Governmental Finance

Innovative financing techniques, timely delivery

Butler Snow’s public finance group has been advising governments, borrowers, and other transaction participants for decades. Many of our attorneys have more than 30 years of public finance experience. During this time, we’ve built a reputation for excellence based on a combination of factors, including responsiveness, technical proficiency, innovation and timely delivery.

We believe we bring a diverse and distinctive perspective—with viewpoints and practical solutions that our clients truly appreciate—in representing participants concerning public finance matters, including as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, or underwriter’s counsel.

We’ve had enormous success in efficiently structuring and closing numerous complicated public-finance transactions. Our team has worked on a wide variety of projects for states, cities, towns, counties, school districts, special districts, universities and higher education systems, joint action agencies, urban renewal authorities and underwriting firms—to name a few.

Bond counsel

We have extensive experience using innovative financing techniques, including:

  • General obligation bonds
  • Revenue bonds for utilities, airports, health care facilities, toll roads or bridges, and other income-producing projects
  • Revenue bonds payable from a dedicated tax, such as sales tax or excise tax
  • Tax increment bonds
  • Special assessment bonds
  • Lease purchase agreements, including transactions involving certificates of participation
  • Private activity bonds to benefit for profit and non-profit borrowers
  • Taxable/tax-exempt bond combinations
  • Senior/subordinate lien revenue bonds
  • Refundings and restructurings, including synthetic fixed-rate refinancing and crossover refunding
  • Variable-rate or adjustable-rate bonds
  • Interest rate swaps and commodity swaps
  • Standby purchase agreements and other credit facilities

This represents just a sampling of our bond experience.  We have been involved in numerous forms of other financing techniques within governmental finance, as well.

Disclosure or underwriter’s counsel

Our strategy for providing quality disclosure counsel services involves a multi-layered approach based on communicating with and educating our clients. We assist clients in the preparation of securities offering documents and assist issuers with compliance requirements under Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c2-12, including the annual continuing disclosure requirements and material event notice requirements of the rule.

We also regularly represent investment banking firms as underwriter’s counsel, providing advice as to their responsibilities under state and federal securities laws and in the preparation of official statements.

Full service support

Butler Snow’s attorneys are always available to work through questions and issues—and to gather the appropriate team to fulfill all your ongoing legal needs.

For example, we have attorneys who practice outside of the public finance arena who are able to augment our efforts with experience in securities, tax, real property, litigation, education, health care and environmental law. Our environmental, real estate and construction law attorneys are particularly valuable in financings that involve construction, start-up facilities, land issues, intense due diligence requirements and thorough disclosure exploration and drafting.

Continuous monitoring and broad industry involvement

We continually watch and analyze changes to the regulatory environment because of the direct impact on our finance clients. For example, the rules and regulations relating to tax-exempt securities are continuously evolving. Congress, the IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, among others, have been very active in this area of law, and regularly update laws, rules and regulations that impact our clients.

We also monitor state-specific regulatory and legal environments. For example, Butler Snow attorneys have extensive experience with Colorado’s unique Taxpayers Bill of Rights (also known as TABOR). Members of our team have been on the forefront of analyzing and interpreting TABOR since its adoption in 1992.

To help keep our finger on the pulse of change, our team members are also actively involved in the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL), as well as other associations and organizations. NABL not only educates its members on current developments in state and federal law relating to municipal bonds and public finance, but it provides advice and comments at the federal, state and local levels with respect to legislation, regulations, rulings and other actions or proposals, and it files briefs and memoranda before courts and administrative agencies.