Public-Private Partnerships



We combine unrivaled mastery of both private finance and public finance, with an understanding of the thinking and motivations behind public-private partnerships and the many strategies for executing them successfully.

Our approach

Having successfully forged some of the earliest public-private partnerships (“P3”), we now help clients with a full range of services. These include: procurement, contracts, agreements among consortiums, lending, permitting, finance, energy, real estate, environmental and tax syndication.

We work across a diverse range of project categories, such as: toll roads, stadiums, bridges, military housing, power plants, housing, airports, recycling, water, wastewater and solid waste.

As project counsel, our multidisciplinary team gets the deal done—efficiently and effectively.

Familiarity with our clients’ industries gives us a unique understanding of the issues and concerns of all parties involved and the unique impact that decisions along the way can have on each of them. We navigate all the individual perspectives, approvals, needs and requirements to reach agreement on all issues and complete the transaction.

As leading public finance counsel, we have brought immense value to these transactions, finding creative ways to utilize tax-exempt finance whenever possible.

Who we work with

  • State and local governments
  • Lenders
  • Underwriters
  • Developers
  • Water and wastewater firms
  • Construction firms

Recent experience

  • 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.
  • Private fertilizer plant: Served as lender’s counsel in connection with a $1.8 billion nitrogen-based fertilizer plant owned and operated by an affiliate of a global nitrogen-based fertilizer producer, engineering and construction company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Privatized toll payment system: We have been engaged by, and have drafted the financing portion of the submission on behalf of, one of the bidders in connection with the proposal by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to install a new electronic payments program on its rail system.
  • Transbay Joint Powers Authority: Serving as financing counsel to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority in San Francisco, California, in connection with a multi-year, multi-billion dollar mixed use development to replace the former bus depot with a commuter rail/high-speed rail/regional bus facility that will service Bay Area commuters, portions of which will be financed with developer contributions and related real estate-based taxes. Parts of that project may be privatized.
  • Dulles Toll Road —Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority: MWAA obtained a 50-year permit to operate the Dulles Toll Road from the Virginia Department of Transportation and the permit agreements created many obstacles to the financing of the project that the firm was able to resolve. The bonds issued by MWAA are secured by a concession agreement in the form of a 50-year Permit and Operating Agreement. The tolls on the Dulles Toll Road are being used to finance an extension of the WMATA rail system to Dulles Airport. The firm was underwriters’ counsel on the first transaction and was subsequently appointed by the Authority to serve as bond counsel and disclosure counsel for their bond and commercial paper programs. We are currently working with WMAA in order to bond out expected payments under its full funding grant agreement.
  • Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority: We served as special counsel and tax counsel to PRHTA in connection with its recently closed P3 transaction relating to two toll roads. The firm resolved all indenture issues in connection with the defeasance of just under $1 billion of tax-exempt bonds and the negotiation of closing agreements with the IRS and delivered legal opinions concerning the relevance of the roads as assets from the current indenture.
  • Private fare collection system for Chicago Transit Authority: Serve as lender’s counsel in connection with financing of a new fare collection system to be implemented by a private company, CUBIC, for the CTA.
  • Huntington, New York: Represented the Town in preparation of RFP, drafting and negotiation of construction and operation agreements and financing of municipal waste facility.
  • Union County, New Jersey: Represented the County in drafting and negotiation of construction and operation agreements and financing of municipal waste facility.
  • Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority: Represented the State Authority with respect to development and financing of several facilities, including assistance in preparation of RFPs, and drafting and negotiation of construction and operation agreements for a municipal waste facility.

First-half muni issuance was down in the Northeast

The Bond Buyer | August 18, 2017

This coverage notes Nixon Peabody’s jump from ninth to fourth place in Thomson Reuters’ list of top bond counsel for Northeast bond issuance for the first half of 2017.

Are P3s The 'New' Thing in Government Contracting?

Law360 | June 16, 2015

Washington, DC, Government Contracts partner Vince Napoleon and Washington, DC, IP litigation staff attorney Diana Vilmenay authored this column on the rising popularity of public-private partnerships as a form of government contracting.

  • 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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