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Public Finance

Related Practices

Rankings & Honors

  • Consistently ranked by ThomsonReuters among the top ten bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel in the country, and among the most active disclosure and special tax counsel
  • In five of the last seven years, nominated as a finalist or winner as counsel to “Deals of the Year” by The Bond Buyer, the municipal market’s paper of record
  • Project Finance magazine’s “North America Leisure Deal of the Year 2006” for the financings in connection with Yankee Stadium and Citi Field


We provide practical advice and creative solutions to achieve our clients’ business goals in a rapidly changing financial marketplace, navigating them clear of structuring pitfalls and regulatory issues.

Our approach

Nixon Peabody’s Public Finance group has a national reputation for innovative work in financing a wide range of municipal and infrastructure projects—from mass transit and hospitals to baseball stadiums, student loans, public power and housing.

Our firm is ranked among the ten most active bond, underwriters and disclosure counsel nationally in dollar value of bonds issued.

As part of one of the largest public finance practices in the U.S., our attorneys provide knowledge, versatility and creativity to clients for any financing need, including assistance with federal tax law issues.

Who we work with

  • State and local governments
  • Underwriters
  • Private placement agents
  • Bond insurers
  • Banks
  • Corporate and nonprofit obligors

Recent experience

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Nixon Peabody serves the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as its bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and swaps/derivatives counsel. The firm served as bond counsel to the Commonwealth in connection with issuance of over $1 billion in general obligation from 2010 through 2013 in addition to its $1 billion Accelerated Bridge Program, which was selected as 2011 “Deal of the Year” by The Bond Buyer. Other entities we serve within the Commonwealth include Massachusetts School Building Authority, Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, University of Massachusetts Building Authority and Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company.
  • Goethals Bridge Replacement: Lenders’ counsel in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to fund the replacement of the Goethals’ Bridge and the demolition of the existing bridge for the benefit of the concessionaire in connection with a public private partnership transaction with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
  • Iowa Fertilizer Corporation: The firm recently served as underwriter’s counsel on a project financing for a $1.8 billion nitrogen-based fertilizer production plant owned by Iowa Fertilizer Company LLC (IFC) and located in Lee County, Iowa. IFC is an affiliate of OCI N.V., a global nitrogen-based fertilizer producer and engineering and construction company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The financing involved the issuance of $1.2B of non-investment grade, tax-exempt bonds through the Iowa Finance Authority—the largest such financing in the tax-exempt market in U.S. history.
  • New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority: New York’s MTA and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (“TBTA”) have a common board and principals in the firm have served as disclosure counsel and bond counsel for both entities for decades, including on their 2002 $14 billion debt restructuring, the largest in municipal bond history. MTA is North America’s largest public transportation provider and TBTA operates seven vehicle bridges, two tunnels and other public facilities in New York City.
  • Whitney Museum of American Art: In 2011 we served as institution’s counsel to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which closed on $125 million financing in a new bond issue through The Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York. The firm advised the institution on the structure of the fixed rate bond issue. The financing, done on the museum’s own “A” rating, was one of 2011’s most noteworthy for New York cultural institutions. Proceeds of the issue will be used to finance construction of the museum’s new facility downtown in the Meatpacking District.
  • Washington Metrorail Extension: The firm served as underwriters’ counsel and prepared, in that role, the initial draft of MWAA’s trust indenture for the Dulles Airport rail project providing for the extension of Washington Metrorail system to Dulles International Airport. We played a major role in structuring this financing and in negotiating critical revisions to Virginia Department of Transportation’s Permit and Operating Agreement in order to make the project financeable. We were subsequently appointed to serve as bond counsel to MWAA for this credit and in 2010 we served in that role on MWAA’s issuance of additional debt.
  • San Francisco 49ers: Representation of underwriters in the syndicated construction loan for the new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. We were involved in the review and negotiation of the financing documents including the complex consent letter with the NFL as well as the first funding option provided by the NFL under the new G-4 stadium financing resolution.

