomplishments include:

  • Part of team that engineered an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) for a large architectural firm, while also adding a stock appreciation rights plan to provide additional incentives to the employees.
  • Assisted in the $170-million ESOP acquisition of Casino Queen, a first in the gaming industry.
  • Counseled Algonquin Power & Utilities, a Toronto-based company, in three separate transactions totaling $470 million.

Industry

Services

Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law, Equipment Finance Law, 2006-2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Banking, 2007-2009, 2011-2012

Education

  • J.D., University of Kansas School of Law
  • B.S., Kansas State University
    • Agricultural Economics

Admissions

  • Missouri

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers
    • President, 2012-2013 
    • Secretary, 2008-2010 
    • Vice President, 2010-2011 
    • President-Elect, 2011-2012
  • American Bar Association - Business Law Section
    • Section Vice Chair, 2015-2016
    • Section Secretary, 2015
    • Editor-in-Chief, The Business Lawyer, 2015-2016
    • Co-Chair of the Editorial Board, Business Law Today, 2014-2015
    • Co-Chair, ABA Relations Committee, 2014-2015
    • Co-Chair, Committee on Leadership Development, 2013-2015
    • Chair, Council Committee on Committee Support, 2010-2012
    • Council of the Business Law Section, 2008-2012
    • Chair, Task Force on Positioning in Corporate and Commercial Finance, 2007-2008
    • Member, Editorial Board, The Business Lawyer, 2005-2009
    • Chair, Commercial Financial Services Committee, 2004-2007
    • Vice-Chair, Commercial Financial Services Committee, 2001-2004
    • Chair, Programs and Seminars Subcommittee, Commercial Financial Services, 1997-2001
  • Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys
  • Commercial Finance Association, Education Foundation Advisory Board
  • The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • The Working Group on Legal Opinions, Law Firm Advisory Board
Experience
  • Assisted in employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) for a large architectural firm that would account for 100 percent of the company. This transaction included adding a stock appreciation rights plan to provide additional incentives to the employees.
  • Counseled in the $170-million ESOP acquisition of the Casino Queen, a first in the gaming industry. Challenging transaction required unanimous consent of 21 shareholders. Further, the lender and its counsel had never completed an ESOP deal.
  • Assisted in the closing of three separate transactions for Toronto-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Transactions included acquiring a controlling interest in a wind farm as part of a facility acquisition and financing transaction, assisting with the subsidiary closing of a $285 million acquisition of electric and gas utilities and assisting subsidiary with closing its $127 million acquisition of gas utility assets.
  • Handled the negotiation and workout of issues arising out of GE Commercial Distribution Finance Corporation's (CDF) acquisition of a line of dealer financing agreements from Textron Financial Corp. Significant issues arose following the acquisition that related to Textron’s priority position with respect to collateral covered by the dealer financing agreements purchased by CDF. Represented CDF in connection with the resolution of all issues among Textron, other purchasers of dealer paper from Textron and CDF.
  • Represented GE Energy Financial Services (EFS) as the sole lender in a $60 million secured term loan facility provided to mining operation in Colorado. Issues ranged from contract rights to changes in the ownership of the borrower. Assisted EFS in working though certain issues resulting from geological disturbances at the mine.
  • Counseled EFS as the sole lender in a $43.8 million secured credit facility consisting of a revolver, term loan and multidraw loan to a series of companies operating a strip mine in eastern Kentucky. Given the level of interaction between the various entities involved in the strip mining operation and the complexity of the operation itself, advised EFS with respect to a number of transaction structuring issues, including the tracking of intercompany contracts and debt obligations.