Public Finance

Friday, Eldredge & Clark, as the leading bond counsel firm in Arkansas, is uniquely qualified to serve as bond counsel on a wide range of public, nonprofit and industrial development financings. The firm has served as bond counsel on more than $8 billion in tax-exempt public issue bonds in Arkansas in the past five years. The firm’s focus is on the financing of public, nonprofit and industrial projects through bonds sold by underwriters, bonds placed with governmental agencies and local banks and bonds offered in public sales.

The firm’s public finance lawyers work together and, as needed, may team with lawyers in other practice areas of the firm whose backgrounds may be relevant to a public finance transaction. Whether a bond issue involves complex issues relating to securities, healthcare, real estate, economic development, environmental law,or even litigation, the firm can handle any issue that arises. Because the firm’s public finance group works so closely with other practice groups, it is adept at spotting issues that may require attention from other disciplines.

Focused on Clients

The firm’s public finance practice encompasses bond offerings issued by or on behalf of a wide range of public entities in Arkansas, including the following:

  • State of Arkansas (higher education, highway, and water bonds, among others)
  • Regional entities, such as public water authorities, regional water distribution districts and solid waste districts
  • Higher educational institutions, both public and private
  • Municipalities
  • Counties
  • School districts
  • Public facilities boards
  • Improvement districts

Focused on Services

  • Public finance
  • Structured finance
  • Municipal bonds
  • State and local bonds
  • General obligation financings
  • University and college financings
  • Regional water financings
  • Landfill and solid waste financings
  • Port authority financings
  • School district financings
  • Tax-supported debt
  • Municipal water, sewer and electric financings
  • Industrial development bond transactions
  • Revolving loan fund bonds
  • Healthcare financings
  • Airport financings

Focused on our Team

Members of our group are recognized by both Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in Business and The Best Lawyers in America for excellence in such areas as municipal finance, project finance,  public finance and structured finance. Five members of our group are active in the National Association of Bond Lawyers, and two have served as adjunct professors of Public Finance at the University of Arkansas, Clinton School of Public Service. Such professional credentials ensure that the bond issue will be handled efficiently and with the highest degree of professional care.

Focused on Results

Friday, Eldredge & Clark has been the leading bond counsel firm in Arkansas for over twenty years and 2017 was no different.  Of the $1.67 billion in principal amount of public bonds issued by Arkansas issuers in 2017, the firm approved $1.39 billion in principal amount of bonds.

These bond issues had many different characteristics.  As a result, the firm has been involved in practically every type of financing currently being offered to the public.  Examples of the characteristics encountered are:

  • Bonds issued by political bodies which were the direct and general obligation of the issuer
  • Bonds for which a dedicated stream of revenues (for example, water and sewer revenues) were used to securitize the repayment obligations of the issuer
  • Bonds which were rated by nationally recognized rating agencies
  • Bonds issued by political bodies which provided conduit financing for third parties
  • Bonds which were issued to raise funds for new projects
  • Bonds which were issued to refinance or refund outstanding bonds
  • Bonds which were offered through underwriters whose fees and commissions were negotiated
  • Bonds which were offered through underwriters whose fees and commissions were determined by competitive bid
  • Bonds which were insured
  • Bonds which bore interest at fixed rates
  • Bonds which were sold to a state or federal agency
  • Bonds which financed pools of funds for lending

As bond counsel on any issue, the firm will draft all documents relating to authorization, sale and delivery, as required by state and federal law. These include ordinances, resolutions, trust indentures, loan agreements, notices, offering documents, tax certificates, bond purchase agreements, disclosure agreements, as well as all other required documents needed for the issuance of bonds. The firm will also prepare a bond approving opinion.

The firm also offers full assistance when a bond issue requires voter approval, including preparation of the necessary ordinances, ballot, issuer notices, and other issuer documents required under state law. The firm can also help you with securities law and federal tax law compliance, including continuing disclosure and matters pertaining to arbitrage rebate.