Admitted to Practice in All State and Federal Courts
Coston & Coston LLC can meet your legal needs including litigation, replevins, bankruptcies, franchise-financing litigation, transaction negotiations and documentation, workouts and restructring, general corporate representation, and new-corporation/LLC formation and filing.
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Coston & Coston LLC

Commercial Law with a Focus on Equipment Lease/Finance

Coston & Coston LLC is a Chicago-based commercial law firm. The practice has operated continuously since 1982 as the Coston Law Group and other predecessor firms. Throughout its life, the firm and its predecessors have concentrated in lease structuring and transactions, lease documentation, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), workouts, complex litigation, collections, repossessions and bankruptcy. Its named principals, James E. Coston and Patricia E. Rademacher, have concentrated in the area of equipment leasing and finance for more than 20 years and are active participants in every established equipment-leasing trade association in the United States.

The firm's clients include a broad range of creditors, including equipment-leasing companies as well as the funding sources that support this dynamic young industry. Coston & Coston LLC has represented banks in both secured and unsecured transactions, primarily in litigation and bankruptcies, and has built a growing practice representing clients with extensive lease or loan portfolios in the Upper Midwest. Increasingly, these clients are choosing Coston & Coston LLC to handle all of their litigation, replevins, collections, bankruptcies, franchise-finance litigation, transaction negotiations and documentation, workouts and restructuring, and other elements of lease enforcement on a regional basis.

The firm also performs general-counsel work, furnishing opinion letters, research and general representation for a wide variety of businesses, including equipment-finance companies, banks and other financial institutions.

Coston & Coston LLC legal professionals are deeply experienced in equipment-lease finance enforcement. More than two decades of experience ensure that equipment-lease clients receive effective and efficient legal counsel that leads to prompt, conclusive and positive results.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS

Negotiating, structuring, and writing lease agreements is an intricate process that must match the client's needs with the requirements of the leasing program, the transaction, and applicable state and federal laws. Regardless of the novelty of a lease-finance problem, Coston & Coston LLC principals have solved similar problems in the past. Clients rely upon our experience to draft and review lease documentation, structure lease financing and funding transactions, and represent lessors and lenders when lease portfolios are sold and when leasing companies are merged or acquired. Clients rely on the firm's expertise during enforcement proceedings, including litigation arising from lease negotiations and executions.

UNIFORM, STANDARDIZED PROCEDURES

Because equipment lease/finance is still a young industry, leasing documentation, including legal billings for lease-related service, has not yet been standardized across the U.S.

Except at Coston & Coston LLC, where two decades of unbroken lease/finance practice have enabled us to consolidate language, terminology, printed forms and even invoices into a series of uniform documents effective in the entire five-state region we serve. Regardless of jurisdiction, Coston & Coston LLC clients enjoy speedy litigation on defaulted lease accounts and residuals, including replevin actions against corporate personal guarantors. Coston & Coston LLC has extensive experience in successfully negotiating workouts and restructurings. Bankruptcy, insolvency, receivership and disputes between lessors and financial institutions are addressed in a systematic way that enables our experienced attorneys to achieve successful legal remedies even in situations which to the client may appear challenging or unusual.

These standardized procedures also help Coston & Coston LLC identify and eliminate unnecessary costs by assigning the most routine work to a legal assistant carrying the lowest billing rate.

CLIENTS ARE KEPT INFORMED

James E. Coston was the first attorney ever to serve as president of a national trade association of equipment lessors. Coston & Coston LLC is acutely aware of the need for leasing professionals to understand lease law.

Accordingly, Coston & Coston LLC offers general orientation workshops and training sessions for its clients. These highly useful informational meetings cover basics such as bankruptcy, the Uniform Commercial Code, litigation procedures, standardized collection and repossession protocols, and particular state laws affecting leasing.

Workshops can be held at Coston & Coston LLC's Chicago offices or at a client location. The firm also offers periodic client receptions at its office to update clients on changing industry trends as well as potential opportunities and hazards.

To assure that client needs are met both effectively and efficiently regardless of jurisdiction, Coston & Coston LLC has standardized many procedures and practices that formerly varied from state to state or firm to firm. These firm-wide approaches include:

CONSISTENT PROFESSIONAL HANDLING OF LEASE ENFORCEMENT AND CIVIL LITIGATION PROCEDURES IN STATE, FEDERAL, BANKRUPTCY, AND APPELLATE COURTS.

Coston & Coston LLC has represented more than 100 equipment lessors, funding sources, and asset-based lenders in litigation and case management throughout the United States. Types of matters handled include:

  • Litigation on defaulted lease accounts and residuals, including replevins and actions against corporate personal guarantors
  • Bankruptcy, insolvency, receivership, and general creditor's rights, adversary complaints on behalf of actions filed against VFS or actions that VFS initiates against debtor or any other party
  • Disputes between lessors and financial institutions
  • Defending suits and counterclaims
  • Pursuing fraud charges and managing other complex commercial litigation matters including unfair trade, intellectual property, employment, and corporate litigation
  • Representation of franchise-finance companies and resolution of the inherent difficulties that might arise in any particular franchise-finance company

A UNIFORM RETAINER AGREEMENT.

UNIFORM NATIONWIDE FEE STRUCTURES AND MONTHLY BILLING STATEMENTS AMONG OFFICES.

Billings are standardized as well as itemized to give clients activity-specific cost breakdowns on each case and on each project or activity within a case. Certain costs and disbursements can be structured as part of the hourly rate or as a separate expense item.

CUSTOMIZED AND UNIFORM MONTHLY REPORTING PROCEDURES FOR EACH ACCOUNT, DOCUMENTING THE WORK PERFORMED AS WELL AS THE SHORT- AND LONG-TERM STRATEGY FOR THE FILE.

INITIAL AND CONTINUED EVALUATION OF EACH NEW FILE BY A PRINCIPAL OF THE FIRM.

DEVELOPMENT OF AN ACTION PLAN FOR CLIENT REVIEW OF EACH PROPOSED MATTER.

REDUCTION OF ATTORNEY'S FEES AND ASSURANCE OF CONSISTENT WORK PRODUCT THROUGH USE OF FORM DOCUMENTS WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

ASSIGNMENT OF A FIRM PRINCIPAL AND ASSOCIATE TO EACH CLIENT FOR INQUIRIES, DIRECTION, OR CONSULTATION AT ANY TIME.

COST CONTROL THOUGH ASSIGNMENT OF EACH TASK TO THE QUALIFIED ASSOCIATE OR LEGAL ASSISTANT CARRYING THE LOWEST BILLING RATE.


Coston & Coston LLC, through its network of local counsel, can administer nationwide portfolios of collection/litigation accounts. We can set up specific fee structures to meet each client's needs.