Media Clips

  • MTA Finance Chief Touts 40-Year Bond
    The Bond Buyer | March 23, 2015
    Nixon Peabody is noted as bond counsel in this article on the benefits of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s use of 40-year bonds.
  • Virginia Bay Bridge District Fast-Tracks Subsea Tunnel
    The Bond Buyer | March 23, 2015
    New York City Public Finance partner Ken Lind and Washington, DC, Public Finance partner Mitch Rapaport are both noted as bond and disclosure counsel in this article on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District of Virginia’s planned subsea tunnel.
  • Real Estate Crowdfunding Needs Compliance and Creativity
    Law360 | March 19, 2015
    Los Angeles Public Finance partner Rudy Salo is quoted in this article discussing growing interest in real estate crowdfunding.
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  • Movers & Shakers
    The Deal | March 18, 2015
    This news brief highlights Los Angeles Public Finance partner Rick Jones’ appointment as leader of the public finance practice.
  • Nixon Peabody Names Jones Head of Public Finance
    The Bond Buyer | March 18, 2015
    Los Angeles Public Finance partner Rick Jones is featured in this article highlighting his recently-announced public finance practice group leadership.
  • Cities, States Consider Tapping Investors Via Crowdfunding
    Law360 | January 20, 2015
    Los Angeles Public Finance partner Rudy Salo is quoted in this story discussing increasing interest among state and local governments in crowdfunding.
  • Awards for Pro Bono Service
    New York Law Journal | October 23, 2014
    New York City Public Finance partner Liz Columbo is named among the attorneys recognized by the City Bar Justice Center with its sixth annual Jeremy G. Epstein Awards for Outstanding Pro Bono Service.
  • Wells Fargo's Toledo Heads All-Female Municipal Forum Slate
    The Bond Buyer | July 24, 2014
    New York City Public Finance partner Virginia Wong is noted among the leadership of the Municipal Forum of New York.
  • Complex Path Ahead in Post-Deadline FATCA Universe, Practitioners Say
    Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report | June 30, 2014
    Washington, DC, Public Finance associate Joel Swearingen discusses how the first round of reporting and withholding under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act will impact both the government and the financial industry.
  • Nixon Peabody Hires Orrick's Casey
    The Bond Buyer | June 17, 2014
    This feature story highlights the arrival of Project Finance partner Vincent Casey.
  • Carla Young Joins Nixon Peabody
    The Bond Buyer | June 3, 2014
    This feature story highlights the arrival of Washington, DC, Public Finance partner Carla Young.
  • SEC Strikes Back on MCDC
    The Bond Buyer | May 22, 2014
    Los Angeles Public Finance partner Dan Deaton discusses the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative.
  • IRS Issues Guidance Granting Transition Relief for Good-Faith Efforts Under FATCA
    Bloomberg/BNA Daily Tax Report | May 6, 2014
    This article focuses on new IRS guidance aimed at easing the transition into the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Washington, DC, Public Finance associate Joel Swearingen provides commentary on the extension of the pre-existing obligation deadline as part of this guidance.
  • California GOs Different—And Stronger—Than Detroit's
    The Bond Buyer | March 20, 2014
    New York City Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring partner Robert Christmas discusses the ripple effects within the municipal bond market caused by Detroit’s proposed cuts to its general obligation bondholders.
  • Massachusetts $27M Social Impact Bonds Aim at Recidivism
    The Bond Buyer | February 28, 2014
    Boston Public Finance counsel Navjeet Bal is featured in this article about Massachusetts’s $27 million “Pay for Success” social impact initiative. Navjeet advised the Commonwealth in the nation’s largest funding vehicle of this kind.
  • State's Social Innovation Financing is Thorny Legal Matter
    Boston Business Journal | February 4, 2014
    This article focuses on the complexities of Massachusetts’ first social innovation financing initiative. Boston Public Finance counsel Navjeet Bal, who represented the Commonwealth, is quoted in the piece.
  • Nixon Peabody Promotes Two to Counsel
    The Bond Buyer | October 29, 2013
    This coverage highlights the promotions of Public Finance counsel Neal Pandozzi and Barry Rothchild.
  • Insiders Dissect Rise of New Money Direct Lending
    The Bond Buyer | October 10, 2013
    Los Angeles Public Finance partner Rudy Salo discusses the increased use of direct lending among municipal issuers in California.
  • Commission Aims to Overhaul State's Tax Code
    State House News Service | September 17, 2013

    Boston public finance counsel Navjeet Bal, former Commissioner of Revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, have been named to the Tax Fairness Commission which was created to review Massachusetts’ complex tax code.

  • Wall Street Swaps Claim Detroit Cash over Retirees: Muni Credit
    Bloomberg News | August 23, 2013

    Boston Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring partner Mark Berman discusses how banks that sold interest-rate swaps to Detroit could be paid ahead of other creditors in the city’s record bankruptcy.

  • BDA Bankruptcy Paper: Detroit May Be 'Game Changer'
    The Bond Buyer | August 16, 2013

    This article recaps a Nixon Peabody–authored paper prepared for and released by client Bond Dealers of America (BDA) that notes the likelihood that Detroit’s recent Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing might be a game changer.

  • Nixon Peabody Partner Discusses Main Issues in SEC Fraud Charges
    The Bond Buyer | July 3, 2013

    Los Angeles Public Finance partner Dan Deaton is interviewed about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s main concerns and targets of its recent enforcement activity in the muni market.

  • Nixon Peabody Partner Discusses Main Issues in SEC Fraud Charges
    The Bond Buyer | July 3, 2013

    Los Angeles Public Finance partner Dan Deaton is interviewed about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s main concerns and targets of its recent enforcement activity in the muni market.

