When entering into a credit agreement, borrower's counsel will usually provide an opinion to the bank. These opinions are highly standardized and governed (in New York) by the ABA Committee on Legal Opinions. This is a typical such opinion.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We have acted as special New York counsel to [__________], a Delaware corporation (the “Borrower”), in connection with the Credit Agreement of even date herewith (the “Credit Agreement”), among the Borrower, the lenders party thereto (collectively, the “Lenders”) and [____________], as administrative agent for the Lenders (in such capacity, the “Administrative Agent”). This opinion is being delivered to you pursuant to Section [__] of the Credit Agreement. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the meanings assigned to them in the Credit Agreement.
In that connection, we have examined originals, or copies certified or otherwise identified to our satisfaction, of such documents, corporate records and other instruments as we have deemed necessary or appropriate for purposes of this opinion, including:
(i) the Credit Agreement,
(ii) the Pledge and Security Agreement, and
(iii) the Guaranty Agreement.
The documents described in clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of the immediately preceding sentence are sometimes referred to herein as the “Agreements”. We have also relied, with respect to certain factual matters, on the representations and warranties of each Credit Party contained in the Agreements and have assumed compliance by each Credit Party with the terms of the Agreements.
In rendering our opinion, we have assumed (a) the genuineness of all signatures, (b) the due existence of each Credit Party, (c) that each party (including the Credit Parties) to the Agreements has all necessary power, authority and legal right to execute and deliver the Agreements to which it is a party and to perform its obligations thereunder and that each Agreement is a legal, valid and binding obligation of each party thereto other than the Credit Parties, (d) the due authorization, execution and delivery of the Agreements by all parties thereto (including the Credit Parties), (e) the authenticity of all documents submitted to us as originals, (f) the conformity to original documents of all documents submitted to us as copies, (g) that the choice of New York law contained in the Agreements was not qualified by giving effect to Federal laws applicable to national banks and (h) that insofar as any obligation under any Agreement is to be performed in, or by a party organized under the laws of, any jurisdiction outside the State of New York, its performance will not be illegal or ineffective in any jurisdiction by virtue of the law of that jurisdiction.
Based on the foregoing and subject to the qualifications hereinafter set forth, we are of opinion as follows:
- The execution and delivery by each Credit Party of the Agreements to which it is a party, the performance by each Credit Party of its obligations thereunder and the grant by each Grantor (as defined in the Pledge and Security Agreement) of security interests pursuant to the Pledge and Security Agreement do not violate any law, rule or regulation of the United States of America or the State of New York.
- To the extent governed by New York law, each Agreement constitutes a legal, valid and binding obligation of each Credit Party party thereto, enforceable against such Credit Party in accordance with its terms, subject in each case to applicable bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium, fraudulent transfer and other similar laws relating to or affecting creditors' rights generally from time to time in effect and to general principles of equity (including, without limitation, concepts of materiality, reasonableness, good faith and fair dealing), regardless of whether considered in a proceeding in equity or at law. The foregoing opinion is subject to the following qualifications: (i) certain provisions of the Agreements are or may be unenforceable in whole or part under the laws of the State of New York, but the inclusion of such provisions does not affect the validity of the Agreements or the liens and security interests purported to be created by the Agreements, and the Agreements contain adequate provisions for the practical realization of the principal rights and benefits intended to be afforded thereby, (ii) insofar as provisions contained in the Agreements provide for indemnification or limitations on liability, the enforceability thereof may be limited by public policy considerations, (iii) the availability of a decree for specific performance or an injunction is subject to the discretion of the court requested to issue any such decree or injunction and (iv) we express no opinion as to the effect of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York where any Lender may be located or where enforcement of the Agreements may be sought that limit the rates of interest legally chargeable or collectible.
- No authorization, approval or other action by, and no notice to, consent of, order of or filing with, any United States Federal or New York State governmental authority is required to be made or obtained by any Credit Party in connection with the execution, delivery and performance by any Credit Party of the Agreements to which it is a party or the grant by each Grantor of the security interests under the Pledge and Security Agreement, other than (i) such reports to United States governmental authorities regarding international capital and foreign currency transactions as may be required pursuant to 31 C.F.R. Part 128, (ii) those that have been made or obtained and are in full force and effect or as to which the failure to be made or obtained or to be in full force and effect should not result, individually or in the aggregate, in a material adverse effect on the Borrower and its Subsidiaries, taken as a whole, (iii) those under Federal or state laws as may be necessary in connection with the exercise of remedies or sale of collateral or the granting of additional security interests or guarantees pursuant to the Agreements, (iv) those that are required in order to perfect or record security interests granted under the Agreements and (v) those that may be required because of the legal or regulatory status of any Lender or because of any other facts specifically pertaining to any Lender.
- Assuming that the Borrower complies with the provisions of the Credit Agreement relating to the use of proceeds of the Loans, the making of the Loans under the Credit Agreement on the date hereof does not violate Regulation T, U or X of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
- The provisions of the Pledge and Security Agreement are sufficient to create in favor of the Administrative Agent a security interest in all right, title and interest of each Credit Party party thereto in such of the Collateral (as defined therein) as constitutes “accounts”, “chattel paper”, “documents”, “equipment”, “general intangibles”, “goods”, “instruments”, “inventory” and “investment property” within the meaning of the Uniform Commercial Code of the State of New York as in effect on the date hereof (the “New York UCC”) (such of the Collateral being hereinafter referred to as the “Specified UCC Collateral”), to the extent that the creation of security interests in the Specified UCC Collateral is governed by the New York UCC.
