Public Finance


Robinson+Cole has provided 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 (Red Book) since the early 1940s. We often rank among the leaders, both nationally and regionally, as bond counsel and underwriters' counsel.

Our Services

We 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
  • 501(c)(3), health, and educational facilities bonds

We handle all of the documentation required for bond issuances, including the following:

  • bond resolutions
  • proceedings to be followed for authorization and issuance of debt obligations
  • tax analysis 
  • official statements and closing documents

In addition, we represent our clients in numerous actions:  

  • We assist with subsequent arbitrage and rebate counseling and compliance.
  • We participate actively, when necessary, in the credit rating and credit enhancement processes.
  • We advise issuers, bankers, and mutual fund clients regarding eligible investments for bond proceeds under applicable statutes and indentures of trust.
  • We provide extensive counseling in tax planning for arbitrage rebate avoidance, in addition to performing tax due diligence prior to the date of issuance.
  • We advise issuers and underwriters with respect to federal securities and disclosure laws requirements

Our Team

Our Public Finance Group comprises an integrated team of professionals dedicated to this specialized area and has traditionally been a significant practice group at our firm. We have our own dedicated securities and tax practitioners and can call on the diverse resources of our firm to respond to all situations.

Robinson+Cole brings to the role of bond counsel an unmatched municipal finance experience. We have served as counsel to underwriters, credit enhancers, trustees, and investors on numerous issues over decades of development in the public finance marketplace.

Our 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 large cities with 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 numerous capital projects, including cultural facilities, economic development projects, and housing projects.

Our Public Finance Group is knowledgeable in innovative financing techniques that reflect the marketplace, including these areas: 

  • 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
  • lease purchase agreements 

The firm has also been actively involved in numerous advance refundings that are 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 Group gives our lawyers an exceptional understanding of municipal disclosure requirements under these standards:

  • 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
  • the disclosure guidelines of the Government Finance Officers Association

Robinson+Cole's approach to the delivery of bond counsel services enables us to deliver the highest-quality legal services efficiently and cost-effectively. Issuers, in a highly competitive environment, attest to the quality of our service and the reasonableness of our counsel fees by returning 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
      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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
      • December 6, 2023

        Keisha Palmer Supports State of Connecticut During Presentation of The Bond Buyer’s Innovative Financing Award

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      • November 6, 2023

        Robinson+Cole Receives 42 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Six National Rankings in Latest Edition of Best Law Firms®

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      • December 7, 2022

        Keisha Palmer Among Bond Buyer’s 2022 Trailblazing Women of the Year

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      • November 3, 2022

        Robinson+Cole Receives 43 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Four National Rankings in Latest U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

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      • April 20, 2022

        Keisha Palmer Named to Hartford Business Journal’s 2022 “Women in Business” Class

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      • August 19, 2021

        65 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022

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      • November 6, 2020

        Robinson+Cole Receives 36 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Four National Rankings in Latest U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

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      • June 20, 2019

        Robinson+Cole Honored to be Recognized by Brass City Charter School with Boardroom Dedication

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      • October 18, 2018

        51 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • June 21, 2018

        Keisha Palmer Co-Authors Chapter in Construction Industry Book

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      • May 18, 2018

        Keisha Palmer Presents at NABL Seminar

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      • December 11, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Elects New Partners

      • October 18, 2017

        Keisha Palmer Presents at Annual Bond Attorneys' Workshop

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      • May 30, 2017

        R+C Lawyers Serve as Presenters and Panelist at Connecticut Association of Water Pollution Control Authorities Workshop

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      • 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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      • 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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      • August 28, 2012

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

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      • 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
    • "Municipal Debt 101," presented by Christie D. Jean, presented at the Government Finance Officers Association of Connecticut’s (GFOA CT) 2024 Spring Conference (4/4/2024)
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      "Issuer’s Counsel Considerations," presented by Keisha S. Palmer, presented at “The Institute 2024,” a bond lawyer conference hosted by the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL), in Chicago, IL (4/4/2024)
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      "Post-Issuance Tax Compliance," co-presented by David M. Panico and Keisha S. Palmer, Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) webinar (6/28/2023)
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      "The 10th Anniversary of The Attorneys of Color Symposium: A Celebration of Progress and Perseverance," presented by Keisha S. Palmer, co-hosted by the Connecticut Bar Foundation's James W. Cooper Fellows and Quinnipiac University School of Law (6/29/2022)
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      "Amendments to Continuing Disclosure Obligations Under Rule 15c2-12" co-authored by Keisha S. Palmer, David M. Panico and Glenn A. Santoro (2/1/2019)

      "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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Our Team