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Good-Seth

Seth Good

Principal, Goldberg Kohn


40 Under 40 Category: Legal Services

Biography:

Seth Good is a principal in Goldberg Kohn’s Commercial Finance Group. Seth represents banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions primarily engaged in middle-market lending activities with average transactions ranging from $40 million to $400 million. His practice focuses on structuring, documenting and negotiating both asset-based and cash-flow deals covering a broad range of commercial finance transactions including mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and refinancings. In particular, Seth has extensive experience representing lenders in multi-lien and unitranche structures, with a noted focus on the technology and software industry.  In addition, he has worked frequently on cross-border lending transactions in North America and Europe, often involving multiple currency credit facilities.

Seth received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 2003 and his B.A., with highest distinction, in economics, from the University of Michigan in 2000, and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. 

“Seth is an accomplished finance attorney with experience and acumen well beyond his years,” said Michael Hainen, chair of the Commercial Finance Group. “He is tireless and completely dedicated in his work and is a valuable asset to Goldberg Kohn. Seth’s future is extremely bright.”

What role has mentoring played in your career?

Regardless of the degree of effort, talent and ability one brings to the table, it is an uphill battle to achieve success without having the guidance from, and support of, others who are invested in your development. Luckily for me, I began my career at a law firm (Goldberg Kohn) that prides itself in the nurturing and training of young associates.  Whether through formal substantive training sessions or informally through observation while in the trenches together during a deal, I was surrounded by a collection of partners that were invested in my growth and devoted their time to demonstrate what it meant to be a successful commercial finance attorney. I was a direct beneficiary of this spirit of generosity in time and patience, and I learned at an early stage in my career how to connect with clients on both a personal and professional level and earn their trust, how to bring adverse parties together to reach common resolution on difficult issues, and how to balance multiple transactions with conflicting schedules with maximum efficiency and precision.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a personal mentor who I had the tremendous pleasure and privilege of having worked side by side with for the last 14 years, and who tragically passed away earlier this year. Gary Zussman was a colleague, a mentor and a friend. Beloved by clients, respected by opposing counsel and admired by all who knew him, Gary was widely regarded as a true legend in commercial finance. And as good as a lawyer as he was, he was an even better person and taught by example to do things the right way. Gary was a source of professional guidance for me for the entirety of my career, and I try to honor his legacy by staying true to the standard of excellence that he set.

How did you wind up in the industry? We know most kids don’t say “I want to be in commercial finance when I grow up.”

I must admit that, growing up, “commercial finance attorney” was pretty far down on my list of possible career choices; behind astronaut, Chicago Cubs second baseman and policeman. However, looking back, I trace the origin of the path that led to my profession to my discovery of economics at the University of Michigan. There is an inherent logic that permeates the philosophy of economics that deeply appealed to me and that made such intuitive sense. From there, law school was a natural successor. 

What did at the time, and what still does, attract me to a transactional practice of law is the spirit of collaboration. Ultimately, as commercial finance attorneys, our role is to resolve problems through creative solutions and to bring different parties together in pursuit of a mutually beneficial outcome, all while protecting the client’s best interests. That mutuality of celebration, appreciation and optimism among all parties to a transaction at its close distinguishes the practice of commercial finance lawyers. For all sides to hopefully walk away as winners is rewarding.  

There are probably a number of transactional practices that could claim similar attributes. However, ultimately, it is the people you surround yourself with that determine the quality of the experience. And this industry is filled with such talented, passionate and accomplished individuals, all with a great spirit of camaraderie. I am appreciative of having made the decisions that lead me to becoming a part of this great collective.


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