David M. Panico

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    David Panico, chair of the firm’s Public Finance Group and a certified public accountant, has nearly three decades of experience providing clients with guidance on the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable bonds, notes and other debt obligations.

    Finance + Public Finance

    Mr. Panico represents issuers, borrowers, underwriters, banks, trustees and investors in structuring and documenting general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, special obligation bonds, lease revenue bonds and obligations, lines of credit, term loans, direct purchases and other credit facilities, offered at fixed rates, variable rates based on LIBOR, SIFMA, CPI and other indices, multi-modal rates, stepped coupons, and tender rates. Projects financed include annual capital budgets, hospital facilities, assisted living and continuing care institutions, dormitories, classrooms, dining rooms, student services space and other higher education facilities, YMCA facilities, parking garages, sports arenas, stadiums and other recreation projects, gaming and governmental projects for Indian tribal governments, and affordable housing. Mr. Panico has drafted legislation to make refunding bond issues more efficient and flexible to allow for greater debt service savings and relief. He has also advised clients on a myriad of municipal law issues. He represents the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, and more than 30 other cities, towns, districts, authorities and borrowers.

    Tax

    Mr. Panico advises clients on tax law applicable to tax-exempt obligations, including refundings and restructurings of tax-exempt debt. His experience includes advising clients on the use of interest rate swap agreements for new money and refunding transactions (including rate locks, swaptions, and super-integrated hedges), “Cinderella bonds,” tender/put bonds, changes in use of bond-financed facilities, restructuring tax-exempt obligations due to financial distress, and arbitrage rebate liability. He also advises issuers and financial institutions on statutory and tax law applicable to investments of bond proceeds and general fund moneys.

    Affordable Housing

    Mr. Panico has an active practice representing issuers and developers of affordable housing. He has served as bond counsel to more than 20 housing authorities on dozens of projects. Structures range from plain vanilla fixed rate bonds sold to local banks to public offerings of variable rate multi-modal demand revenue bonds and direct bank purchases with conversions to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financing upon completion of construction. Financings routinely combined tax-exempt bond proceeds with low income housing tax credit proceeds, HUD, state and municipal grant funds, sponsor loans, and cash and in-kind equity contributions. Credit enhancement for such bond issues have included letters of credit, standby bond purchase agreements, FHA insurance and GNMA securities. Mr. Panico assisted in the development of HUD’s capital fund financing program, including serving as bond counsel on the first issuance of fixed rate and variable rate capital fund housing bonds nationwide.

    Mr. Panico is a member of the firm’s Finance, Exempt Organizations, Public Private Partnerships (P3), Sustainability, State and Local Government and Energy Industry Groups. He has written and presented on various public finance topics, including economic development projects, qualified 501(c)(3) bonds, Indian tribal government finance, arbitrage rebate, post-issuance compliance, clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs), qualified energy conservation bonds (QECBs), energy performance contracts, tax increment financing (TIF), and new market tax credits. Mr. Panico has authored legislation and comments that have been incorporated into the U.S. Treasury Regulations and the Connecticut General Statutes. He is the author of the article "Survey of the Final Arbitrage Regulations," published in The Urban Lawyer, an American Bar Association publication.

    Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Mr. Panico was a certified public accountant with Ernst & Whinney, and he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.  
     

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Represent the State of Connecticut as tax counsel on the issuance of over $16.2 billion of general obligation bonds and notes, including refunding bonds, economic recovery notes, working capital financings, general obligation bonds issued as qualified 501(c)(3) bonds, and bank credit facilities.

      • Represent the State of Connecticut as bond counsel on the issuance of over $1.2 billion of general obligation bonds since 2010.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of $78 million general obligation refunding bonds, both tax-exempt and taxable, to refund portions of twelve prior issues to provide $33.2 million of debt service savings over six years.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of $96 million general obligation refunding bonds to restructure outstanding bonds to provide over $23.6 million of cash flow savings over five years to replenish its medical self-insurance fund.

      • Represented a recreational facilities authority as bond and special counsel for the issuance of two series of lease revenue bonds totaling $62.4 million to finance a double-A minor league baseball stadium, including formation of the authority, advice regarding lease financing structure, drafting trust agreement and lease documents and complex tax analysis of private payments.

      • Represented a municipality as special counsel for the negotiation of a development agreement, management services agreement and public way license agreement for the potential installation of a town-wide fiber optic network for commercial, residential and municipal users.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel on the issuance of two series of tax anticipation notes to provide liquidity for the early funding of contributions to the municipality’s retirement plans to reduce its actuarially required contribution.

      • Represented a transportation authority in the negotiation of a license-lease agreement for the installation of electronic open road tolling over a major bridge under a turn-key agreement in a public private partnership (P3), including analysis of the transaction under an existing revenue bond trust indenture.

      • Represented a municipality as special counsel in the drafting of legislation, the negotiation of an interlocal agreement and other contracts, and the issuance of district revenue bonds in a $145 million tax increment financing (TIF). The bonds were secured by 50 percent of the incremental property taxes and special assessments to finance roads, sidewalks, utilities, environmental remediation, landscaping and open space on 66 acres for 27 separate building sites. The TIF bonds were successfully refunded, increasing tax revenues to the municipality by more than $41 million and eliminating potential assessments to the property owners.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel for a TIF to finance the clean-up of a river and installation of park improvements. The bonds were secured by 50 percent of the incremental property taxes within the district and subsequently refinanced by general obligation bonds to increase tax revenue to the city.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel on the issuance of $125 million of pension deficit funding bonds to partially fund its unfunded liability, including drafting legislation allowing increasing actuarially required contributions for the first five years after the issuance of the bonds to make the transaction more affordable for taxpayers.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel on the issuance of a $4 million tranche of equipment lease financing, including the schedule of property, payment schedule, escrow fund and account control agreement, tax certification and other lease documents.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of $50 million in general obligation bonds in August 2009, the first issuance of “Build America Bonds” in New England.

