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(AUSTIN) April 15, 2020 – Locke Lord’s Austin office has added an experienced and respected trio to the Firm’s Public Finance Practice Group: Adam Harden, who joins as a Partner, and John Hall and Justin Rodriguez as Senior Counsel. The additions greatly expand the Firm’s public finance presence and bond counsel capabilities in the Lone Star State, one of the largest and most diverse public finance markets in the country.
“Adam, John and Justin joining Locke Lord showcases the Firm’s deep commitment to the public finance space and a focused vision on future opportunities,” said Stephanie Massey, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Public Finance Practice Group based in Locke Lord’s Boston office. “They will prove to be vital assets amid expected growth in the public infrastructure arena as the economy rebounds from the current instability.”
“This team is a strategic addition to our nationally recognized public finance group and will fit seamlessly into our practice and entrepreneurial culture, while also providing a critical foothold in the bond counsel space in Texas,” added Kevin Twining, Co-Chair of Locke Lord’s Public Finance Practice Group based in the Firm’s Dallas office. “Their top-tier skills and substantial experience within the space are a boon to our already well-respected team. We are thrilled to add a trio of their stature to Locke Lord.”
The group joins Locke Lord from Norton Rose Fulbright and includes Harden, who primarily focuses his practice on the federal tax aspects of public finance and infrastructure transactions, including extensive experience in the 103 tax bar, Qualified Opportunity Zones, public-private partnerships and tax credit and investment incentive programs. He provides tax advice in connection with financing transactions for cities, counties and school districts, as well as clients in a wide range of industries, including affordable housing deals. Harden has experience advising on financing for professional and collegiate sports stadiums, and he also advises issuers, financial advisers and underwriters regarding financings involving new money projects, refundings, capital and working capital financings, commercial paper issues, pooled bonds, variable rate bonds and fixed rate bonds. In addition, Harden maintains a general for-profit and nonprofit corporate tax practice.
“We are excited to join Locke Lord and to capitalize on the Firm’s established platform, unique commitment to public finance and deep roots in Texas,” said Harden. “Locke Lord provides an excellent foundation for our team both to collaborate with an extraordinary team of elite public finance lawyers across the nation and to build on its presence in public finance in Texas, where the Firm is well known and entrenched in the culture and history of its clients.”
Hall has more than 12 years of experience in public finance law, financial advisory and investment banking. He focuses his practice on traditional tax-exempt finance tax work and deal work for issuers and other parties in the governmental and low income housing spaces. He has served as lead relationship and/or execution banker in transactions totaling over $1 billion in aggregate par for Texas school districts, colleges and universities, state agencies, cities, counties, special districts and utilities. In addition, Hall has prior experience working as a public finance investment banker, giving him unique insight on both sides of the deal table.
Rodriguez has significant experience in the public finance space and previously spent 10 years as a public finance banker holding Series 7, 50, 52, 53 and 63 industry licenses. In addition, he is a dedicated public servant and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012 and served three full terms as State Representative for House District 125, where he advocated for increased access to, and affordability of, higher education, voting rights and affordable health care for all of Texas. Rodriguez most recently was sworn in as Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 2 in January 2019.
Locke Lord has one of the largest bond counsel practices in the country. For more than 130 years, the Firm has been involved in the law of public borrowing and the federal tax and securities aspects of public debt obligations. The Firm’s public finance lawyers have extensive experience nationwide serving as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, underwriter’s counsel, issuer’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, bank counsel, special tax counsel and trustee’s counsel for governmental and quasi-governmental issuers, special purpose entities, tax-exempt organizations and other entities and financial institutions.
Locke Lord consistently ranks among the top public finance practices nationally. According to The Bond Buyer’s 2019 National Rankings, the Firm ranked fourth nationally as bond counsel for competitive deals with 175 issues, the highest number of competitive issues of any firm in the top 10. In addition, the Firm ranked 13th overall among bond counsel firms and 11th overall among underwriters’ counsel firms. In The Bond Buyer’s 2019 Northeast Yearend Review, the Firm ranked fourth top bond counsel overall in the Northeast and top bond counsel in Massachusetts and Vermont.
About Locke Lord LLP
Locke Lord is a full-service law firm with global reach and 21 offices designed to meet clients’ needs in the United States and around the world. The Firm has a history that spans more than 130 years and is a leader in the middle market arena. Locke Lord focuses on providing the highest levels of commitment, quality and service to clients across its five Key Sectors: Energy and Infrastructure; Finance and Financial Services; Insurance and Reinsurance; Pharmaceutical; and Private Equity. In addition, the Firm advises clients across a broad spectrum of other industries, including fund formation, venture capital, health care, public finance, real estate, technology, cybersecurity and white collar, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, intellectual property, tax, regulatory and transactional teams.