Public Finance

Robinson+Cole has been providing bond counsel services for securities offerings by states, municipalities, public authorities, and agencies for more than 60 years. As one of the first nationally recognized bond counsel firms in the country, we have been listed in The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace (the "Red Book") since the early 1940s. Robinson+Cole often ranks among the leaders, both nationally and regionally, as bond counsel and underwriters' counsel.

Our services include the following:

  • provide bond counsel opinions on the following types of obligations: full faith and credit general obligation bonds; revenue bonds; tax increment financing bonds; variable rate bonds; redevelopment or development bonds; and 501(c)(3), health, and educational facilities bonds.
  • handle all of the documentation required for bond issuances, including bond resolutions, proceedings to be followed for authorization and issuance of debt obligations, tax analysis, official statements, and closing documents.
  • assist with subsequent arbitrage and rebate counseling and compliance.
  • participate actively, when necessary, in the credit rating and credit enhancement processes.
  • advise issuers, bankers, and mutual fund clients regarding eligible investments for bond proceeds under applicable statutes and indentures of trust.
  • provide extensive counseling in tax planning for arbitrage rebate avoidance, in addition to performing tax due diligence prior to the date of issuance.
  • advise issuers and underwriters with respect to federal securities and disclosure laws requirements.
  • attend any meetings or hearings at which our presence might be helpful.
Our Public Finance Group is made up of an integrated team of professionals dedicated to this specialized area and has traditionally been a significant practice group at our firm. The group has its own dedicated securities and tax practitioners and is able to call upon the diverse resources of our firm to respond to all situations.

Robinson+Cole brings to the role of bond counsel an unmatched breadth and depth of municipal finance experience derived from serving as counsel to underwriters, credit enhancers, trustees, and investors on a wide variety of issues over decades of development in the public finance marketplace.

Robinson+Cole's public finance lawyers provide legal representation for tax-exempt and taxable financings as bond counsel for over 60 cities, towns, and other municipal entities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, ranging from small towns functioning under the New England town meeting form of government to active, large capital budget issues. We also serve as counsel to underwriters and trustees.

In addition to our general obligation bond practice, we have served as bond counsel to cities, towns, and authorities in connection with the issuance of revenue bonds to finance a wide range of capital projects, including cultural facilities, economic development projects, and housing projects.

Robinson+Cole's extensive public finance practice has resulted in experience with innovative financing techniques that are current with their development in the marketplace. We have worked on commercial paper financings, variable rate demand bonds, capital appreciation bonds, zero coupon and original issue discount obligations, tax-increment bonds, refunding bonds, interest rate swap agreements, and lease purchase agreements. The firm has also been actively involved in numerous advance refundings structured to enable issuers to achieve net present value debt service savings.

Statistics alone do not adequately measure the value a law firm brings to any client relationship or transaction. In public finance, there is no substitute for experience. We have worked with fiscally distressed communities under adverse circumstances. We have worked with our clients through periods of high interest rates, which spurred tax-exempt commercial paper programs and variable rate demand debt. We have also worked with our clients through periods of relatively low interest rates on refundings to capture debt service savings. We are well versed in the complex tax issues presented by refundings and other innovative financing techniques and in the use of exempt facility bonds to spur economic development and meet public policy goals.

The comprehensive nature of our public finance practice has given Robinson+Cole attorneys an exceptional understanding of municipal disclosure requirements, such as the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on secondary market disclosure; the standards under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, including Rules 10b-5 and 15c2-12; and other industry standards such as the Government Finance Officers Association disclosure guidelines. Robinson+Cole's experience and technical approach to the delivery of bond counsel services make it possible for us to deliver the highest-quality legal services efficiently and cost-effectively. The quality of our service and the reasonableness of our counsel fees are attested to by the frequency with which issuers, in a highly competitive environment, return to Robinson+Cole for their municipal finance and bond counsel needs. In fact, a recent survey of the firm's clients conducted by Altman Weil, Inc., found that all of the public finance respondents were "completely satisfied" (the highest of several possible choices) with the overall quality of service received from the firm and the Public Finance Group, particularly in the areas of communication and responsiveness, quality of service, and overall knowledge of the subject.

