A significant portion of our public finance practice consists of public school transactions and higher education financings.

Our attorneys have experience serving as bond counsel to public school districts, assisting in financing capital improvements through the issuance of bonds and tax and revenue anticipation notes.

For example, the firm represented the Board of Education of the City of Chicago on multiple occasions as co-bond counsel in connection with tax anticipation note transactions related to the board’s revolving credit facility. The issuances allowed Chicago Public Schools to address immediate budgetary needs and borrow at a lower interest rate than would have been available from traditional lending. Each transaction involved private placement of the tax anticipation notes with different lenders and required amendments to the original indenture to accommodate the board’s increased creditworthiness and borrowing capacity.

Furthermore, we have extensive experience relating to higher education financings, having served as bond counsel to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) since 2010. In this capacity, we have assisted in financing myriad major projects for institutions of higher education, including:

  • the construction and renovation of residential student housing for The New School, a private university in New York City
  • campus upgrades and renovations for Teachers College, the largest graduate school of education in the country, which is part of Columbia University, a private research university located in New York City
  • the construction of a student residence facility for the City University of New York, the public university system of New York City and the largest urban university system in the country
  • the acquisition and equipping of an administrative office space for Touro College, a private Jewish university system headquartered in New York City
  • the creation of an energy- and utility-efficient laboratory for New York Medical College, a private medical school in Valhalla, New York

In addition to providing bond counsel services with regard to traditional conduit financings, we represent DASNY in connection with its tax-exempt leasing (TELP) program for higher education institutions and certain other not-for-profit institutions throughout New York. Under DASNY’s TELP program, a traditional two-party commercial lease is converted to a tri-party lease. A commercial lender retains the role of lessor, while DASNY serves as the tax-exempt issuer/lessee. DASNY then subleases the equipment to the borrower/sub-lessee, which makes rental payments at a tax-exempt rate that are assigned to the lender. Because the lender does not pay federal, state, or local taxes on the interest portions of the lease payments, the borrower is able to attain a lower lease interest rate. We have had the opportunity to close dozens of TELP transactions as bond counsel to DASNY, including a significant number of financings for colleges, universities, university hospitals, and other higher education institutions.


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