Public Finance

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State and local units of government, including cities, townships, villages, counties, public authorities, universities, and school districts, and nonprofit organizations in higher education, health care and other sectors rely on Dickinson Wright’s public finance attorneys for bond counsel services. As a nationally recognized bond counsel firm, Dickinson Wright has more than sixty years of experience serving as bond counsel in public finance transactions.

Our lawyers are problem-solvers focused on the individual needs of each client and create legal solutions to satisfy those needs. When a client engages us to provide public finance advice, they not only engage the collective experience of our public finance team, but the highly specialized concentrations we have developed as well. As a full-service law firm, our lawyers regularly work with their colleagues in related practices such as real estate, mergers & acquisitions, bankruptcy, finance, tax, securities, environmental, and health care to ensure that we address every potential point of concern that may emerge.

Awards and Recognitions
In addition to being recognized by The Bond Buyer, a national public finance publication, our lawyers have also been recognized by Best Lawyers® and Super Lawyers® for their work in public finance.

Our Services

Our public finance lawyers have served as bond counsel in virtually every type of public financing transaction. Additionally, they have acted as underwriter’s counsel, trustee’s counsel, counsel to credit enhancement providers, counsel to purchasers of municipal bonds and borrower’s counsel in connection with all types of tax-exempt and tax-credit bond financings.

Bond Counsel: Our public finance team has served as bond counsel within all facets of financing municipal projects and programs for states, cities, townships, villages, counties, building authorities, county road commissions, various tax increment authorities, drainage districts, school districts, colleges and universities, public power agencies and other public entities. We have four decades of experience representing the State of Michigan and its various agencies and authorities in complex bond financings. We assist clients with:

  •  General Obligation Bonds
  • Qualified 501(c)(3) Bonds 
  •  Revenue Bonds
  •  School District Bonds
  •  Tax Increment Financing Bonds
  •  Charter School Financings
  •  Health Care and Senior Housing Bonds
  •  Special Assessment Bonds
  •  Multifamily Housing Bonds
  •  Water and Sewer Revenue Bonds
  •  Private Activity Bonds
  •  Transportation Bonds
  •  Airport Bonds
  •  Innovative Debt Instruments
  •  Bond, Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes
 

Tax Counsel:  We have specialized experience in public finance tax law. We advise clients on optimal tax structures and assist our clients with compliance with tax laws applicable to tax advantaged financings. We also assist our clients with post-issuance tax compliance matters.

Securities Counsel: We represent issuers, underwriters and placement agents in the offer and sale of municipal securities. We assist our clients in the preparation of disclosure materials for the sale of municipal securities in compliance with state and federal securities laws. We keep our clients informed of developments in federal securities laws that affect issuers of municipal securities or other persons obligated to make continuing disclosure with respect to municipal securities.

Lender Counsel: We represent lenders in all aspects of public finance transactions, including the purchase of municipal securities, and the issuance of letters of credit, standby bond purchase agreements and other liquidity facilities.

Public Sector Law Counsel:  We represent public sector clients in all state law matters relating to public finance transactions. In addition, we represent municipalities, public authorities, schools, universities and other public organizations on a full spectrum of matters, including election law, environmental law, government procedures, including open meetings act matters and local ordinances, labor and employment law, real estate law, economic development, land use and litigation.

Community and Economic Development:   Public finance transactions often arise from community and economic development projects. Our attorneys have broad experience working with municipalities, developers, lenders and other community development participants in a wide range of transactions that utilize public finance structures as well as development incentives, including state and federal tax credits and opportunity zone incentives. For further information, see our Tax Credit and Community Finance practice and our Opportunity Zone practice.

Public-Private Partnerships: Dickinson Wright advises public and private sector clients on public-private partnership (P3) transactions designed to leverage private investments and develop public infrastructure. Our clients include state and local governments, public universities, lenders and concessionaires. We are able to draw upon our experience in public finance, municipal law, construction, real estate, labor, and other areas to assist our clients in navigating the legal, financial, and political complexities of P3 transactions. We have represented clients in P3 projects involving sports stadiums, parking system asset monetization, higher education student housing, transportation, energy conservation, and other specialized projects. For further information see our Infrastructure and P3 practice.

Representative Case Matters

Served as bond counsel to various state authorities, advising on such issues as cash flow borrowings, transportation, student loan, building authority, pooled financings, health care, housing, public universities, private colleges and tobacco securitizations.

Served as bond counsel to local units of government, including counties, cities, townships, villages, school districts, drainage districts, public power agencies, airports, water and sewer authorities, public school academies, community colleges, tax increment authorities and land bank authorities.

Served as bond counsel to state authorities and local economic development corporations on a broad range of private activity bond financings, including healthcare, senior living, charitable and cultural institutions, solid waste disposal facilities, and manufacturing facilities.

Served as bond counsel to various municipal electric utilities and independent power producers and financed large electric generating stations, transmission, and associated facilities.

Served as counsel to public universities in connection with student housing and parking system monetization projects through public private partnership structures.

Served as bond counsel to health care systems in wide range of health care financings, including the creation of master indenture obligated group structures.

Represented both national and regional underwriters in connection with the underwriting or private placement of municipal bonds.

Represented financial institutions in connection with the issuance of letters of credit and standby bond purchase agreements for credit enhancement of municipal bonds or the purchase of municipal bonds in private placement transactions.

Represented the State of Michigan in the Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy proceedings of the City of Detroit.


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