The firm’s Municipal Law Group concentrates on the legal representation of municipalities and their respective authorities throughout the jurisdictions we reside in and beyond. Our attorneys are experienced at handling all legal matters for municipalities and their respective authorities serve the firm’s municipal clients. The Firm's attorneys have represented over 200 municipalities and school districts as general counsel, special counsel or bond counsel.
Clark Hill’s municipal attorneys do not serve in a manner typical of outside counsel. They understand that, under many city charters, as a “city attorney” they often serve as “officers” of the city. While they are legal advisers, they also become part of a “team” to fully inform the city council, city officers and other city bodies of legally available options, of legal impacts and consequences, of risk assessments, etc., but, once the policy direction is given and decision made, they serve as part of that team to help implement that enunciated policy or decision.
Clark Hill’s attorneys offer, not only the experience and knowledge gained over decades of public sector law practice, but also the significant resources of Clark Hill’s other practices, cutting edge practice technology, and an array of other resources. While not always offering the lowest available hourly rate, Clark Hill’s experience, capabilities and resources result in more cost-effectiveness and more timeliness. Where other lawyers might expend hours in researching a question or in finding a suitable “pattern” to follow in a transaction, our attorneys can often answer a question over the phone and have vast data bases to use to address a particular issue or transaction.
Our attorneys identify with our clients, seeking ways to assure not only their legal needs, but their policy goals and objectives are met. We understand municipal law is about community improvement, about service to the community’s residents and taxpayers, and about cost-effective and timely results.
Municipal Law & Municipal Finance
The Firm’s municipal finance group (a sub-group of the Education and Municipal Law Practice Group) assists our municipal clients with the legal aspects of their financial and borrowing needs. Members of the Municipal Finance Group regularly serve as bond counsel to municipalities. The Firm is identified in the Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace as “Recognized Bond Counsel”, the Firm is approved as bond counsel to Rural Development, and our attorneys are members of the National Association of Bond Lawyers.
The Firm has extensive experience in all aspects of the issuance of tax-exempt debt by municipalities. In this regard, the Firm has comprehensive knowledge of federal and state laws that govern the issuance of tax-exempt debt. In addition, the Firm has a thorough knowledge of the federal and state law requirements for structuring municipal bond debt as well as state and local election laws. The Firm has a wealth of experience in drafting all legal documents relating to the issuance of tax-exempt debt.
Our attorneys have acted as bond counsel in a large number of tax exempt bond transactions across the United States. We have extensive experience with many types of bond transactions including, unlimited tax general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, tax increment bonds for DDAs, LDFAs TIFAs and Brownfield Authorities, special assessment bonds, bonds issued by various authorities and refunding bonds. In particular, we have been bond counsel in the issuance of numerous bonds to finance the construction of water and sewer improvements.
Specifically, the Firm’s attorneys also have extensive experience with the borrowing process under the Rural Development Program. We have a very strong working relationship with the Rural Development officials, and an in depth understanding of the Rural Development Program, its requirements and structure for bond issues. This experience includes experience in handling financing projects for water and sewer systems through revenue bonds and other types of bond issues. We believe that these relationships, which we have developed over the years, allow us to provide a level of representation that might not be available from other law firms that do not regularly practice in this area.
Authorities and Other Entities
Clark Hill serves as general counsel of numerous other governmental and inter-governmental entities including brownfield redevelopment authorities, downtown development authorities, economic development corporations, fire and other emergency services boards and authorities, libraries, local development finance authorities, sanitary sewer authorities, tax increment financing authorities, utility authorities, water authorities, etc. It also provides specific legal services to a number of such entities.