Use of cookies by
Norton Rose Fulbright
We use cookies to deliver our online services. Details and instructions on how to disable those cookies are set out at nortonrosefulbright.com/cookies-policy. By continuing to use this website you agree to our use of our cookies unless you have disabled them.

Public finance

Our public finance lawyers have represented virtually every type of participant in the municipal securities market and regularly rank among the top US bond counsel and underwriters counsel practices.

With one of the leading public finance legal practices in the US, we play important roles in financing public infrastructure in the US as well as private projects eligible for tax-exempt financing.

We have extensive experience as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, special tax counsel and general counsel to issuers of tax-exempt obligations. We also act as counsel to their underwriters, credit enhancers and liquidity providers.

We deliver

We provide a full complement of legal services for participants in the municipal securities market.

Issuers

Bond counsel: negotiating bond covenants; advising on legality and tax-exempt status of securities; preparing bond proceedings.

Disclosure counsel: advising on primary offerings disclosure and assisting with ongoing compliance matters.

Other counseling roles: IRS examinations and audits, SEC investigations, and use and investment of funds; government investment pools; as general or special counsel to issuers or other transaction participants in matters related to their financings.

Underwriters

Representation of all types and sizes of investment banks in public offerings and private placement, competitive bids, continuing disclosure and compliance.

Credit enhancers

Representation of issuers of bond insurance, letters of credit, or liquidity facilities supporting municipal securities issues, including commercial banks, state agencies, and insurance companies; negotiating workouts of poorly performing projects associated with public finance.

Tax-exempt entities being audited

Representation of issuers, borrowers (including 501(c)(3) borrowers) and other interested parties in various tax-exempt examinations and audits involving a wide range of matters stemming from actions initiated by the IRS.

Other participants

Representation of borrowers; credit facility and liquidity facility providers and other participants related to letters of credit, interest rate swap agreements and similar financial instruments.

Innovative financial structures

To do more with limited financial resources, issuers increasingly look to innovative financing structures. We have helped clients navigate the municipal securities market with various financial structures, including:

  • short-term financing, including commercial paper; grant, bond and tax anticipation notes, including GARVEEs; variable rate demand obligations that combine lower short-term rates with longer nominal maturities; and auction rate securities that do the same while preserving liquidity capacity to meet other needs
  • tax increment financing to capture tax accretion from other governmental units and share development risks with investors
  • assessment financing to assist in land development and infrastructure improvements
  • investment pools for state and local government
  • financial hedges, including interest rate swaps, lower-cost or forward-delivery synthetic fixed-rate financings or to reduce expected net debt service on outstanding fixed rate financings, and commodity hedges to manage energy costs
  • joint purchasing programs to reduce costs of equipment and supplies, including natural gas and electric energy
  • TIFIA loans available to state and local governments

Our areas of work in public finance include

Issuers of tax-exempt obligations look to our public finance lawyers as bond, disclosure, underwriters and general counsel for financing involving:

  • states and territories
  • municipalities
  • counties
  • schools
  • public power systems
  • special purpose districts
  • correctional facilities
  • health care facilities and systems
  • continuing care facilities
  • higher education facilities
  • student loans
  • housing
  • land development infrastructure
  • economic and industrial development
  • special facilities: sports stadiums and convention centers

Our recent public finance work

  • The American Lawyer, 2016 Corporate Scorecard – Municipal Bonds: No. 8 by volume and No. 4 in value with 375 issues totaling US$14.08bn as underwriter’s counsel and in the top 5 in value and volume with 353 issues totaling US$13bn as bond counsel, ALM Media Properties, LLC, 2016
  • Best Law Firms, Tier 1 national ranking for public finance law, US News & World Report and Best Lawyers, 2016
  • Chambers Global, Global-wide: Banking & Finance, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers Global, Global-wide: Banking & Finance: Islamic Finance, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers USA, Texas: Banking & Finance, Chambers & Partners, 2016