New York – April 24, 2018 – Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce Jonathan A. Ballan — a well-known public finance attorney who has structured the funding for some of New York City’s biggest infrastructure, economic development, and stadium projects — has joined the firm as co-chair of its Public & Project Finance Practice Group.
Ballan — who has overseen the financings for Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the LaGuardia Airport Terminal B Reconstruction Project in Queens — will play a major role in helping Cozen O’Connor expand its Public & Project Finance Practice, which is already a recognized leader in the field. Working closely with Philadelphia-based Co-Chair Suzanne S. Mayes, he will focus on representing New York-based public sector, underwriter, and borrower clients, especially those involved in major infrastructure and capital projects.
“Jon’s track record not only includes leading cutting-edge projects like Yankee Stadium and LaGuardia Airport but also many years of serving on key government boards in both New York state and New York City, including the MTA,” Mayes said. “Our clients will be able to leverage that experience, especially those in the P3, economic development, stadium finance, TIF finance, and related areas. I’m absolutely thrilled to have Jon on board and I believe our clients will be too.”
Ballan comes to the firm from Dentons, where he was head of that firm’s New York Public Finance Group. He joins Cozen O’Connor as a partner and will reside in its midtown New York City office.
“In addition to my deep experience in public finance, I have been fortunate to lead many complicated financings in the greater New York region and now bring the opportunity to leverage and expand for our firm's clients throughout the Northeast region and beyond,” said Ballan. “Further, I’ve long been impressed by and drawn to Cozen O’Connor’s smart, well-managed growth strategies, particularly in this field. My existing clients will benefit greatly from the firm’s strong bench and solid support in all areas related to project finance.”
Ballan regularly serves as bond, trustee, disclosure, underwriter’s, borrower’s, and developer’s counsel for a range of tax-exempt and taxable transactions, including economic development, housing, transportation, education, sports facilities, nonprofit, pilot bond, loan securitization, public asset sales, energy, solid waste, water, and wastewater projects.
Currently director of the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), he has also served as a board member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York (2011-2016); chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York (2001-2008); and chairman of the New York State Public Asset Fund (2005-2008). He was also a member of the New York State Watershed Protection and Partnership Council, a board member of the New York City Environmental Control Board, and a board member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Ballan served as special bond counsel to the New York Yankees in connection with the financing by the New York City Industrial Development Agency of the new Yankee Stadium, which was honored in 2006 by The Bond Buyer as its “Deal of the Year”; and was lead disclosure counsel for $2.4 billion of special facilities bonds for the LaGuardia Airport Terminal B Reconstruction Project — The Bond Buyer 2016 “Deal of the Year” for the Northeast Region. Ballan also led the bond counsel team for the Empire State Development Corporation on the financing of Barclays Arena for the Brooklyn Nets, addressing numerous, novel legal issues relating to the finance structure, securities, and real estate and tax laws; and served as special counsel to the Empire State Development Corporation, leading a legal team that created the New York Liberty Development Corporation (NYLDC) — which issued New York Liberty Bonds for commercial projects to assist New York City following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Ballan earned his law degree from The George Washington University and his undergraduate degree from Williams College, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude.
Ballan will be joined by Robert Owen Senzer, also of Dentons, who will focus his practice on public finance and economic development. Senzer, who joins the firm’s midtown New York office as of counsel, has served as bond, underwriter's, developer's, and trustee's counsel in tax-exempt and taxable bond transactions representing billions of dollars.
Consistently nominated by New York Super Lawyers as a leading Bonds/Government Finance lawyer, Senzer has served as lead counsel on transactions for state and local authorities and local development corporations involving water, wastewater and solid waste and resource recovery facilities, parking garages, stadium financings, and tobacco settlement securitizations. Senzer earned his J.D. at St. John's University, and his B.S. at Cornell University.
The Public & Project Finance Group at Cozen O’Connor negotiates financings and refinancings on behalf of government, nonprofit sector, and private sector entities in order to fund major infrastructure, education, housing, senior living, health care, energy, and economic development projects. Since 2011, its attorneys have participated in public finance transactions that exceed $31 billion in aggregate principal. Further, the group represents public finance industry participants in related compliance and regulatory matters.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has more than 750 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor services its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.