Public & Project Finance

The public and project finance team at Cozen O’Connor is a recognized leader in the field. Our attorneys negotiate 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. We have experience serving as bond counsel, underwriters' counsel and borrower's counsel in all manner of transactions, including tax-exempt and taxable bonds, debt restructuring, off-balance sheet financings, securitizations, and derivatives. Over the past decade, attorneys from our group have participated in transactions that exceed approximately $75 billion in aggregate principal amount. In addition, we represent public finance industry participants in related compliance and regulatory matters. 

Cozen O’Connor has a team of partners dedicated to this practice. Few large firms have committed to public and project finance law to nearly the same extent. At Cozen O’Connor, we don’t do this work part time or juggle a multimillion-dollar bond issue with an initial public offering. Our public and project finance attorneys do public and project finance deals. Period.

That single-minded focus directly benefits clients. For one thing, it means that the practice operates with optimal efficiency. It also means that our attorneys are fully versed in current legal and regulatory trends and steeped in the particulars of public and project finance law. They have command of the relevant state and federal statutes and a thorough knowledge of how tax and securities law will impact financings. In many ways, public and project finance is an insiders’ game. Cozen O’Connor attorneys are fluent in the vernacular and can serve clients both as interpreter and guide.

Through years of dedicated practice, the firm’s public and project finance team has developed exceptionally strong relationships with government officials, leaders of public and private institutions, financial advisers, and underwriters. We also enjoy tremendous credibility with other working group members, which enables us to move big deals along expeditiously.

 

SERVICES

  • Facilitate tax-exempt and taxable financings (general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, and short-term notes)
  • Assist with debt restructurings and conversions
  • Draft operative legal documents and offering documents
  • Conduct due diligence
  • Prepare blue sky memoranda
  • Design bond pool programs
  • Advise clients on municipal swaps and other derivative products
  • Draft disclosure agreements and counsel on continuing disclosure obligations
  • Address Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board questions and issues

 

CLIENTS

We represent issuers, underwriters, and borrowers involved in financing the development, construction and operation of capital projects. Our diverse pool of clients includes:

  • States, counties, cities, school districts, authorities, and other governmental and quasi-governmental entities
  • Educational institutions, including colleges, universities, secondary, and charter schools
  • Entrepreneurial companies conducting urban economic development projects
  • Health care entities, including hospitals, continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities
  • Sports facility and sports team stakeholders
  • Underwriters and lenders to major capital projects
  • Other nonprofits
  • Developers
  • Trustees
  • Swap counterparties

 

TEAM

The public and project finance team at Cozen O’Connor has been ranked among the top state bond and underwriters’ counsel by independent rating institutions. Underlying this success is our attorneys’ experience in the legal and public sectors. Our attorneys have served on high-profile government advisory panels, boards of regional finance authorities, and are members of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers. They also lead efforts for greater diversity in the legal profession. The group's co-chair is a founding member of a nonprofit that provides educational and networking opportunities for female public finance professionals. 

In public and project finance, timing is critical. We are accustomed to working on deals with numerous players and competing deadlines, and we understand the importance of moving quickly to capture the benefits of a favorable rate environment. As part of our commitment to keeping pace with clients’ business needs, attorneys make themselves available around the clock. In addition, the public and project finance attorneys cultivate strong working relationships with members of the firm’s tax, health care, real estate, and bankruptcy groups so that they are always able to provide comprehensive counsel. At Cozen O’Connor, we strive to balance speed and prudence for the clients’ benefit.

Experience

Publications

It Might Not Be That Hard Being Green in the Muni Market [The Ledger]

September 01, 2021

Mark Vacha authored an article in the 2021 Winter Issue of The Ledger for the Government Finance Officers Association of Pennsylvania discussing the differences between green bonds and traditional bonds.

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.

Current Labors to Build a Post-LIBOR Marketplace

December 10, 2020

Mark Vacha authored an article in the 2020 Fall Issue of The Ledger for the Government Finance Officers Association of Pennsylvania addressing the current labors to build a post-London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) marketplace.

IRS’ LIBOR Fallback Guidance Provides Limited Reissuance Relief to Tax-Exempt Bond Issuers [Alert]

October 26, 2020

Chris Compton and Jerry Spector discuss IRS proposed regulations allowing the replacement of a LIBOR based rate associated with tax-exempt debt and financial contracts such as swaps with a fallback rate without triggering a reissuance.

A Survey of Selected Recent SEC Guidance Helpful for Municipal Securities Disclosure

August 20, 2020

Mark Vacha authored an article published in The Ledger, that provides issuers with an overview of a sampling of recent SEC guidance for purposes of disclosure for public bond and other debt offerings.

The municipal market needs advance refundings back [The Bond Buyer]

July 28, 2020

Suzanne Mayes discusses the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the U.S. tax-exempt bond market.

Regulatory Relief Granted to Issuers of Tax-Exempt Bonds in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 06, 2020

Jerry Spector discusses multiple notices and guidance issued by the Treasure and the IRS that impact the bond market.

There’s A New Investor that’s Come to Town in the Municipal Debt Markets

March 30, 2020

Mark Vacha and Scott Mehok discuss the framework for the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve System to introduce supra-institutional investors into the municipal securities markets created by the CARES Act.

