Jonathan A. Ballan

Co-Chair, Public & Project Finance

New York

(212) 297-2696

(212) 509-9492

Jon focuses his practice on municipal and infrastructure finance, public authority finance, stadium finance, economic development, housing finance, project finance, government relations, and privatization and securitization of public assets.

Jon has broad experience developing innovative legal structures for numerous state and local bond issuers and investment bankers. He has served as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, underwriter’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, developer’s counsel, and trustee counsel for tax-exempt and taxable transactions in various areas, including economic development, housing, transportation, education, sports facilities, nonprofit, pilot bond, loan securitization, solid waste, water, and wastewater. Jon was has been recognized by City & State New York as a 50 Over 50 for 2021 and named a Law360 MVP of the Year for Project Finance in 2016. He has also been named one of New York’s leading lawyers in Bonds/Government Finance by New York Super Lawyers since 2007.

Since the early 1990s, Jon has served in numerous high-level governmental capacities in New York state and New York City, including as chairman of two state entities and over five years as a board member for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In addition, he was appointed director of the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) in 2018 and continues to serve in this role. This experience provides Jon with a unique perspective on financing governmental projects.

Most recently, Jon was the head of the New York public finance group of an international firm. From 2001 to 2013, Jon led and developed the New York municipal bond practice at another well-known firm. He also has worked as an investment banker in the public finance department of a major investment bank.

Jon earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Williams College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. Jon earned his law degree from George Washington University.

Career Governmental Appointments

  • Director of the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), 2018 - Present. Appointed by the New York State Senate; Member of Mortgage Insurance Fund and Corporate Governance Committees.
  • Board Member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York (MTA) and a member of the Finance, Metro North, Long Island Railroad, NYC Transit, Bridges & Tunnels, Audit and Corporate Governance Committees, 2011 – 2016. Extensive participation in oversight of financial transactions and procurements. Appointed by Westchester County Executive; approved by the Governor of New York State and confirmed by the New York State Senate.
  • Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York, 2001 – 2008. Appointed by the Governor of New York State; Confirmed by the New York State Senate.
  • Chairman of the New York Public Asset Fund, 2005 – 2008. Appointed by the New York State Governor; Confirmed by the New York State Senate.
  • Board Member of the NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation, 1996 – 1997. Appointed by the Mayor of New York City; Confirmed by New York City Council.
  • Member of the New York State Watershed Protection and Partnership Council, 2000 – 2007. Appointed by the New York State Governor.
  • Board Member of the NYC Environmental Control Board, 1994 – 2003. Appointed by the Mayor of New York City; Confirmed by New York City Council.


  • Served as bond counsel and special counsel to the New York Transportation Development Corporation in the P3 renovation and privatization of the 27 service areas on the New York State Thruway, a 570-mile tollway that is the fifth busiest in the nation. This transaction was named the Bond Buyer 2021 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Financing Deal of the Year.
  • 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. Federal tax law revisions were required to undertake the financing. This transaction, and two subsequent related deals, involved the issuance of more than $1.2 billion of tax-exempt PILOT Revenue Bonds and $125 million of federally taxable Rental Revenue Bonds. Retained as special bond counsel for refunding transactions.
  • Served as special counsel to the Empire State Development Corporation. Led the legal team that created the New York Liberty Development Corporation (NYLDC) for the primary purpose of issuing New York Liberty Bonds for commercial projects to assist New York City following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
  • Served as lead disclosure counsel for $2.4 billion of special facilities bonds for the LaGuardia Airport Terminal B Reconstruction Project. The transaction was the 2016 Bond Buyer Deal of the Year for the Northeast Region.
  • Led the bond counsel team on New York Liberty Development Corporation’s issuance of $1.9 billion of revenue bonds to finance the construction of the new world headquarters of Goldman Sachs near Ground Zero.
  • Led the bond counsel team for the Empire State Development Corporation on the financing of a new arena for the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) in the Atlantic Yards area of downtown Brooklyn. Numerous novel legal issues relating to the finance structure, securities, and real estate and tax laws needed to be solved prior to the closing.
  • Served as bond counsel or underwriter’s counsel for state fiscal oversight boards in the City of Buffalo and Nassau County, New York.
  • Served as underwriters’ counsel on many significant financings to major New York public authorities, including the New York State Thruway Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 
  • Served as underwriter's counsel or bond counsel on numerous financings of educational facilities through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and a number of industrial development agencies.
  • Served as underwriter’s counsel on nearly $1 billion of financings and refinancings of DASNY debt on behalf of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.
  • Served as underwriter’s counsel on more than $2 billion New York State Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation Asset-Backed Revenue Bonds.
  • Served as bond counsel for the New York State Housing Finance Agency and New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
  • Served as Special Counsel for the National Development Council, a nationally renowned not-for-profit corporation, in connection with innovative P3 transactions for parking, water, wastewater, and other governmental functions.
  • Served as bond counsel, borrower’s counsel and underwriter's counsel on innovative governmental infrastructure finance transactions for urban redevelopments, libraries, water systems, solid waste facilities, and cultural centers for various cities and counties.


