The Hardwick Law Firm’s Public Finance Practice Group, whose attorneys have more than 50 years’ combined experience in bond finance transactions, have worked as lead, sole and co-bond counsel on billions of dollars worth of bond issues which have been used for small and large-scale development projects. The Firm is skilled at handling every aspect of all types of bond financing—whether simple or complex. The Hardwick Law Firm has served as counsel on everything from general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, special obligation bonds, leasehold revenue bonds, current refunding and advanced refunding bonds, along with specialty financings such as pension obligation bonds.
The Firm has represented privately held companies, states, counties, cities, universities, developers, investors, lenders, borrowers, bond issuers, bond purchasers and special purpose districts in a wide range of municipal finance transactions, both large and small. In connection with such transactions, the Firm drafts and reviews all levels of bond and disclosure documents, contributes to structuring of the transaction pursuant to forward purchase agreements, participates in the complex and lengthy due diligence process, drafts key supplemental documents, and provides key tax support and analysis.
As a result of its comprehensive experience, the Hardwick Law Firm has established relationships in multiple marketplaces and has achieved a stellar reputation among their peers for their skill, acumen and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of bond law. Its expertise is recognized on a state and national level:
- The Hardwick Law Firm is one of the first minority owned law firms to be ranked in The Bond Buyer’s top 5 bond counsel in the State of Missouri.
- The Firm was designated in 1991 as a Red Book Municipal Bond firm, recognition reserved for lawyers who have developed expertise in the legal requirements for the issuances of tax-exempt municipal bonds.
- The Hardwick Law Firm ranked among the top 25 bond counsel firms in the Midwest by the Bond Buyer.
- Since 1995, the Firm has been consistently ranked within the top four bond counsel law firms in the State of Missouri for the volume of municipal bonds upon which it has rendered legal opinions.
- In 2012, the Hardwick Law Firm was ranked in the top 5 bond issuance firms in the State of Illinois, based upon the volume of business of the relevant quarter.
From concept to closing, the Firm has been integral to planning and steering various types of financings nationwide, utilizing an array of public finance tools. Transactions with which they have been involved can be grouped generally into the following categories:
- General municipal bonds, including voter-approved obligations backed by the full faith and credit of issuers such as the State of Connecticut, the State of Missouri, the City of St. Louis, Missouri, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and the State of Illinois.
- Airport bonds for metropolitan areas that have enabled the construction of full-scale airport revenue structures, as well as passenger facilities and other airline gateway improvements.
- Housing bonds, both for single family and multi-family projects, and taxable rate, exempt and affordable tax credit housing bonds used to provide for the construction and redevelopment of multi-family and senior living facilities.
- Economic development bonds utilized by industrial development, state, city and special purpose authorities for projects.
- School district financings formulated to facilitate school development initiatives, including projects for the University of Missouri and Lincoln University, as well as lower school projects for Kansas City, Missouri, the Consolidated School District No. 4 of Jackson County, Missouri, and numerous charter schools.
- Half a billion dollars of state revolving funds for the States of Connecticut, Kansas and Missouri, an elaborate financing structure for sanitary sewer infrastructure that requires interfacing with and the cooperation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the applicable state environmental and natural resource departments.
- Environmental financings involving various State Revolving Fund programs in Connecticut, Missouri and Kansas utilizing for large-scale, multi-county sewer improvements, as well as bonds for Missouri’s Energy Set-Aside Program.
- Mass transit bonds involving the Bi-State Development Agency of Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District, Chicago Transportation Authority, and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) for transit improvements and initiatives. Experience includes 10 years of service as a Commissioner and later Chairman of the Board to the KCATA resulting in leadership role in numerous bond financings used to expand passenger transit services and infrastructure, as well as leading and directing components of voter-approved sales tax levies.
- Highway bonds, including Missouri Department of Transportation on Federal Reimbursement State Road Bonds which are secured by payments under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
- Tax increment financing bonds, as bond counsel on behalf of the Kansas City, Missouri Tax Increment Financing Commission, to finance numerous new and redevelopment projects.
- Parking garage bonds used to finance municipal parking facilities that include issues unique to public facility development, management, and preferential private use agreements.