Maintaining Tax-Exempt Status in a Debt Restructuring Necessitated by the COVID-19 Financial Crisis

March 30, 2020

Jeremy A. Spector discusses how loan restructurings offered under the CARES Act could affect tax-exempt status.

Invested Sinking Funds Revisited: A Cautionary Reminder for Issuers and Borrowers [Alert]

August 01, 2019

Jerry Spector discusses why issuers and borrowers should exercise extreme caution in the creation of funds to pay debt service outside of a bona fide debt service fund.

IRS Updates, Modernizes and Simplifies TEFRA Public Notice and Approval Regulations [Alert]

January 08, 2019

Jerry Spector outlines the major improvements and changes to the Temporary TEFRA regulations.

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.

Cues Municipal Markets Can Take from Corporate DRIP Investing Programs [The Ledger]

July 12, 2017

Mark Vacha discusses potential DRIP benefits for municipal markets in The Ledger.

Municipal Bond Offering Disclosures After a Chapter 9 Filing—A Few Reflections on Orange County and the City of Detroit

December 23, 2016

Mark Vacha discusses the post Chapter 9 filing bond disclosures of Orange County, Calif., and the City of Detroit.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Public Finance in a New Administration

August 30, 2021 - State College, PA

LIBOR Transition

November 05, 2020 -

Health Law 2020

December 04, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

A Comprehensive Plan for Long Island

November 07, 2019 - Central Islip, NY

Bond Buyer Mid-Atlantic Municipal Conference

October 24, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

GFOA of PA - Eastern Chapter Meeting

February 15, 2018 - West Chester, PA

The Power Behind Effective Relationship Management

October 11, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA

PBI Public Utility Law Conference

May 31, 2017 - Harrisburg, PA

Recent Tax and Securities Law Developments

April 28, 2017 - Richmond, VA

P3 Summit Puerto Rico

April 20, 2017 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

In The News

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.

Suzanne Mayes Awarded 2020 Freda Johnson Award Recipient for Trailblazing Women in Public Finance

November 10, 2020

Philadelphia – November 10, 2020 – Suzanne Mayes, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Business Law Department and co-chair of the firm’s Public & Project Finance Practice, has been selected as a 2020 Freda Johnson Trailblazing Women in Public Finance by the Northeast Women in Public Finance and The Bond Buyer.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

Cozen O’Connor Deepens its Corporate Practice Group Bench With Addition of Veteran Tax Attorney Christopher W. Compton

September 10, 2019

Cozen O’Connor welcomed Christopher W. Compton — a seasoned tax attorney who has served as legal counsel on a range of tax-exempt bond transactions worth (cumulatively) in excess of $2 billion — to its Corporate Practice Group.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Scott R. Mehok, One of Pennsylvania’s Leading Public Finance Attorneys, Joins Cozen O’Connor’s Corporate Practice Group

January 07, 2019

Mehok Played a Key Role in Establishing Pennsylvania’s First County-Wide Infrastructure Bank to Help Municipalities Fund Critical Transportation Projects

The 2018 Women in Law Roundtable Discussion

October 19, 2018

Suzanne Mayes participated in The Legal Intelligencer’s “Women in Law Roundtable Discussion.” Suzanne was one of 10 panelists who discussed solutions to challenges facing female attorneys and ways to advance the role of women in law.

Suzanne Mayes and Camille Miller Named Among “Best of the Bar” by the Philadelphia Business Journal

October 09, 2018

Suzanne S. Mayes, co-chair of Cozen O'Connor’s Public & Project Finance Practice, and Camille M. Miller, co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department, were named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2018 “Best of the Bar.”

Suzanne Mayes Recognized for Contributing to Philadelphia’s Growth by Commercial Real Estate Women

September 12, 2018

Suzanne S. Mayes, co-chair of Cozen O'Connor’s Public & Project Finance Practice and vice chair of the Business Law Department, has been recognized for significantly contributing to the growth of the Philadelphia landscape by Commercial Real Estate Women Philadelphia (CREW).

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

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

Public & Project Finance Expands Practice with Nationally Recognized Tax Attorney

January 02, 2018

Jeremy “Jerry” A. Spector, nationally recognized for his work in public finance tax law and a former member with Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., has joined the Philadelphia office of Cozen O’Connor in the firm’s Public and Project Finance practice.

Cozen O’Connor Names Six New Shareholders

September 07, 2017

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce the promotion of six members to shareholders of the firm: David Brisco (San Diego), Michael de Leeuw (New York), John Dickenson (West Palm Beach), Jonathan Lichtenstein (Philadelphia), William Walsh (Seattle), and Ingrid Welch (Philadelphia).

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Real Estate Member to Pittsburgh Office

July 18, 2017

Jeffrey A. Mills is a member of the Real Estate and Public & Project Finance practice groups.

Contacts

Suzanne S. Mayes

Co-Chair, Business Law Department

smayes@cozen.com

(215) 665-6922

Jonathan A. Ballan

Co-Chair, Public & Project Finance

jballan@cozen.com

(212) 297-2696

People

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