Public Finance

At Burke Burns & Pinelli, Ltd., we take pride in our well-established practice in Illinois public finance. A certified Women’s Business Enterprise firm, we have participated in hundreds of financings totaling over a billion dollars for state governmental entities, as well as financings of smaller amounts for issuers such as municipalities and school districts.

Comprehensive Public Finance Services

In our public finance practice, BBP has been involved in all different types of debt financing, underwritings, private placements, and direct purchases. We have participated in both tax-exempt and taxable financings. Our transaction portfolio includes general obligation bonds, different types of revenue bonds, 501(c)(3) bonds, health care facilities bonds, mortgage revenue and conduit housing bonds, Tax Increment Financing(TIF) bonds, certificates of participation, and tax anticipation/equipment notes.

We have particular experience with complex, structured financings. The bond transactions in which we have participated have been sold in each type of structure that the investor market uses at any given time, including underwritings, private placements, limited offerings, direct purchases, negotiated sales, and competitively bid offerings.

In our BBP public finance practice, attorneys have served at different times in all the various roles of a bond financing: bond counsel, co-bond counsel, disclosure counsel, underwriter’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, and issuer counsel. We also have served as bank counsel to many large and mid-sized banks when banks provide credit enhancement or credit lines.

The core of BBP’s public finance practice is the participation in transactions for large Illinois debt issuers. Notable clients in this practice area include:

  • State of Illinois
  • City of Chicago
  • Cook County
  • DuPage County
  • Forest Preserve District of Cook County
  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
  • Regional Transportation Authority
  • Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
  • Public Building Commission of Chicago
  • Illinois Finance Authority
  • Illinois Housing Development Authority
  • Illinois Sports Facilities Authority
  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission
  • Chicago Board of Education
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Chicago Park District
  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
  • Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority

BBP also has participated extensively in transactions for smaller issuers, particularly municipalities and school districts. Notable clients in this practice area include:

  • City of Berwyn
  • Village of Bridgeview
  • Village of Elmwood Park
  • Village of Franklin Park
  • Village of Hodgkins
  • Village of Oak Lawn
  • Village of Rosemont

BBP public finance attorneys have served as underwriter’s counsel in public debt transactions to many public finance firms in Illinois, including:

  • Cabrera Capital Markets
  • Banc of America/Merrill Lynch
  • Barclays Capital, Inc.
  • George K. Baum & Company
  • Goldman Sachs & Company
  • J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  • Loop Capital Markets, LLC
  • Mesirow Financial
  • PNC Capital Markets, LLC
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Wells Fargo Securities

Another segment of governmental issuers for whom BBP has provided legal services in debt transactions has been in area of higher education. Notable clients in this practice area include:

  • City Colleges of Chicago
  • Triton College
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Southern Illinois University

A significant part of BBP’s public finance practice has been the representation of not-for-profit corporations in their borrowing through governmental auspices. Such clients include social service agencies, not-for-profit housing entities, and educational providers at both the K-12 level and in higher education.

Post-bond-issuance compliance is an ongoing task for the life of bonds and other tax-exempt debt. Our BBP attorneys have broad-ranging experience assisting our clients in compliance matters. Over the years, we have assisted numerous clients with diverse compliance issues, including new-market tax credit compliance, continuing disclosure obligations, and affordable housing compliance.

Our BBP public finance team is led by partners Mary Patricia Burns and Stephen Welcome. Ms. Burns is a founding partner of BBP and has more than 30 years of transaction and litigation experience. Mr. Welcome served eight years as in-house counsel for the Illinois Development Finance Authority before joining BBP. He has more than 30 years of experience in various types of governmental representation and financings.

Illinois Public Finance Inquiries

BBP welcomes inquiries about our public finance legal services. To schedule a consultation with our attorneys, please call our Chicago office at 312-541-8600 or complete our online contact form.

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