- Innovative, special financings for special public and private projects which involve new or complex revenue terms, including the State of Missouri’s first Port Improvement District, numerous Transportation Development Districts, Community Improvement Districts, and fire districts.
The Hardwick Law Firm Public Finance Practice Group of attorneys have provided expert public finance legal services to various governmental agencies for over two decades. Such bodies represented include the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the City of St. Louis, Missouri, for the Missouri Housing Development Commission, the City of Chicago, and for the Tax Increment Financing Commission of Kansas City, Missouri. The following representative list of transactions for which the Firm has provided legal services attests to the depth and range of the Hardwick Law firm’s Public Finance Practice Group’s experience:
- Co-underwriter’s counsel in connection with $1,000,000,000 revenue refunding bonds issued by the City of Chicago for the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Passenger Facility.
- Lead bond counsel for the City of Kansas City, Missouri on $295,000,000 variable rate Leasehold Revenue Bonds for the City’s KC Live Entertainment District. Representation included work to convert bonds to fixed rate, with a portion of the bonds being synthetically fixed through the City entering into a swap agreement.
- Bond counsel to the State of Illinois on a transaction involving $1,797,740,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds.
- Co-legal counsel to City of Kansas City, Missouri for non-local financing related to NextRail streetcar project.
- Co-bond counsel on the restructuring of nearly $250,000,000 in three series of variable rate bonds for Kansas City’s Downtown Sprint Arena to further reduce the City’s exposure to variable rate debt and to remove the City’s guarantee from a portion of those bonds. Provided key advice to establish the initial structure for the transaction which included, among other things, drafting a complex indenture and providing detailed tax analysis.
- Co-bond counsel to the State of Connecticut on its issue of $115,835,000 State Revolving Fund Refunding General Revenue Bonds.
- Sole bond counsel on behalf of the State Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority of Missouri’s Energy Efficiency Master Leveraged Loan Program, a program which received an Aa2 rating for Moody’s Rating Services based in part on its strong legal structure and documentation. Initial offering provided loans to 29 Missouri school districts and local government units to finance energy conservation measures.
- Co-underwriter’s counsel with respect to the $332,230,000 issue by the City of Chicago of Second Lien Wastewater Transmission Variable Rate Revenue Refunding Bonds.
- Co-underwriter’s counsel in connection with the $198,915,000 issue by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Water Refunding and Improvement Revenue Bonds.
- Co-underwriter’s counsel for the City of Chicago in connection with City of Chicago, Illinois Motor Fuel Tax Revenue Bonds and Motor Fuel Tax Revenue Refunding Bonds valued at $66,635,000.
- Lead underwriter’s counsel in the collective issuance of $259,940,000 City of St. Louis, Missouri, Airport Revenue Bonds for the redevelopment of Lambert – St. Louis International Airport.
- Co-bond counsel to the State of Connecticut for State Revolving Fund Refunding General Revenue Bonds in the amount of $182,935,000.
- Co-bond counsel to the City of St. Louis in connection with the issue of St. Louis Municipal Finance Corporation Leasehold Revenue Refunding Bonds for the Civil Courts Project.
- Co-bond counsel to the City of Kansas City, Missouri with respect to its Variable Rate Demand Special Obligation Refunding Bonds used for the Chouteau/I-35 roadway infrastructure improvement project and Variable Rate Demand Taxable Special Obligation Refunding Bonds.
- Co-bond counsel to the City of Kansas City, Missouri on its $17,400,000 issue of Variable Rate Demand Taxable Special Obligation Refunding Bonds for the President Hotel Redevelopment Project.
- Disclosure counsel to Harris County, Texas and City of Houston, Texas on various general obligation enterprise bonds utilized for $157M power plant development.
- Bond counsel on $157,000,000 Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Authority bond issue in Livingston, Texas.
With the capable assistance of our dedicated staff, which includes paralegals with many years of experience in the public finance arena, the Hardwick Law Firm proudly draws upon decades of experience for every deal and dedicates the resources necessary to be responsive to clients and meet any financing timetable, on a cost-effective basis.