"The godfather in mortgage-backed securities is Jon Van Gorp, who is the most creative problem solver I have found - he is truly phenomenal."
"Jon Van Gorp is a really smart guy who is very business-minded and good to work with." "His key quality is the combination of deep expertise, responsiveness and problem solving."
“Jon Van Gorp is ‘an encyclopedia of securitization knowledge’” and comes up with “creative ways to accomplish the objectives.”
Jon Van Gorp is chair of Mayer Brown. He has served on the firm’s Management Committee since 2017 and previously served as a co-leader of the Banking & Finance, Capital Markets and Structured Finance practices. He has practiced continuously at Mayer Brown for over 25 years.
Jon has been consistently ranked as an outstanding lawyer by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Legal 500 and IFLR1000 each year since becoming a partner. This includes recognition as one of only four lawyers ranked Band 1 in Chambers USA for Capital Markets: RMBS (Nationwide) in 2022 and one of only 12 lawyers in Legal 500’s inaugural list of Hall of Fame lawyers for Structured Finance in the US.
Jon excels at analyzing a client’s situation and proposing unique yet practical solutions. Jon’s reputation for innovation, recognized by the Financial Times, is demonstrated by his integral role in many first-of-their-kind transactions, including:
- The first Non-Performing Loan re-REMIC securitization
- The first offshore public company established to own mortgage-servicing rights
- The first publicly offered CDO of mezzanine MBS debt
- The first issuance of bank debt guaranteed by Farmer Mac
- The first securitization of Mexican mortgage loans funded in the US capital markets
- The first auto receivables shelf registration statement to go effective under Regulation AB
- The first synthetic transfer of risk related to a portfolio of consumer auto leases
- The first synthetic captive auto finance company funded and administered by an independent commercial bank
- The first auto-leveraged lease transaction funded with asset-backed debt
Jon’s experience highlights his versatility and flexibility. The broad range of his work includes public and private securities offerings, private investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, assets sales, structured finance transactions, leveraged leases, derivatives, synthetic risk-transfer programs, litigation/workouts/restructurings, government relations/lobbying and financial guaranty insurance. He develops novel approaches to funding difficult-to-finance assets, such as mortgage servicing-rights and nonperforming mortgage loans, distressed ABS and MBS, residential homes and single-family rental properties, and mortgage servicing advances.
As an industry-recognized thought leader, Jon frequently provides insight and analysis on issues related to the finance and banking industries in top-tier media, including the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones Newswires, Financial Times, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Jon is regularly invited to speak on structured finance and mortgage finance issues and he has published articles on a wide range of structured finance-related topics. Most recently, Jon co-authored articles for Bloomberg Law, “Acquiring Excess Servicing Fees for Mortgage Loan Servicing Rights” and “The State of Play of Qualified and Non-Qualified Mortgages,” provided readers with “Everything You Need to Know About Entering the Mortgage Finance Market” in an article for HousingWire, discussed “Beyond Auto Leasing: The Use of Titling Trusts in Structured Finance Transactions” in an article for The Journal of Structured Finance, advocated “The Case for Supporting Nonbank Mortgage Servicers” in an article for National Mortgage News, and opined on regulatory reform in an opinion-editorial for National Mortgage News titled “Mortgage Credit Markets Need New Government Support Programs.” Additionally, Jon taught a course in real estate finance as an adjunct professor at The John Marshall Law School.
Since being elected chair of Mayer Brown, Jon’s innovative management philosophy has garnered headlines and generated media interest across the legal industry. His leadership philosophy, profiled in Reuters’, "Beyond Cold Hard Cash, Warm Fuzzies Are the Way to a Lawyer's Heart, Firm Chair Says," and Law360’s "Mayer Brown Chair On Why Law Leaders Need to Listen More," centers on fostering a collaborative work culture because of the two internal podcasts he hosts for all firm lawyers and business staff members where people feel they are part of something bigger than themselves, helping them achieve more professional satisfaction. Crain’s Chicago Business published a wide-ranging profile of Jon in "Mayer Brown’s New Boss Looks to Grow at Home as the World Changes," and The American Lawyer highlighted the firm’s record-breaking growth and economic performance in "How Mayer Brown’s Jon Van Gorp Approaches Leadership, the Talent War – and Podcasting.” Jon’s unique ability to draw inspiration and lessons from his lifelong love of reading has led to regular book reviews featured in The American Lawyer, including “For Lawyers, Time Is Money. How It’s Used Deserves Deep Reflection.” Jon was showcased as the lead interview in the celebratory 200th episode podcast of The American Lawyer’s “Legal Speak” where he was touted as a fellow podcaster.
Jon is an active leader in the community. He is a member and former Chair of the Chicago Regional Board of Bottom Line. Bottom Line provides college access and success programs for low-income and first-generation college students. He is a member of the Carrington Charitable Foundation Advisory Board, which provides support to America’s wounded servicemen and women, and he is a member of the Leadership Circle of The Honor Foundation, which provides career transition services to elite fighters such as U.S. Navy SEALs retiring from military service. Jon is a past Leadership Greater Chicago fellow, Class of 2005. He is also the former treasurer and a former trustee of the Kenilworth Union Church.
- Structured and negotiated the purchase or sale of several large mortgage-loan origination, servicing and asset management platforms; including two purchases from bankrupt sellers.
- Structured and negotiated multiple mortgage loan securitization transactions and structured warehouse facilities issuing both public and private securities, including REMIC and non-REMIC structures for commercial and residential mortgage loans, home-equity lines of credit, fix and flip Loans, home-equity loans and nonperforming loans.
- Structured and negotiated multiple financing facilities for owners of residential homes.
- Structured and negotiated multiple one-off and flow asset purchase arrangements for mortgage loans, mortgage servicing rights, auto loans, insurance policies, and consumer finance origination and servicing platforms, ranging in size up to $55 billion.
- Structured and negotiated multiple public auto loan and auto lease term securitization transactions, including transactions with asset-backed derivative instruments and financial guaranty insurance.
- During the Great Recession, led a consortium of independent mortgage servicers in a successful lobbying effort to obtain government support for mortgage servicing advance funding facilities.
- Prepared multiple Regulation AB-compliant shelf registration statements for auto receivables, mortgage loans and home equity loans, including registrations by foreign issuers.
- Structured and negotiated multiple repurchase agreements and securities-lending agreements for ABS, MBS and mortgage loans.
- Negotiated asset-backed interest rate and currency swap transactions, including transactions conforming with criteria for ratings-dependent swaps.
- Negotiated and documented multiple market value swaps for mortgage loan-backed and securities-backed funding vehicles.
- Negotiated credit derivatives for a large monoline insurance company.
- Structured and negotiated several cross-border mortgage-loan securitization transactions, including transactions issuing publicly registered asset-backed securities.
Calvin College, BA
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, JD, cum laude
Staff Editor, The International Lawyer