John Kamins works with clients in diverse, high-level business, finance, securities, entertainment and governance matters. Clients seek his counsel to help them navigate some of the biggest legal, business and financial challenges they face. John has extensive experience in public finance, corporate and securities, non-profit corporate law and entertainment law.
John has done bond financing work for state and local governments, underwriters, trustees and conduit borrowers. He has served as corporate counsel to publicly traded and privately held companies and 501(c)(3) entities for financings, securities offerings, private placements, SEC reporting, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures as well as governance issues. His breadth and depth of experience has made John a highly sought after finance and bond lawyer in the Detroit area.
He invented and had a pivotal role as structuring and underwriters’ counsel for the $1.4 billion City of Detroit public pension funding transaction that won national recognition as The Bond Buyer’s 2005 Midwest Regional Deal of the Year.
John also provides a wide range of services for entertainment clients, which have included talent, companies and investors in the movie and music industries.
He is a frequent speaker for legal and industry groups and associations. His most recent topics include financing charitable and educational facilities, municipal borrowing in a down economy and making movies in Michigan.
John has also been a leader for years in charitable organizations, both nationally and around Detroit. These include The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Goodwill Industries as well as active involvement in the Michigan and Florida bar associations.
Honors & Recognitions
AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers in America® 2013-2019 (Corporate Law)
The Bond Buyer's 2005 Midwest Regional Deal of the Year Award
Who's Who in America
Who's Who in American Law
Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of Michigan; Arts, Communications, Entertainment & Sports Section, past chairman
- State Bar of Michigan, Government Law Section (formerly named the Public Corporation Law Section), past chairman
- Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
- The Florida Bar, Section of Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law
Industry & Professional Associations:
- National Association of Bond Lawyers
- Steering Committee for Bond Attorneys Workshops
- Opinion Committee, past vice-chair
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- National Board of Trustees, past chairman
- Board of Directors, past chairman
- Michigan Chapter, past president
- Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit Foundation, past president
- Temple Beth El, Bloomfield Hills, Board of Trustees, past president
- Assisted a VEBA trust for a large county's retiree medical benefits in 2007. He devised and helped to implement an unprecedented securities transaction for funding more than $500 million of unfunded accrued actuarial OBEB liabilities.
- A publicly traded electric utility corporation wanted to finance stranded costs in connection with its state's deregulation of electricity. John helped it to accomplish a complex $1.75 billion securitization bond offering in 2001.
- In February 2010, he advised the board of directors and management of a charitable non-profit on their duties and actions to address and resolve an urgent and confidential matter. He regularly provides counsel of this kind for crisis control and communications.
- A large, multi-state, multi-hospital health care corporation wanted to enter a new non-mortgage master indenture to coexist with an outstanding mortgage master indenture for more than $1 billion of tax-exempt bond debt until a future triggering event. The company relied on John, who in a period of 42 consecutive hours drafted contractual and disclosure language for the first bond offering under both indentures.
- John successfully briefed and presented oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, upholding a small new company's federal trademark registration over the opposition of one of the world's largest breakfast cereal companies
- Our Bond Counsel Practice: How We Serve Townships, April 2018 Municipal Law News, April 24, 2018
- Bond Counsel Corner: Learn More About Our Services, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, January 26, 2016
- Bond Counsel Corner: Municipal Advisors and the IRMA Exemption, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, March 30, 2015
- Federal Court Upholds Historic SEC Enforcement Action against a Municipal Official, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, February 27, 2015
- SEC Announces Enforcement Actions against Municipal Bond Issuer and Its Former Officials, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, January 27, 2015
- Direct Purchases of Bonds By Banks: An Increasingly Popular Alternative for Municipalities, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, September 29, 2014
News & Events
- 45 Foster Swift Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America© 2019, August 15, 2018
- 46 Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, August 21, 2017
- 44 Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2016 Best Lawyers in America® Roster, August 21, 2015
- 45 Foster Swift attorneys named to 2015 Best Lawyers in America® roster, August 19, 2014
- Forty-five Foster Swift Attorneys included in Best Lawyers in America®, August 15, 2013
- 47 Foster Swift attorneys named as 2013 Best Lawyers in America®, September 4, 2012
- Kamins elected chairman of ACES section of the State Bar, October 18, 2010
- Continuing Disclosure Best Practices, Macomb County Treasurer's Association Meeting, May 16, 2017
- The Burgeoning Charter School Market and Other Educational and Multi-State Financing Issues, National Association of Bond Lawyers, October 19, 2016
- Webinar: A Current Guide to Municipal Bonds and Debt, April 20, 2016
- The Growing Charter School Market and other Issues in Educational Financings and Multi-State Financings, Bond Attorneys Workshop of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, September 9, 2015
- Bond Offerings: Compliance and Training for Involved City Officials, 29th Annual Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Advanced Institute, March 24, 2015
- Ask an Expert - Credit Enhancements, CDFA National Development Finance Summit, November 20, 2014
University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1970
University of Michigan, B.A., 1968
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C.