Practice/Industry Group Overview
Since the 19th century, state and local governments around the country have turned to the capital markets and have borrowed money through the issuance of bonds to finance capital improvements and infrastructure. More recently, public bodies have utilized debt instruments to manage their cash-flow and to refinance and/or restructure existing debt.
In addition to the use of "traditional" tax or revenue-secured municipal bonds to finance streets, schools and other kinds of public facilities, state and local governments can also use their borrowing authority as a powerful economic development tool. These public/private partnerships can be extremely beneficial by giving localities an additional tool to attract and retain business, thereby improving the local economy, increasing the tax base and generating employment. Even non-profit organizations, such as colleges, universities, hospitals and all types of 501(c)(3) corporations, can utilize bond issues in order to lower their borrowing costs and be more competitive. These financings combine elements of traditional municipal bonds as well as corporate securities, including variable-rate instruments, interest rate swaps, letters of credit, forward purchase arrangements, tax-increment financing and other cutting-edge tools.
The highly involved process of issuing bonds requires the coordination of varied, often opposing interests, which may include voters, elected and appointed officials, special interest groups, state legislators, rating agencies and investment bankers. On the technical side, state laws, local ordinances and the highly complex provisions of federal tax and securities law also come into play.
At the heart of this process are bond lawyers.
The bond lawyers who make up the Adams and Reese Public Finance team have extensive experience in public and municipal finance law. Over several decades, members of the team have acted as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable debt instruments, by state and local governments, private entities and by all manner of public and quasi-public agencies. Their work has led to the financing of hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, public buildings, utilities systems, and all kinds of for-profit and not-for-profit business facilities across the Southeastern United States.
Our Public Finance Law Team has an aggregate of more than 100 years of experience in municipal finance, drafting of legislation and the addressing of state constitutional and statutory issues affecting public finance and other areas of local government law. Our team members have actively participated in various cases in which important questions and issues of public finance law are involved and resolved. Team members are frequent speakers at local, state and national conferences of local government officials and public finance professionals.
The members of our Public Finance Law Team are experienced in every stage of the financing process, including:
- Advising public and private parties as to various options to borrow money under state and Federal law, including the formulation of comprehensive financial plans to finance infrastructure improvements and economic development facilities within the constraints of applicable laws and regulations.
- Dealing with issues of constitutional and statutory law, as well as state and federal tax laws pertaining to public finance.
- Working with state regulatory agencies and federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, to resolve issues relating to clients' borrowing needs.
- Drafting enabling legislation to allow for the issuance of debt.
- Representing clients in bond validation proceedings and other litigation relating to public finance.
- Analyzing outstanding debt and advising clients regarding refinancing and restructuring alternatives.
- Creating and organizing local governmental units such as special service districts, public trusts and industrial development boards.
- Drafting propositions to be submitted to voters for the authorization of bonds, taxes and other types of local initiatives, and handling all facets of the election process.
- Assisting in the drafting of local legislation (ordinances and resolutions) levying taxes, imposing fees and charges, and authorizing the incurring of debt, including related documents such as leases, mortgages, trust indentures, prospectuses and official statements.
- Advising clients as to alternatives for selling debt through public sale, limited offerings and private placements.
- Working with investment bankers to underwrite the debt and/or with other purchasers to purchase debt through private sales.
- Handling all aspects of closing and delivery of bonds.
- Advising issuers of bonds as to ongoing responsibilities relating to outstanding debt, including arbitrage rebate, continuing disclosure requirements under SEC rules, and other post-issuance matters mandated by state and Federal law.
- Structuring and implementing defeasances of outstanding debt.
- Assisting private entities in the issuance of taxable debt at low interest rates through the public finance market.
- Representing all participants in the public finance market, including issuers, borrowers, trustees, credit enhancers, insurers, guarantors, underwriters, placement agents, remarketing agents and paying agents.
At every stage in the process, our primary consideration is to help clients find the most cost-efficient and beneficial financing avenue, given all of the relevant facts and circumstances.
Sometimes the best solution doesn't involve the issuance of debt. In those cases, our team members are also experienced in non-traditional financing alternatives such as lease-purchase arrangements and financing through governmental loan and pool financing programs.
Types of public bodies served
- State departments, agencies, commissions and public trusts
- Counties and Louisiana Parishes
- School Boards and Boards of Education
- Public Utility Boards and Commissions
- Special service districts, including road districts, water districts, sewer districts, fire protection districts, levee districts and other types of local districts
- Public Building Authorities
- Industrial Development Boards
- Public Trusts
- Public Health Care Authorities and Hospital Boards
Types of businesses utilizing bond issues
- Hospitals, both nonprofit and for profit
- Colleges, Universities and private schools
- Nursing homes and other medical facilities
- Nonprofit 501(c)(3) entities
- Manufacturing and Industrial facilities
- Dock and Wharf facilities
- Retail and Warehousing
- Private utility companies
- Transportation Industries