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Public Finance

Counseling clients on public finance matters, our attorneys help close deals and launch projects that both drive commerce and serve the public interest. These collaborations call for close working relationships within federal, state and local governments and the business world. Our team understands that bond issuances and other public financing efforts can run into barriers, which require strategic, innovative approaches to forge ahead. We do both: cultivate relationships across the public finance arena and deliver creative solutions to generate win-win outcomes.

We recognize that now more than ever public-private partnerships act as the catalyst for progress. For example:

  • We created a financing structure to monetize the incentives granted by the state and local government for the renovation and expansion of the campus of Graceland, the Home of Elvis Presley. This project included the construction of a 450-room hotel adjacent to the Graceland Mansion and a 300,000-square foot entertainment complex with new museums, restaurants and shops and a facility for rotating exhibitions.
  • Our team structured the first significant use of state and local sales tax increment financing for a public -private partnership in Louisiana. We successfully prosecuted the bond validation proceeding that resulted in a Louisiana Supreme Court decision, which greatly expanded the ability for state and local governments in Louisiana to contribute funds and incentives to public-private partnerships in Louisiana.
  • Our lawyers navigated the confluence of issues and income streams involved in a number of sports stadiums and other public venues including AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis, and Nissan Stadium in Nashville and Shreveport Independence Stadium. The most challenging component of these transactions is finding an innovative way to enhance the benefits of the financing sources. In collaboration with our business and government partners, we did just that.
  • In developing a financing foundation for Louisiana’s clean water and drinking water revolving loan funds, we structured an innovative use of tax-exempt financing allowing Louisiana to fund its state match required by EPA.
  • In helping to fill an important societal need, we’ve performed the bond counsel work for numerous affordable housing projects.

Summary

We serve clients by following this simple but strong model of operation: We strive to be collaborative in working through issues and creative in solving them. For example, for a bond deal to work right everyone must pull their oar the same way, and we do what we can to foster that crucial teamwork. We fully understand that before the first dollar can be spent, we often need to find the means to apply incentives in a way they’ve never been applied before – and sometimes create or adjust the laws governing public financings or incentives through the legislative process. We work closely with our governmental relations lawyers when doing this to get the appropriate governmental body approval. That’s why we say our practice manifests at “the intersection of government and business.”

Our team closely tracks the changes in the tax law. We recognize that such revisions may affect the ability to continue financing projects the way they’ve previously been structured or how we’ll have to redesign the model to structure them differently in the future.

Defining Strengths

The members of our Public Finance Law Team are experienced in every stage of the financing process, including:

  • Advising public and private parties on options to borrow money under state and Federal law, including the formulation of comprehensive financial plans to finance infrastructure improvements and economic development facilities within the constraints of applicable laws and regulations.
  • Dealing with issues of constitutional and statutory law, as well as state and federal tax laws pertaining to public finance.
  • Working with state regulatory agencies and federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, to resolve issues relating to clients' borrowing needs.
  • Drafting enabling legislation to allow for the issuance of debt.
  • Representing clients in bond validation proceedings and other litigation relating to public finance.
  • Analyzing outstanding debt and advising clients regarding refinancing and restructuring alternatives.
  • Creating and organizing local governmental units such as special service districts, public trusts and industrial development boards.
  • Drafting propositions to be submitted to voters for the authorization of bonds, taxes and other types of local initiatives, and handling all facets of the election process.
  • Assisting in the drafting of local legislation (ordinances and resolutions) levying taxes, imposing fees and charges, and authorizing the incurring of debt, including related documents such as leases, mortgages, trust indentures, prospectuses and official statements.
  • Advising clients as to alternatives for selling debt through public sale, limited offerings and private placements.
  • Working with investment bankers to underwrite the debt and/or with other purchasers to purchase debt through private sales.
  • Handling all aspects of closing and delivery of bonds.
  • Advising issuers of bonds as to ongoing responsibilities relating to outstanding debt, including arbitrage rebate, continuing disclosure requirements under SEC rules, and other post-issuance matters mandated by state and Federal law.
  • Structuring and implementing defeasances of outstanding debt.
  • Assisting private entities in the issuance of taxable debt at low interest rates through the public finance market.
  • Representing all participants in the public finance market, including issuers, borrowers, trustees, credit enhancers, insurers, guarantors, underwriters, placement agents, remarketing agents and paying agents.