Kester K. So


A member of the Firm resident in the Lansing office, Kester So focuses his practice on public finance and utility law.  Kester serves as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel on a variety of bond issues involving State of Michigan level issuers, including  State offices and university and community college facilities, city, county, village, and township financings, including local building authorities, general obligation, tax increment, and utility revenue bonds, as well as health care financings.  He has been involved in state trunk line bonds, the renovation of the State Capitol, and the construction of Heritage Hall, county jails and justice centers, airports, new hospitals and medical centers, and power plants located throughout the State and in Ohio.

Education & Credentials


University of Michigan

A.B., 1977
  • With High Distinction

University of California College of Law, San Francisco

J.D., 1980
  • Review Editor, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 1979-1980

Bar Admission

  • Michigan


  • Chambers USAAmerica's Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Public Finance, 2024
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    •  Municipal, Public Finance, Energy and Utilities Law, 2012-2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Utilities Law, 2021
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Public Finance Law, 2015, 2020  
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Municipal Law and Public Finance Law, 2016, 2022
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • Government Finance Law, 2014-2023
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly
    • "Leader in the Law," 2013
    • Inducted to “Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2023 Hall of Fame”
  • American College of Bond Counsel
    • Fellow
    • Chair of Member Selection Committee, 2023
  • National Recognition
    •  Served as bond counsel to the MFA for unemployment insurance bond issue, which was named National and Midwest Region Deal of the Year by The Bond Buyer, 2012
    • Served as underwriter’s counsel for Detroit blight removal bonds, which was named Midwest Region Deal of the Year by The Bond Buyer, 2021
    • Served as bond counsel to the MFA for Wayne County jail and justice center financing, which was named Midwest Region Deal of the Year by The Bond Buyer, 2018

Representative Clients

  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Michigan Municipal Electric Association
  • Michigan Public Power Agency (and various members)
  • Michigan Finance Authority
  • State of Michigan
  • State Building Authority
  • Citi
  • Goldman Sachs & Co.
  • JPMorgan Securities LLC
  • BofA Securities
  • Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC
  • Michigan Municipal League
  • Ingham County

Prominent Assignments

  • Bond counsel to the State of Michigan for various general obligation bonds and cash flow borrowings.
  • Bond counsel to the Michigan Finance Authority financing tobacco securitizations, unemployment compensation, state revolving fund, school bond loan fund and local government loan program, among others.
  • Bond counsel to the Michigan State Building Authority financing state office and university and community college facilities; developed the first commercial paper program in the State.
  • Bond counsel to Michigan Public Power Agency, various municipal electric utilities and independent power producers; financing large electric generating stations, transmission and associated facilities.
  • General counsel to Michigan Public Power Agency and Michigan Municipal Electric Association; negotiation of wind, solar and landfill gas PPAs and EEI agreements.
  • Bond counsel to McLaren Obligated Group and bond counsel or underwriter’s counsel to other health care organizations; health care facility financings and refundings.
  • Bond counsel to Michigan Strategic Fund involving cogeneration and solid waste financings.
  • Bond counsel to the MFA for a number of financings involving the Detroit bankruptcy and served, together with other firm attorneys, as special assistant attorneys general working with the Office of Attorney General, the State Treasurer and the Governor representing the State of Michigan in the Detroit bankruptcy.
  • Underwriter's counsel to Citi, Goldman Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., BofA Securities, and Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC and other national and regional underwriters.
  • Argued before the Supreme Court in favor of the constitutionality of new TIFA legislation.
  • Amicus curiae briefs in appellate courts on financing issues.
  • Counsel to cogeneration clients in one of the largest consolidated cases before the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Professional Involvement

  • Chair of the Member Selection Committee, American College of Bond Counsel, July 2023
  • Fellow, American College of Bond Counsel
  • State Bar of Michigan, Member (Government Law, Real Property Law, and Health Care Law Sections; Former Chairperson (twice) of the Public Corporation Law Section Council, now known as Government Law Section)
  • Ingham County Bar Association, Member
  • Member of the Hall of Justice Committee of the State Bar, by appointment of the State Bar President
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers, Member
  • Former editor and current contributor to Briefly
  • Case law summary contributor to Michigan Municipal League publication


Community Involvement

  • Appointed by the Governor to the Council on Labor and Economic Growth
  • Appointed by the Governor to the Talent Investment Board

Other Experience

  • Extern to Justice Marc Poche, California Court of Appeals, First District, Division Four, 1980
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