We have served as bond counsel in connection with financings of more than $732 billion and, for more than a century, have been a leader in public finance.

We work with thousands of clients each year and have participated in transactions in every state. Our attorneys served as bond counsel on some of the nation’s first public finance transactions and helped establish transportation, housing, higher education, health care and environmental facility public bodies that financed a significant portion of our country’s modern infrastructure.

The firm’s bond counsel practice includes many types of financings for a variety of credit structures and projects across the full spectrum of governmental and non-profit industries:

  • States
  • Counties
  • Municipalities
  • Housing finance agencies and authorities
  • Health and education authorities
  • Local and regional school districts
  • Highway and tollway authorities
  • Hospitals and health care systems
  • Water and sewer authorities
  • Solid waste districts
  • Colleges and universities
  • Preparatory schools
  • Airports and regional transportation authorities
  • Public power entities
  • Economic development authorities
  • Museums and cultural institutions
  • Federal departments and agencies
  • Municipal utilities
  • Public agencies

Our clients include cities, counties, townships, school districts, community colleges, special improvement districts, and states issuing debt for the full spectrum of public works projects.

For unlimited tax general obligation bonds, our attorneys assist clients with all stages of the issuance process, from examining the state constitutional and statutory authority and drafting the ballot title to preparing the financing documents and issuing our approving legal opinion on the financing.

We have expertise in a very wide range of transactions and structures in which the debt is payable solely from a specific source of revenue, from utility revenue bonds for water, electric and sewer systems, to revenue transactions for transportation districts and urban renewal agencies.

We have expertise in conduit financings for a wide variety of institutions and projects, including affordable housing developers, hospitals or health systems, private schools, private colleges and universities, cultural institutions, as well as for small manufacturing corporations and solid waste disposal facilities.

We frequently work with governments to finance community facilities using unlimited tax general obligation, limited tax general obligation, or revenue-backed structures.

We work closely with urban renewal municipal borrowers in various jurisdictions.  As with other special-revenue backed obligations, tax increment financings require bond counsel expertise drafting specialized covenants and parity tests. The knowledge Hawkins attorneys have of the property tax systems in the jurisdictions where we practice allows us to understand the nuances of tax increment borrowings.

We assist governments that are issuing “certificated” borrowings in the marketplace. This structure is primarily utilized for “subject to appropriation” credits to comply with debt limits. The COPs may also allow governments to sell debt to various investors by breaking up the borrowing into smaller pieces, or “certificating” the borrowing.

We have substantial experience serving as bond and underwriters' counsel in connection with distressed credits.  We were centrally involved in crafting the municipal bond structures and plans of debt composition that assisted New York City, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and several municipalities in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey in resolving their fiscal crises.

Hawkins has been a leading law firm in public finance in California for more than four decades and have served as bond counsel on more than $62 billion of California financings. Our experience encompasses all types of public financing programs, and includes lease revenue bonds, general obligation bonds, tax and revenue anticipation notes and various types of revenue bonds.

Hawkins has been a leader in financing Connecticut’s capital needs for over 60 years. Hawkins has served as bond counsel on over 770 finance transactions by Connecticut issuers aggregating $26 billion. We have extensive experience representing the State, numerous cities and towns within Connecticut, and most of Connecticut’s public authorities, including the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, and the University of Connecticut.

We have served as bond counsel on over 40 Michigan bond issues totaling more than $4 billion. Our public finance attorneys have worked on some of the largest and most sophisticated bond transactions in the State in the recent years, including major issues for the Regents of the University of Michigan, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Finance Authority, and several healthcare systems headquartered in Michigan.

Hawkins has given approving legal opinions for bonds and notes totally more than $17 billion on behalf of municipalities and other public agencies in New Jersey. We have served as one of New Jersey's leading bond counsel firms for more than seven decades. Our public finance lawyers drafted much of the legislation under which municipal bonds are currently issued in New Jersey, including the local bond law, the local school district financing laws, the sewerage authorities law and the municipal utilities authority law.

We have served as bond counsel on over $199 billion in financings for New York State and its major public authorities and agencies.

Hawkins perennially ranks among the top bond counsel firms in New York. Our public finance attorneys for more than eight decades have been centrally involved in the development and implementation of New York State's broad-ranging public finance and capital projects and programs, including financings for the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, the New York State Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, the New York State Thruway Authority, the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York, the Battery Park City Authority, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Medical Care Facilities Finance Agency, and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.  We have also served as special counsel to the State of New York since 1988 in regard to the issuance of tax-exempt certificates of participation, and in that connection have provided general tax and bankruptcy law advice.

We have an extensive local-issuer bond counsel practice representing counties, cities, towns, special districts, villages, fire districts and school districts, and have approved over 11,000 issues totaling over $146 billion.

Hawkins' clients include the counties of Orange, Putnam, Suffolk and Westchester; the cities of Binghamton, Buffalo, Glen Cove, Johnstown and Yonkers; the towns of Cheektowaga, Clarence, Cornwall, East Hampton, Eastchester, Huntington, New Windsor, North Hempstead, Southold; and the villages of Brewster, Garden City, Kings Point, Lindenhurst, Lynbrook, Northport, Nyack, Port Jefferson, Rockville Centre, Sag Harbor, Sands Point, Suffern, Westbury, West Hampton Dunes, and Williston Park.

Hawkins is ranked as the #1 bond counsel in Oregon.

We are the dominant provider of bond counsel services in Oregon. Our bond counsel clients include the state and may of its agencies including Oregon Housing and Community Services, Business Oregon, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Oregon Department of Energy and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  We also represent many local governments, including the cities of Portland, Eugene, Salem; Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties; Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon and a great many other special and education districts. Our record as bond counsel in Oregon includes representation of public clients in the issuance of governmental bonds, private activity bonds, revenue bonds, general obligations bonds, tax credit bonds, fixed rate bonds, variable rate bonds, lines of credit, and interest subsidy bonds. The group of bond lawyers who make up our Oregon office has been ranked as the No. 1 bond counsel firm in Oregon by The Bond Buyer for nearly two decades.

Hawkins has served as bond counsel in the Commonwealth of Virginia for more than 100 years, in financings aggregating over $21 billion.

Our clients include the City of Lynchburg, the City of Charlottesville, the City of Newport News, the City of Roanoke, the County of Chesterfield and the County of Henrico. In addition, our firm prepared the legislation creating the Virginia Housing Development Authority and has served as bond counsel to VHDA since its creation.  The firm has also served as bond counsel to Inova Health, the largest healthcare system in the Commonwealth.

Photo of Howard Berkman
Howard Berkman Retired Partner
Photo of John V. Connorton, Jr.
John V. Connorton, Jr. Retired Partner
Emerson Sanders Law Clerk
Photo of Martin Geiger
Martin Geiger Retired Partner
Photo of Patricia Goins
Patricia Goins Retired Partner
Photo of Stanley Kramer
Stanley Kramer Retired Partner
Photo of John M. McNally
John M. McNally Retired Partner
Photo of Richard Van Dusen
Richard Van Dusen Of Counsel
Photo of T. Kam Wong
T. Kam Wong Retired Partner