Cozen O’Connor: Ballan, Jonathan A.

Jonathan A. Ballan

Co-Chair, Public & Project Finance

New York

(212) 297-2696

(212) 986-0604

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 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 for each of the past seven years.

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. 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.

Experience

  • 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.

News

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

Innovation in Bond Transactions

February 16, 2016

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

Publications

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

Bond Buyer Mid-Atlantic Municipal Conference

October 24, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

P3 Summit Puerto Rico

April 20, 2017 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Industry Sectors

Education

  • 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, 2007-2018

  • New York
  • New Jersey

National Association of Bond Lawyers, Member

New York Municipal Forum, Chairman of Audit Committee