Eckert Seamans’ Public Finance Group has a wide array of experience in the municipal finance area, including representing issuers, underwriters, lenders, trustees and investors in structuring, analyzing and evaluating the legal bases for public and private debt offerings by state and local units of government. Eckert Seamans has been listed in The Bond Buyers Municipal Marketplace® since 1985.
Eckert Seamans’ experience in public finance dates back to the 1950s. Members of the firm’s Public Finance Group have participated in nearly every type of municipal offering from general obligation debt to private activity revenue issues and involving many types of projects and financing structures, including numerous derivative financial products such as forward purchases, interest rate swaps and swaptions, hedges, collateralized mortgage obligations and inverse floaters. The firm has assisted clients in restructuring existing debt and escrow accounts to strip out excess collateral and/or improve efficiency of the funds. Eckert Seamans assisted a client in structuring one of the first offerings of mortgage backed securities secured by residential mortgage loans.
General Obligation Issues
As bond counsel for general obligation bond and note issues, the firm's attorneys work with municipal officials to structure issues attractive to investors. The firm’s public finance attorneys have acted in this capacity for cities and counties in Pennsylvania, numerous school districts, boroughs, townships and municipalities.
Similarly, the firm acts as bond counsel in connection with revenue bond issues to provide capital funds for water, sewer, parking, airport, recreation and other projects. Firm attorneys have been retained as bond counsel for financings by Miami-Dade County, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority, Bethlehem Authority, City of Lebanon Authority, The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, as well as by many other issuers. The firm recently has completed financings for the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County with respect to a new football stadium and baseball park and an expansion of an existing convention center. At the state level, the firm has served as underwriters’ counsel for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority, which issues revenue bonds to provide funds for student loans, and bond counsel for financings through the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities Authority. The firm also acts as underwriters’ counsel on a number of Pennsylvania Economic Financing Authority bond issues.
Health Care Facilities
Public Finance Group attorneys work with underwriters, financial advisors, health care facilities, educational facilities and authorities to provide the type of financing best suited to the institution, consistent with the particular requirements of the municipal issuer and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Eckert Seamans has served as bond counsel for tax-exempt health care and education revenue bond issues and has served as underwriters’ counsel for tax-exempt revenue bond issues, representing national and regional underwriters. In addition to acute care facilities, the firm has participated as corporate counsel, bond counsel and underwriters’ counsel in numerous financings on behalf of nonprofit organizations for nursing homes, assisted living facilities and continuing care retirement communities.
Solid Waste Disposal and Related Energy Facilities
The firm has extensive experience with the financing of solid waste disposal and related energy facilities and projects. Attorneys in the Public Finance Group have served as bond counsel in connection with bond issues for landfills and resource recovery and cogeneration facilities. The firm also has served as counsel to corporations undertaking the development and construction of solid waste disposal facilities and energy projects.
Eckert Seamans’ Public Finance Group has significant experience as bond counsel for single-family bond issues. Some of these transactions were structured to release or maximize the benefits of accumulated equity and excess revenues to subsidize new housing loans or other programs of the issuers. The firm also serves as counsel to a county mortgage credit certificate program.
The firm’s experience in multifamily issues includes private placement of unrated debt, credit enhanced debt additionally secured by letters of credit or bond insurance and insurance from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Federal National Mortgage Association. Some of the issues included multi-tiered debt with each series or tier having a different priority as to the payment resulting in different ratings and subject to different interest rates. Further, the firm has provided legal services in connection with the financing and development of projects eligible for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
Eckert Seamans has served as Bond Counsel for over $2 billion of municipal bonds for airport facilities since 1988, over $1 billion of which were completed in the last seven years. For Miami International Airport, the firm served as bond counsel in the issuance of three issues totaling $565 million as part of an ongoing $4 billion capital improvement plan. In addition, the firm served as bond counsel in connection with issuance of exempt facility bonds for a $102 million project for privately developed and operated cargo facilities pursuant to development leases entered into by Miami International Airport. For Pittsburgh International Airport, Eckert Seamans has served as Bond Counsel in connection with the issuance of over $1.5 billion of bonds for the redevelopment of that airport and the subsequent refunding. In 1998, Eckert Seamans served as Bond Counsel in connection with the issuance of short-term notes for the acquisition of the Harrisburg International Airport from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And, in 2003 Eckert Seamans was Bond Counsel for $179 million of airport revenue bonds for Harrisburg International Airport to refund outstanding debt and to fund a new terminal, multimodal transportation facility and runway and navigation improvements. As underwriters counsel in connection with the issuance by Broward County of $190 million of airport revenue bonds and convertible lien bonds, which are initially payable solely from passenger facility charges, the firm assisted in the structuring of the first of such issues in the country.
Private Activity Bonds
The firm has provided bond counsel services for numerous small-issue industrial development bonds issued through Miami-Dade County Industrial Development Authority and various Pennsylvania industrial development authorities, including Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority, Allegheny County Industrial Development Authority, Bucks County Industrial Development Authority, Northhampton County Industrial Development Authority, Montgomery County Industrial Development Authority and Westmoreland County Industrial Development Authority. Eckert Seamans has provided underwriters’ counsel services relating to many composite issues of industrial development bonds issued by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority.
The Public Finance Group, in cooperation with the firm's Securities Group, has served as bond counsel for taxable bond issues for a variety of projects, including industrial parks, industrial and commercial projects, redevelopment projects, independent living unit facilities and multifamily housing projects.
Related Practice Areas
The extensive practice of Eckert Seamans enables the attorneys in the Public Finance Group to draw on the experience of attorneys in other departments of the firm such as bankruptcy, creditors' rights, municipal law, environmental, litigation and real estate, and to provide to the client the full scope of legal services required for all aspects of project development and completion, ranging from zoning, permits and financing to contracts and construction claims. The firm has represented indenture trustees in various workouts and bankruptcies involving defaulted tax-exempt revenue bonds. The close working relationship among attorneys in the Public Finance Group and others in the firm makes the firm's broad base of experience readily available to municipal finance clients.
C. Peter Carlucci, Jr.
Dean F. Richardson
View All Attorneys in
Laura Kurtz Joins Eckert Seamans in Harrisburg
Grace Lee, Former First Deputy Treasurer and General Counsel of the Massachusetts State Treasury, Joins Eckert Seamans’ Boston Office
Jennifer (Sultzaberger) Caron Joins Eckert Seamans’ Harrisburg Office
32 Eckert Seamans Attorneys Named Among The Best Lawyers in America®