    • Experience
      • Serving the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation as bond counsel.
      • Drafted the enabling legislation for Bradley International Airport that was adopted in 1981. In addition to our experience with Bradley Airport revenue bond issues, we served as underwriters’ counsel on an airport revenue bond issue in the amount of $159,795,000 by the Massachusetts Port Authority (MassPort) for Boston-Logan International Airport, and as special counsel to the City of Manchester, New Hampshire, for the issuance by the City of Manchester of $124,275,000 General Airport Revenue Bonds.
      • Representing the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) as its bond counsel and prior to that served as its general and special counsel for over 30 years.
      • Served as bond counsel on $266,660,000 of new money bonds and $466,485,000 of State refunding bonds. The firm was also recently appointed as bond counsel on bonds to fund a loss portfolio arrangement program for the purpose of transferring a group of worker’s compensation claims to an independent third party.
      • Robinson & Cole has an active housing practice. We have represented numerous housing authorities and redevelopment agencies in financing for housing projects.
      • Represented the City of Danbury, Connecticut in connection with the privatization of its wastewater treatment plant in the first transaction of its kind, nationwide.
      • Representation of Westchester County Industrial Development Agency concerning a tax incentives project to locate a large pharmaceutical research corporation in three newly constructed buildings in a biomedical complex in Greenburgh, New York, resulting in 600 jobs retained or created in Westchester County.
      • Representation of Westchester County Industrial Development Agency concerning a tax incentives project to locate a large pharmaceutical research corporation in a vacant biotech complex in Greenburgh, New York, resulting in 550 jobs retained or created in Westchester County.
      • Representation of the Rhode Island Turnpike & Bridge Authority as bond counsel and special projects counsel in its operation and maintenance of the Newport Pell Bridge and the Mount Hope Bridge.
      • Serving as bond counsel to the City of Hartford, Connecticut, and the City of New Haven, Connecticut, including Hartford Parking Authority Revenue Bonds, New Haven Parking Authority Revenue Bonds, and Norwalk Parking Authority.
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    • News
      • June 7, 2016

        Town of New Canaan's Housing Authority Breaks Ground on Millport Project

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      • November 11, 2015

        Public Finance Lawyers Organize NEWPF Event

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      • October 21, 2013

        Super Lawyers® Names 61 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2013 List

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        • View article
      • May 6, 2013

        Keisha Palmer Reelected to Crawford's Board of Directors

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      • March 20, 2013

        Keisha Palmer Participates in Diversity Roundtable Discussion at UConn School of Law

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      • November 7, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives 32 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Four National Rankings in U.S.News - Best Lawyers Survey

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        • View article
      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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        • View article
      • May 10, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Stands Against Racism

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      • October 28, 2011

        Finance Attorneys Discuss Dodd–Frank and SAFE Acts at Affordable Housing Conference

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      • December 13, 2010

        Public Finance Partner Presents Funding Options for EPC’s

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      • October 28, 2010

        Public Finance Attorney Elected to Hill-Stead Museum Board

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      • September 17, 2010

        Robinson & Cole LLP Receives Most Connecticut First-Tier Rankings in Inaugural U.S.News - Best Lawyers Survey

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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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      • March 10, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Partner Discusses Water Pollution Control Authority Regionalization Proposal

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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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    • Publications + Presentations
    • "The Changing Regulatory Environment," at Housing 2011, the annual conference of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, presented by Norman H. Roos (10/19/2011)

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

      Robinson & Cole Closes First Build America Bonds Issued in New England (08/17/2009)

      Public Finance Provisions Included American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (03/10/2009)

      "Regionalization of Municipal Wastewater Services," at 2004 Spring Workshop of the Connecticut Association of Water Pollution Control Authorities, Inc., presented by Glenn A. Santoro (4/28/2004)
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      "Qualified 501(c)(3) Bonds—Tax Issues," at the National Association of Bond Lawyers Bond Attorney Workshop in Chicago, Illinois, presented by David M. Panico (12/2001)

      "Brownfields v. Greenfields: Legal Protections, Legal Limits," presented by Pamela K. Elkow (5/24/2001)
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      "Survey of the Final Arbitrage Regulations," published in Urban Lawyer at , authored by David M. Panico (1993)
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