Our opinion expressed in paragraph 5 is qualified as follows:
- we express no opinion as to (i) rights in or title to any Collateral held by any Credit Party or (ii) the completeness or accuracy of the description in any documents of any Collateral;
- we express no opinion as to the creation of any security interests (i) in any item of Collateral other than the Specified UCC Collateral or (ii) in any item of Collateral that is expressly excluded from the application of the New York UCC pursuant to Section 9-109 thereof;
- we express no opinion as to the perfection or priority of any security interests created under the Agreements;
- in the case of property that becomes Collateral after the date hereof, Section 552 of Title 11 of the United States Code (the “Bankruptcy Code”) limits the extent to which property acquired by a debtor after the commencement of a case under the Bankruptcy Code may be subject to a security interest arising from a security agreement entered into by the debtor before the commencement of such case;
- we express no opinion as to the validity or enforceability of any security interest in goods (as defined in the New York UCC) that have been bought by a buyer in the ordinary course of business (as defined in Section 1-201 of the New York UCC);
- we express no opinion regarding any copyrights, patents, trademarks, service marks or other intellectual property, the proceeds thereof, or money due with respect to the lease, license or use thereof except to the extent Article 9 of the New York UCC may be applicable to the foregoing, and we express no opinion as to the effect of any Federal laws relating to copyrights, patents, trademarks, service marks or other intellectual property on the opinions expressed herein;
- we express no opinion as to security interests in any item of collateral subject to any restriction on or prohibition against assignment or transfer contained in or otherwise applicable to such item of collateral or any contract, agreement, license, permit, security, instrument or document constituting, evidencing or relating to such item, except to the extent that any such restriction or prohibition is rendered ineffective pursuant to any of Sections 9-406 through 9-409, inclusive, of the New York UCC. We note that even though the New York UCC may render such a restriction or prohibition ineffective for purposes of creation or perfection of a security interest, nonetheless, in many cases, such a security interest may represent only limited rights in the related items of collateral and be subject to various restrictions (including restrictions on rights of use, assignment and enforcement); and
- we express no opinion as to any Collateral constituting claims against any government or governmental agency, including any Collateral that is subject to the Federal Assignment of Claims Act.
We express no opinion herein as to any provision in any Agreement that (a) relates to the subject matter jurisdiction of any Federal court of the United States of America, or any Federal appellate court, to adjudicate any controversy related to the Agreements (such as the provision found in Section 15.2 of the Credit Agreement), (b) contains a waiver of an inconvenient forum (such as the provision found in Section 15.2 of the Credit Agreement), (c) relates to a right of setoff in respect of purchases of interests in loans (such as the provision found in Section 11.2 of the Credit Agreement) or with respect to parties that may not hold mutual debts (such as the provision found in Section 11.1 of the Credit Agreement), (d) provides for liquidated damages or penalty interest, (e) relates to the waiver of rights to jury trial (such as the provision found in Section 15.3 of the Credit Agreement), (f) relates to governing law to the extent that it purports to affect the choice of law governing perfection and the effect of perfection and non-perfection of security interests or (h) relates to any arrangement or similar fee payable to any arranger (including the Arranger and the Administrative Agent) of the commitments or loans under the Credit Agreement or any fee not set forth in the Agreements. We also express no opinion as to (v) the enforceability of the provisions of any Agreement to the extent that such provisions constitute a waiver of illegality as a defense to performance of contract obligations or any other defense to performance which cannot, as a matter of law, be effectively waived, (w) whether a state court outside the State of New York or a Federal court of the United States would give effect to the choice of New York law provided for in the Agreements, (x) with respect to any Credit Party organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, the effect of any provision in the certificate of incorporation of such Credit Party of the type permitted by Section 102(b)(2) of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, (y) the effect of qualifying the choice of New York law by giving effect to Federal laws applicable to national banks or (z) compliance with, or the application or effect of, Federal or state securities laws or regulations or the application or effect of any laws or regulations relating to the provision of healthcare products or services to which Vitas Healthcare Corporation or any Credit Party or any of its subsidiaries is subject or the necessity of any authorization, approval or action by, or any notice to, consent of, order of, or filing with, any Governmental Authority pursuant to any such laws or regulations.
We understand that you are satisfying yourselves as to the status under Section 548 of the Bankruptcy Code and applicable state fraudulent conveyance laws of the obligations of each Credit Party and the security interests of the Administrative Agent and the Lenders under the Agreements, and we express no opinion thereon.
We are admitted to practice only in the State of New York, and we express no opinion as to matters governed by any laws other than the laws of the State of New York and the Federal law of the United States of America. Our opinions relating to security interests are limited to Article 9 of the New York UCC and do not address (i) laws of jurisdictions other than New York, and laws of New York except for Article 9 of the New York UCC, (ii) collateral of a type not subject to Article 9 of the New York UCC, (iii) what law governs perfection and the effect of perfection or non-perfection of such security interests or (iv) the effect, if any, of laws of jurisdictions other than New York on the creation, perfection or priority of such security interests.
This opinion is rendered only to the Administrative Agent and the existing Lenders under the Credit Agreement and is solely for their benefit in connection with the above transactions. In addition, we hereby consent to reliance on this opinion by a permitted assign of a Lender's interest in the Credit Agreement, provided that such permitted assign becomes a Lender on or prior to the 30th day after the date of this opinion. We are opining as to the matters herein only as of the date hereof, and, while you are authorized to deliver copies of this opinion to such permitted assigns and they are permitted to rely on this opinion, the rights to do so do not imply any obligation on our part to update this opinion. This opinion may not be relied upon by any other person or for any other purpose or used, circulated, quoted or otherwise referred to for any other purpose.
Very truly yours,
[Law Firm Name]