  • Mass. Officials See N.Y. Ruling as Impetus for Congressional Action on Online Sales Taxes
    Boston Globe | April 2, 2013

    Boston Public Finance counsel Navjeet Bal, former commissioner of revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, discusses a recent New York court ruling requiring online retailers to collect state sales tax and its impact on Massachusetts and national scale.

  • Sandy Prompts Talk of Disaster Recovery Bonds
    Long Island Business News | November 20, 2012

    Washington, DC, Public Finance partner Mitch Rapaport provides commentary on discussions around disaster bonds post–Hurricane Sandy.

  • Counsel Rankings Show Big Shifts
    The Bond Buyer | October 15, 2012

    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Public Finance practice Michael Vaccari discusses the firm’s rise in Thomson Reuters counsel rankings for the first nine months of the year.

  • The Score: Legal Fees, TV Deals, and Stadium Projects
    Am Law Daily | October 4, 2012

    Public Finance partners Chuck Wolf, Travis Gibbs, and Bruce Serchuk are included in this column focused on sports-related legal work for their involvement in Los Angeles’ plans to move forward with a $1.2 billion downtown football stadium.

  • Social Impact Bonds Generate Buzz in N.Y., Mass.
    The Bond Buyer | September 10, 2012

    This feature article highlights the use of social impact bonds in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and New York City. Boston Public Finance counsel Navjeet Bal, who is lead counsel to the Commonwealth, is quoted discussing the appeal and benefits of the program.

  • Counsel Ranking See Shift
    The Bond Buyer | July 13, 2012

    This feature story looks at the rankings for bond, underwriters’, and disclosure counsel firms according to Thomson Reuters data. The coverage notes that Nixon Peabody rose to be the fifth-ranked bond counsel firm by par value in the first half of 2012 (up from 12th ranked for 1H 2011) and rose to the top in the first half of 2012 from seventh last year in underwriter’s counsel rankings. Partner and leader of the firm’s Public Finance practice Michael Vaccari provides commentary.

  • IRS to Begin Audits of Bans and Arbitrage Rebate Forms
    The Bond Buyer | June 11, 2012

    Washington, DC, Public Finance partner Mitch Rapaport was among the three featured panelists at the Government Finance Officers Association's annual conference, which noted that the Internal Revenue Service will begin limited-scope examinations of bond anticipation notes in July and then examinations of filed 8038-T forms on arbitrage rebate later in the year.


Legislative Advisory – California Senate Bill 222
Public Finance Alert | February 26, 2015

Growing potential for P3 infrastructure development in Cuba
Public-Private Partnerships Alert | January 28, 2015

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Observations: confirmation of the City of Detroit chapter 9 Plan of Adjustment
Bankruptcy Alert | November 24, 2014

A flood of funding for water projects in California
Environmental Law Alert | November 14, 2014

IRS issues new rules for management contracts and ACO participation
Public Finance Alert | October 29, 2014

California mandates additional disclosure regarding direct loans to municipalities
Public Finance Alert | July 25, 2014

New initiative from the SEC encourages municipal issuers and underwriters to self-report material misrepresentations regarding continuing disclosure failings or risk harsher penalties
Public Finance Alert | May 8, 2014

SEC Releases Final Rules on Municipal Advisors
Public Finance Alert | October 8, 2013

New IRS Proposed Regulations—major impact on tax-exempt bonds
Public Finance Alert | September 18, 2013

A crack in the armor of the special revenue bond
Bankruptcy Law Alert | July 31, 2013

SEC charges South Miami with fraud focusing on status of federal tax exemption of interest on bonds
Public Finance Alert | May 31, 2013

SEC returns to the municipal markets, and this time it involves secondary market disclosure, public statements outside of formal disclosure documents, and fraud
Public Finance Alert | May 10, 2013

Webinar Recording: New business conduct standards impact municipal swap transactions beginning May 1, 2013
Originally recorded March 21, 2013 | March 22, 2013

SEC returns to the pension arena: enters Cease-and-Desist Order against the State of Illinois
Public Finance Alert | March 14, 2013

Stockton court holds municipalities in Chapter 9 can settle claims without court approval
Bankruptcy Law Alert | February 21, 2013

Two Renewables Hot Topics
November 1, 2012

SEC report on municipal securities markets recommends legislative and regulatory reforms to improve disclosure practices and market transparency
Public Finance Alert | August 6, 2012

New MSRB Rule G-17 Interpretive Notice to require underwriters to make new disclosures to issuers
Public Finance Alert | May 25, 2012

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Nixon Peabody’s leading Public Finance practice names industry veteran to management role
March 17, 2015

Nixon Peabody selected by Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission to advise on parallel tunnel project
March 13, 2015

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Public Finance