Joseph M. Vann is a business lawyer developing legal strategies and solutions for his clients to meet their business objectives.
Among Joe’s clients are manufacturers, real estate owners and developers, digital media companies, restaurant owners, racing horse stables, wineries, lenders and others. Joe maintains ongoing contact with his clients, often serving as their outside general counsel, advising them on day-to-day decisions so they can maximize opportunities and minimize risks proactively through every stage of their business.
Joe is equally comfortable in the boardroom or the courtroom and has worked on a wide range of transactions, both mergers and acquisitions and divestitures and reorganizations. Joe’s 30 years of experience in corporate, real estate, financing, litigation and restructuring matters has included numerous industries, yet with a consistent and dedicated focus to business solutions and goals. When pursuing or vindicating client’s rights in courts, arbitration or mediation, Joe adheres to the approach that litigation offers business value only when furthering or protecting a client’s business objective in the most targeted and efficient manner possible.
Joe is currently working closely with a diversified international company to sell a digital media business. He recently represented the seller in an $85 million sale of an 88 acre parcel in Napa County, California slated for high-end residential and hotel development. He also represented the seller of a U.S. based helicopter manufacturing company.
Joe represents the owner of Triple Crown Champion racehorse American Pharoah, and completed a series of merchandising, licensing and sponsorship deals supporting American Pharoah’s successful run for the Triple Crown.
Joe also recently represented a multi-national manufacturing company in securing a $90 million working capital syndicated facility from an international group of commercial lenders.
Joe developed a successful strategy for HFZ Capital Group, LLC, a New York-based real estate developer, to acquire One Madison, a Manhattan high-rise that was mired in a Delaware Chapter 11 case.
Joe has represented clients in connections with loans exceeding $500 million in the aggregate against 18th and 19th century paintings and other high-end collectibles. Joe has also represented a client in closing a $50 million loan to fund a diverse collection of privately held companies in the publishing, real estate and wine industries.
In the jewelry industry, Joe has represented small and large manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers in all aspects of their businesses, including financings, consignments, acquisitions and licensing. When Whitehall Jewelers filed for bankruptcy, Joe was one of the lead attorneys for a group of jewelry industry manufacturers that successfully achieved a 100% return of tens of millions of dollars of consignment product that Whitehall and its lenders argued had been forfeited before Whitehall entered Chapter 11. In 2010, Joe collaborated with the Jewelers Board of Trade and Jewelers Vigilance Committee on The Essential Guide to “Memo” Transactions, an industry benchmark publication. Joe has also presented at webinars and industry conferences on issues of interest to the jewelry industry.
Joe is known to his clients as a trusted advisor and problem solver for their most challenging issues. Indeed, his client who owns one of the most successful racing stables named one of his promising young racehorses “Joe Vann” to bank on the winning spirit of Joe Vann, the lawyer. (Watch video of “Joe Vann,” the thoroughbred racehorse, winning the 2011 Illinois Derby.)
Joe has lectured extensively to trade groups and financial institutions on lending, business law and restructuring topics.
Joe represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of a $250 million jewelry retailer that emerged from Chapter 11 in a plan of reorganization that provides a 100% recovery to creditors. His other restructuring representations have included:
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Eos Airlines, Inc.
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Shane Co., Inc.
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Fortunoff’s Inc.
the Equity Committee of Actrade Financial Technologies, Ltd.
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Ziff-Davis Media, Inc., and
the Secured Trade Vendor Trustee of Friedman’s, Inc.
In addition to being AV Peer Review Rated, Joe has been included in the Super Lawyers publication in 2006 and every year from 2008 to 2016.
After graduating from law school, Joe clerked for the Honorable Alan H.W. Shiff, United States Bankruptcy Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut. He then worked at Shea & Gould, then a nationally known general practice firm, before joining CTSW as a partner.