The Bond Buyer Selects Cozen O’Connor Transaction as P3 Deal of the Year

January 05, 2022

Cozen O’Connor is proud to have served as lead bond counsel in the recently announced Bond Buyer 2021 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Financing Deal of the Year.

Super Lawyers Recognizes 17 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys in New York

October 04, 2021

Super Lawyers has named 17 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2021 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

Jonathan Ballan Named to City & State New York’s 50 Over Fifty

January 25, 2021

Jonathan Ballan, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Public & Project Finance Practice, has been named among City & State New York’s 2021 “New York 50 Over Fifty” honorees.

New York and MTA Must Do Their Part, Too

December 24, 2020

Jonathan Ballan discusses actions in which MTA officials must take in order to accelerate its push for efficiencies within the organization.

The Bond Buyer podcast New World with Jonathan Ballan

December 08, 2020

Jonathan Ballan, the co-chair of the Public and Project Finance practice, was featured on The Bond Byer podcast New World.

Super Lawyers Recognizes 21 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys in New York

September 29, 2020

Super Lawyers has named 21 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2020 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

Jonathan Ballan Quoted in Bond Buyer Obituary for Felix Rohatyn

December 17, 2019

Rohatyn was chair of the nine-member Municipal Assistance Corp (MAC) in 1975 when New York City was facing bankruptcy. Ballan chaired MAC for eight years beginning in 2000.

Jonathan A. Ballan Joins Cozen O’Connor as Co-Chair of Public & Project Finance Practice Group

April 24, 2018

Ballan Combines a Strong Background in Project Finance with Decades of Government Service


An opportunity for COVID Recovery Bonds is here now

February 11, 2021

Jonathan Ballan discusses the municipal bond industry’s ability to help the U.S. recover from the economic and employment crisis that is a result of a COVID-19.

The SEC Adopts Rule 15c2-12 Amendments Regarding Material Financial Obligations: Some Initial Q&A [Public & Project Finance Alert]

August 27, 2018

Mark Vacha, Jon Ballan, and Suzanne Mayes discuss the two new categories of listed events that require continuing disclosure material event notice filings by issuers or obligated persons.

The Bond Buyer Podcast: Ballan: Bonds and Beyond

May 29, 2018

Jonathan Ballan, co-chair of Cozen O'Connor's Public & Project Finance Practice Group, was featured on The Bond Buyer podcast.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

A Comprehensive Plan for Long Island

November 07, 2019 - Central Islip, NY

Bond Buyer Mid-Atlantic Municipal Conference

October 24, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

P3 Summit Puerto Rico

April 20, 2017 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Industry Sectors


  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D.
  • Williams College, B.A.

Awards & Honors

Law360 MVP of the Year for Project Finance, 2016

New York Super Lawyers for Bonds/Government Finance, 2007-2021

City & State New York, 50 Over 50, 2021

  • New York

National Association of Bond Lawyers, Member

New York Municipal Forum, Chairman of Audit Committee