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Public Finance

ArentFox Schiff's Public Finance group is nationally recognized for its experience and imagination. We operate at the intersection of public finance, real estate, tax, distressed assets, and government regulations. We offer our clients a full range of public finance services for all variations of tax-exempt and taxable financings, including all types of private activity bonds and governmental purpose bonds. Our work includes every type of bond financing involving governmental units at all levels.

Our Focus

We represent credit enhancement providers and major 501(c)(3) borrowers nationally, as well as serving as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, issuer’s special counsel, underwriter’s counsel, and trustee’s counsel on debt financings, and as tax counsel to state, state agency, and local governmental issuers. We maintain one of the largest public finance practices in the country focused on the underlying borrowers and creditors and are a national leader in representing trustees, institutional investors, public agencies, and conduit bond obligors in restructuring public finance debt. We also have substantial experience representing national and regional investment banking firms on a wide variety of transactions.

The experience of our Public Finance Group extends beyond bond issues. We assist clients with government finance generally, including drafting legislation, and advising on special taxes and assessments and financial matters with respect to inter-governmental financing arrangements.

Our public finance practice is rated in the top tier nationally in the 2022 “Best Law Firms” rankings published by US News & World Report and Best Lawyers. In addition, Legal 500 US ranks our municipal bankruptcy practice in Tier 1 and calls our group the “best in the business.”

Multidisciplinary Approach

In representing our clients, we draw upon the expertise of the firm’s other practice groups, including creditors’ rights, local government law, environmental, labor and employment, real estate, non-profit and related tax concerns, bankruptcy, financial restructuring and workouts, dispute resolution, internal investigations, intellectual property, government regulation and compliance issues, and securities law. 

We work with the firm’s broker-dealer regulatory practice on our underwriter representations, and with our banking and finance groups in our representations involving direct lending and placements of municipal credits, commercial paper, and put bond structures without separate liquidity support.

The firm also represents governmental entities in bond tax audits and advises broker-dealers and financial advisors on regulatory compliance. We represent issuers, credit enhancement providers, and bond trustees in troubled debt situations, and we work with governments and developers to establish and design financing mechanisms to support their programs and projects.

Who We Help

  • Associations 
  • Bank Lenders
  • Bond Investors
  • Charter Schools
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Community Development Financial Institutions
  • Credit Enhancement Providers
  • Cultural Institutions
  • Developers and Private Borrowers
  • Hospitals (hospital systems and other health care institutions)
  • Independent Schools
  • Issuers
  • Native American Tribes
  • Nonprofit Organizations    
  • Public-Private Partnership Participants
  • Underwriters

Our Clients


  • Commerce Bank
  • Fannie Mae
  • Goldman Sachs
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Morgan Stanley
  • National Public Radio
  • Nuveen
  • PBS
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • The National Geographic Society
  • The Spy Museum
  • Truist
  • Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone
  • Various authorities and special districts
  • Various cities and counties
  • Various colleges and universities
  • Various lenders and funds
  • Various nonprofits
  • Various state and large municipalities
  • Wolf Trap


Our Work

ArentFox Schiff has an extensive national practice counseling nonprofits and for-profit companies that utilize the bond market to finance facilities. We also represent financial institutions that are credit enhancing, purchasing, or underwriting bonds, especially high yield and unrated bonds, seeking to maximize value on defaulted bonds and/or acting as creditors in conduit borrower or municipal bankruptcies.

Key Contacts