Public Finance

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.

We are consistently ranked among the nation’s top bond, underwriter’s and disclosure counsel 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.

Assured and Orrick Dominate 2016 Rankings, Though Competitors Gain

The Bond Buyer | January 26, 2017

Nixon Peabody is noted in this article as the 6th most active underwriter’s counsel in 2016.

MTA well-positioned, says debt management official

The Bond Buyer | January 24, 2017

This article notes Nixon Peabody as co-bond counsel for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) upcoming transactions which include issuing transportation revenue BANS as well as dedicated tax fund bonds.

New York City Water to sell $400M

The Bond Buyer | November 23, 2016

Nixon Peabody is noted as representing the underwriters in the deal involving the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority and its upcoming plan to sell $400 million of bonds.

NY MTA official says derivatives under control

The Bond Buyer | October 26, 2016

This article is about New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) derivatives program and its recent $632 million closing of Series 2016D transportation revenue refunding bonds. Nixon Peabody is mentioned as co-bond counsel on the deal.

Why Dealers are Struggling with Proposed Markup Disclosure

The Bond Buyer | September 23, 2016

Los Angeles public finance partner Rudy Salo is quoted in this feature story discussing the struggle facing dealers as they try to comply with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's proposed markup disclosure requirements.

Rising Stars

The Bond Buyer | September 21, 2016

Los Angeles public finance partner Rudy Salo is recognized among The Bond Buyer’s 2016 Rising Stars.

L.A. Port Brings Green Bond Deal

The Bond Buyer | September 13, 2016

This article discusses that the Port of Los Angeles will price a nearly $220M revenue bond financing—representing the first green bond sale by a port. Nixon Peabody is noted as bond counsel.

DASNY Sells Green Bonds for Columbia University

The Bond Buyer | April 29, 2016

The story notes that Columbia University issued $50 million in green bonds through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to fund a new science center. Nixon Peabody is noted as bond counsel.

Driverless Cars Pave the Way for Real Estate Development

Law360 | April 07, 2016

Los Angeles partners Justin Thompson, Rudy Salo and associate Daniel Eliav co-authored this piece discussing the potential impact driverless technology could have on real estate development as well as infrastructure financing.

Manhattan Beach eyes Silicon Beach boom

The Beach Reporter | March 18, 2016

This coverage notes Los Angeles public finance partner Rudy Salo’s new role on the Economic Development Advisory Council.

Bond Lawyers Blast Proposed Political Subdivision Rules

The Bond Buyer | March 10, 2016

Washington, DC, Public Finance partner Mitch Rapaport is quoted in this article focused on the proposed political subdivision rules put forth by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.

What's really going down with the CTA's big rail car deal

Crain's Chicago Business | February 22, 2016

Former Chicago alderman and Chicago partner Charles Bernardini is included in this column as representing Bombardier of Canada in a Chicago Transit Authority bid for 846 new rail cars.

Green Sale Expands Investor Base, Says N.Y. MTA Official

The Bond Buyer | February 22, 2016

This article on New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority inaugural green bond issuance notes Nixon Peabody as co-bond counsel.

Life Cycle Approach to Data Rights Can Help Contractors

Law360 | January 14, 2016

Boston IP Counseling & Transactions counsel David Crosby and Washington, DC, associate Harini Kidambi co-authored this column regarding implications arising from the 2015 Army Data & Data Rights Guide for military service professionals and other contractors.

Municipal Securities Issuers to Face Enforcement Actions

Bloomberg BNA Securities Law Daily | November 17, 2015

This feature article discusses the Securities and Exchange Commission crackdown on municipal securities disclosure violations. Los Angeles Public Finance partner Dan Deaton provides third-party commentary.

NABL Provides Issuers Disclosure Guidance in Wake of SEC Cases

The Bond Buyer | August 20, 2015

The National Association of Bond Lawyers released a paper giving its members tools to help issuer clients develop written disclosure policies and procedures in response to recent Securities and Exchange Commission cases against issuers. Los Angeles Public Finance partner Dan Deaton, part of the paper’s drafting committee, is quoted within the piece.

Voluntary Disclosure on Direct Loans Seen as Falling Short

The Bond Buyer | July 01, 2015

Chicago Public Finance partner Julie Seymour is quoted in this article about how disclosure remains a grey area in the growing direct placement market.

3 Reasons Your Firm Should Set Up Shop in Chicago

Law360 | June 18, 2015

Chicago office managing partner Tom Fahey is quoted in this article on the state of Chicago’s legal market and why Big Law is feeling the city's pull.

GFOA Pushing Regulators on HQLA

The Bond Buyer | June 01, 2015

Washington, DC, Public Finance partner Mitch Rapaport is quoted throughout this piece on the Government Finance Officers Association’s efforts to galvanize public officials to pressure federal banking regulators into more permissive rules on municipal securities.

Venture Capital for Social Service Organizations

Rochester Business Journal | April 03, 2015

Partner and leader of our Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney and Boston Public Finance counsel Navjeet Bal authored this piece discussing how social impact bonds can help address some of Rochester's social challenges.

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.

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 03, 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 06, 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.


Richard Jones

Practice Group Leader, Public Finance

Phone: 213-629-6070

Travis Gibbs


Phone: 415-984-8336

Mitchell Rapaport


Phone: 202-585-8305

Michael A. Vaccari


Phone: 212-940-3108

William F. Weir


Phone: 585-263-1509

  • Recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2016 as a national Tier 1 leader for Public Finance Law
  • “Deal of the Year” for Health Care Financing by The Bond Buyer for Presence Health Network 2016 bond offering
  • Consistently ranked by Thomson Reuters among the top 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
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