Sebastian Torres-Rodriguez, an attorney in our Project Finance and Public Finance practice group, represents issuers, underwriters, and borrowers on a variety of public finance transactions. Sebastian previously worked as a Senior Legal Advisor for the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (“AAFAF”) representing the Government of Puerto Rico and its instrumentalities on all matters related to PROMESA, including multiple debt restructuring and public finance matters, and was also general counsel to the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation during the issuance of its restructured sales tax bonds in 2019.
Based on my past experience as legal advisor to distress issuers, I have a deep understanding of the stringent regulatory environment for municipal securities. I supervised multiple issuers to ensure compliance with tax and disclosure requirements, in both the primary and secondary market, and reviewed the underlying closing documents for outside-the-box transactions. This required thinking innovatively about financing and refinancing structures that suited the capital needs of the Government of Puerto Rico and its instrumentalities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all parts of national and world economies and the U.S. municipal bond market was no exception. With the COVID-19 pandemic depressing economic activity across the nation, nonprofit organizations and state and local governments are seeing reduced revenues—the same revenues they use to pay off their debt obligations and cover operational and capital expenses. For those reasons, rising credit risks, unprecedented rate of downgrades, enhanced financial transparency and ensuring the stability of the U.S. municipal bond market has attracted the attention of—and heightened scrutiny from—federal regulators, self-regulatory organizations and general stakeholders. This can be observed in the SEC’s FIMSAC recommendations designed to improve the timeliness of municipal securities disclosure. In this environment, I strive to leverage my experience working with the issuance and restructuring of distress municipal securities to provide efficient and effective legal counseling as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, and underwriter’s counsel so that our clients can meet their capital needs and feel confident in the face of any future challenges or opportunities that might arise.
University of Puerto Rico School of Law, J.D.
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, B.A.
Bar of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
U.S. District Court, District of Puerto Rico