      • Represented a university in the refinancing of all its outstanding debt, including three bond issues and two lines of credit in excess of $220 million, including pledging of tuition receipts only without mortgages and negotiation of new identical covenants for two new bond issues, a term loan and a revolving credit facility, with a forward interest rate swap.

      • Represented a hospital system as borrower’s counsel on a $56.2 million taxable term loan and $30 million working capital line of credit issued under a master trust indenture with four obligated group members, including negotiation of new covenants.

      • Represented an educational facilities authority as bond counsel in the issuance of $23 million of revenue bonds, including a fixed rate refunding series, a “Cinderella bond” series to refund bonds not eligible for advance refunding under current tax law, and a drawdown series for a new project subject to a capital campaign.  The Cinderella bonds were initially issued as taxable bonds and later replaced with lower rate tax-exempt bonds immediately prior to the call date on the applicable refunded bonds.

      • Represented an educational facilities authority as bond counsel in the issuance of $122.1 million of revenue bonds to refund two prior issues, including the addition of a hospital and a foundation to the obligated group under a master trust indenture.

      • Represented an educational facilities authority as bond counsel in the issuance of $36.1 million of variable rate revenue bonds, including transfer and mark-to-market of an integrated interest rate swap to the new refunding bonds.

      • Represented a local development corporation as bond counsel in the issuance of $48.7 million of revenue bonds, including $4 million of short-term taxable bonds, to finance a residence hall and commercial space.

      • Represented financial institution in the issuance of $14.5 million of revenue bonds to refinance bank bonds in the bankruptcy estate of an assisted living facility, including drafts of the mortgage, continuing covenants agreement, security agreement, guaranty and other security documents, including advice on associated interest rate swap agreement.

      • Represented a major highway contractor in the issuance of a $38.7 million tax-exempt grant anticipation note (GAN) offering secured by future grant appropriations to accelerate a highway construction project on I-95 in Florida.

      • Represented a transportation authority as bond counsel on the issuance of a $30 million term loan and a $30 million variable rate drawdown facility secured by a new State motor vehicle fuel tax to finance renovations and upgrades to Interstate bridges.

      • Represented a housing authority as bond counsel in the issuance of five series of State-supported special obligation bonds totaling $37.3 million to finance 19 new group homes for persons with intellectual disabilities and to refinance five series of prior bonds.

      • Represented a housing authority as bond counsel on the issuance of a $62.0 million multifamily housing revenue note, to be purchased by Freddie Mac upon conversion to finance 374 units of affordable housing.

      • Represented a municipality as bond counsel on the issuance of a $17.4 million multifamily housing revenue note under the Connecticut City and Town Development Act, to be purchased by Freddie Mac upon conversion to finance 112 units of affordable housing.

      • Represented a housing authority as bond counsel on the issuance of $5.0 million of capital fund housing refunding revenue bonds to refinance outstanding bonds for debt service savings to provide additional financing for capital projects.

      • Represented an industrial finance agency as bond counsel on the issuance of $4.6 million of short-term multifamily housing revenue bonds, to be redeemed from the proceeds of “AAA” rated U.S. government securities, using the required lease-leaseback structure, to finance 107 units of affordable housing in New York.

      • Represented an Indian tribal government as bond counsel and special counsel for the issuance of more than $2 billion of revenue bonds in three subordinated tranches and bank credit facilities to finance gaming facilities, highways, roads, a museum, water treatment facilities, a public safety complex, and other governmental projects, which were later restructured in a consensual agreement among all creditors due to financial distress.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Tax Section

      National Association of Bond Lawyers

      Government Finance Officers Association

      Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (1983 - present)

      American Bar Association
      Section of Taxation

      American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1983 - present)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2007 to 2010.

      Robinson+Cole Diversity and Inclusion Award Recipient, 2018

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Survey of the Final Arbitrage Regulations," published in Urban Lawyer at (1993)
      • » more info

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "EPC Funding Vehicles: Energy Bonds, Recovery Bonds, Tax-Exempt Leases," at Government Finance Officers Association of Connecticut, Fall Meeting (11/16/2010)

      "Qualified 501(c)(3) Bonds—Tax Issues," at the National Association of Bond Lawyers Bond Attorney Workshop in Chicago, Illinois (12/2001)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • June 6, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Sponsors George W. Crawford Black Bar Association's 2016 Annual Dinner

      • May 16, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Sponsors Crawford 2014 Annual Dinner

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      • May 28, 2013

        Robinson+Cole Sponsors Crawford Annual Dinner

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      • May 23, 2013

        Robinson+Cole Sponsors NCCJ Annual Dinner

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      • December 13, 2010

        Public Finance Partner Presents Funding Options for EPC’s

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      • September 14, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Becomes First Law Firm in New England to Assist Municipality with Federal Economic Stimulus Plan Bond Program

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      • October 28, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Public Finance Partner Speaks on Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 13, 2018

        Robinson+Cole Presents Annual Awards for Outstanding Contributions

      • February 1, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Forms Sustainability Cross-Practice Team

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        • View article
      • June 21, 2013

        Local Organizations Recognize Robinson & Cole’s Pro Bono Service

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        • View article