Your Vision. Our Guidance.

When cities, counties, or states want to build a school or a hospital or a library, they usually do not just write a check for the full amount. They often sell government bonds to finance the project, and investors in the bonds are paid back over time. Bonds are usually a safe investment, but as with any investment, there are a lot of legal details.

We are public finance attorneys who help local governments and quasi-governmental agencies finance public projects and take care of the legal details. We provide our expertise with various aspects of a transaction, such as advising the bond issuer on the optimal transaction structure, preparing disclosure documents, and delivering an opinion on whether the issuance has satisfied all tax and securities law requirements. In a nutshell, we provide the legal guidance that helps governments improve their communities.

Responsive. Responsible. Respected. Results.

Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP, previously known as Golden Holley James LLP , is a boutique law firm nationally recognized for its expertise in public and corporate finance. Our attorneys have participated in more than $150 billion in challenging, complex, and innovative finance transactions since the firm was founded in 1993. H|PF was recently recognized for its role as disclosure counsel in The Bond Buyer’s 2023 Deal of the Year.

The attorneys at H|PF provide counsel to clients on a wide spectrum of public debt obligations and corporate matters. The mission of the firm is to provide expert legal advice to clients working to improve their communities with creative use of economic development finance tools. We advise clients regarding long-term bonds to finance fundamental public infrastructure, short-term notes to provide immediate cash flow for governmental operations, and everything in between.

H|PF combines the sophistication and experience of a large law firm with the attention to detail, personal service, cost efficiency, and cordial working environment usually associated with small firms. We strive to fulfill or exceed our clients’ needs and expectations in a personable and cost-effective manner, consistent with the highest professional and ethical standards of the legal profession. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing high quality legal services and establishing and maintaining long-term relationships. We are committed to being responsive to clients, responsible to the profession, and reasonable in our pricing.

Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP is a certified minority-and woman-owned (MWBE) and disadvantaged (DBE) firm with decades of experience partnering as lead counsel and co-counsel with majority firms in the municipal finance field. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Atlanta, New York, and Savannah, Georgia.

Decades of Experience Shaping the Future.

The firm was founded in 1993 as Sales, Goodloe & Golden. It was reestablished as Golden, Goodloe & Associates after the departure of founding partner Raymond Sales, and then as Golden & Associates on the passing of founding partner Stephen Goodloe. Charles Holley, who originally joined the firm in 1996, became a partner in 2004. The firm was rechristened as Golden Holley James in 2011. Natalia Pearson-Farrer joined the firm in 2017 and became a partner in 2020. The firm was renamed Holley & Pearson-Farrer in 2024, after the departure of former partner Robert James, II to join Carver State Bank as executive vice president.

The firm’s first client was the City of Atlanta. The late Mayor Maynard Jackson appointed the firm as sole bond counsel to the city, the first such designation for any minority-owned law firm in the country. Building on the reputation earned as bond counsel for the City of Atlanta, the firm added many other large municipal issuers as clients, including the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, several state agencies in Illinois, numerous state agencies in New York, the City of Savannah, Georgia, and the State of Georgia. The firm has also served numerous national and regional underwriters as underwriters’ or purchasers’ counsel.

Holley & Pearson-Farrer has extensive experience on a variety of transactions representing sophisticated issuers in general obligation, public infrastructure, water and sewer, wastewater, sales tax, personal income tax, housing, healthcare, and transportation-related matters, as well as other complex issuances of public debt and public-private partnerships. The attorneys at H|PF have rendered opinions for numerous public clients as sole bond counsel, lead bond counsel, co-bond counsel, sole disclosure counsel, lead disclosure counsel, co-disclosure counsel, sole underwriters’ counsel, co-underwriters’ counsel, purchasers’ counsel, issuer’s counsel, developer’s counsel, and defeasance counsel.

H|PF has experience in virtually every type of debt issuance, including general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) borrowings for municipalities and schools, contract- and tax-backed obligations, 501(c)(3) bonds, private activity bonds, lease-purchase and installment sale agreements, secured loans, tax abatement transactions, and tax/revenue anticipation notes.

In all matters the firm handles, H|PF attorneys remain available and accessible after the deal is closed, to problem solve and troubleshoot any issues that arise and assist in post-issuance compliance.

Empowering Communities. Transforming the Practice of Law.

At Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP, we understand that a strong, diverse dealmaking team fuels strong deals. H|PF is a 100% minority- and woman-owned and controlled firm. We comply in all respects with all applicable state and federal nondiscrimination laws and practices.

We have a proven history over more than 30 years of hiring, training, developing, promoting, and retaining minority and women attorneys. The firm is demonstrably committed to the development of women and minority lawyers as corporate and bond attorneys. Accordingly, H|PF has made a substantial investment in its personnel and resources to assure the firm’s growth is not only significant but also purposeful and directed toward excellence, equity, and achievement.

As a minority- and woman-owned firm, we are able to deliver diverse counsel of the highest quality to our clients; the very composition of our organization promotes and incubates the participation of minority and women professionals in the corporate legal world.

Inquiries and Additional Information

We invite you to learn more about our attorneys and the legal services we offer by visiting Who We Are and What We Do. Our experience speaks for itself – read more about the projects we have successfully financed at Our Work. Please reach out to us through the online contact page to discuss how we can assist with your public finance legal needs. Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP is based in Chicago, with additional offices in Atlanta, New York, and Savannah, Georgia.