Scott Lessne

Senior Counsel
Washington, D.C.
slessne@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2597
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Scott A. Lessne chairs the firm's Commercial Finance & Lending team. Scott's practice involves the representation of financial institutions and corporate clients in connection with the negotiation and documentation of commercial, asset-based, project-related, and real estate loan transactions, as well as advising clients on legal issues arising in complex single and multi-lender loan workouts and restructures. In addition, Scott advises financial institution clients on creditors' rights remedies, including judicial and non-judicial enforcement actions and bankruptcy strategies. Scott has particular experience in the financial services, health care, energy, restaurant, and hospitality industries.

His prior experience includes tenure as the senior in-house lawyer at a major global bank where he was responsible for providing and managing legal services for the commercial and real estate loan workout division of the bank. Scott also has served as the general counsel for the health care finance division of a commercial finance company and more recently as the general counsel, senior vice president and corporate secretary of the finance company's regulated bank subsidiary where he provided regulatory and compliance counseling to senior bank management and the Board of Directors. He also served on the institution's Enterprise Risk and Governance and Operations Committees.

Representative matters since joining Crowell & Moring include:

  • Representation of a senior secured bank lender in connection with an $80 million asset-based revolving loan, term loan and letter of credit facility to an agricultural cooperative.
  • Representation of a senior secured bank lender in connection with a $35 million asset-based loan to a developer of educational curriculum materials.
  • Representation of a senior secured bank lender in connection with a $15 million revolving loan to a national fast casual restaurant chain.
  • Representation of a senior secured private equity lender in connection with the asset-based working capital and term loan acquisition financing of a community based mental health system.
  • Representation of a special servicer in connection with receivership proceedings and the resolution of a distressed $40 million CMBS loan secured by a hospitality property.
  • Representation of a special servicer in connection with the resolution of a distressed $15 million CMBS loan secured by a commercial office building.
  • Representation of a special servicer in connection with receivership proceedings and the resolution of a distressed $76 million CMBS loan secured by a retail shopping and restaurant complex.
  • Representation of a specialty aircraft charter and leasing company in connection with a $50 million asset- based revolving loan, term loan and delayed draw term loan.
  • Representation of an acquirer of a global metals processing company in its aggregate $500 million combined ABL and high-yield bond financing.
  • Representation of an independent power developer in a secured $715 million refinancing and working capital facility in the term loan B market.
  • Representation of a global oil and gas exploration company in a $20 million senior secured working capital facility.
  • Representation of a specialty aircraft service provider in a combined $25 million senior secured revolving term loan and mortgage facility, and in a $5 million senior subordinated note purchase facility.
  • Representation of a global aerospace manufacturing company in connection with a $600 million revolving loan facility and a $100 million senior secured term loan.
  • Representation of a distributor of specialty medical equipment in connection with a $40 million asset-based credit facility.
  • Representation of a real estate special servicer in connection with a deed-in-lieu transaction involving multiple Class-A office properties.  
  • Representation of a Chilean manufacturing company in connection with a multi-million dollar cross-border credit facility.
  • Representation of investors in multiple fast casual restaurant ventures in connection with debt finance and debt restructures.

Representative matters while serving as in-house counsel include:

  • Restructuring of syndicated loans to subprime automobile lenders and equipment leasing companies.
  • Bankruptcy and Federal District Court litigation in connection with global energy and telecom company frauds.
  • Structuring and negotiating $500 million of revolving and term loan facilities for the post-bankruptcy acquisition and working capital needs of a national health care company.
  • Creation of a state charted industrial loan bank and the acquisition of branches and deposits from a failing financial institution.
  • Investigation and involuntary Chapter 7 of a $1 billion global metals trading company fraud.
  • Restructuring and Chapter 11 of a $300 million syndicated loan to a global lighting equipment manufacturer and supplier.
  • Restructuring and payoff of a $150 million syndicated loan to a global sea cargo container company.

Prior to his in-house experience, Scott was in private practice where he developed his experience in commercial finance, loan restructuring, and creditors' rights. Scott began his legal career as a law clerk to the Superior Court Judges of the State of Connecticut.

Scott was recently appointed to the Editorial Board of The Business Lawyer for 2019-2022. Published quarterly by the American Bar Association - Business Law section, The Business Lawyer is the premier business law journal in the country. He has also been appointed to the Western New England University School of Law Dean’s Advisory Board. Scott is a past President of the Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys, Inc. and is a Fellow and former Regent of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers. He has co-chaired the ABA Commercial Finance Committee's Loan Documentation Subcommittee and now serves as a co-chair of the Committee's Programs, Meetings, and Communications Subcommittee. He has lectured on secured transactions as a member of the adjunct faculty of Suffolk University Law School. Scott is a regular speaker on topics relating to commercial finance, loan workouts, creditors' rights and bankruptcy.