Attorney Jonathan Ballan, who has structured the funding for some of New York City’s biggest public-finance projects, joined Cozen O’Connor Tuesday as a partner and co-chair of the law firm’s public and project finance group.
Ballan, who works in Cozen O’Connor’s Midtown office, will play a major role in a buildout of the group, the firm said in a statement Tuesday. He will work closely with Philadelphia-based co-chair Suzanne Mayes and concentrate on representing New York public sector, underwriter and borrower clients, notably those involved in major infrastructure and capital projects.
Ballan had been head of the New York public finance group at Dentons after its 2015 merger with Ballan’s longtime affiliation, McKenna, Long & Aldridge.
His signature projects include the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the LaGuardia Airport Terminal B Reconstruction Project in Queens. He was also a board member of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority from 2011 to 2016.
“Jon’s track record not only includes leading, cutting-edge projects like Yankee Stadium and LaGuardia Airport, but also many years of serving on key government boards in both New York state and New York City, including the MTA,” Mayes said. “Our clients will be able to leverage that experience, especially those in the P3, economic development, stadium finance, [tax-increment financing] and related areas.
Cozen O’Connor’s group negotiates financings and refinancings on behalf of government, nonprofit sector, and private sector entities to fund major infrastructure, education, housing, senior living, health care, energy and economic development projects.
Since 2011, its attorneys have participated in more than $31 billion in aggregate principal of public finance transactions.
“In addition to my deep experience in public finance, I have been fortunate to lead many complicated financings in the greater New York region and now bring the opportunity to leverage and expand for our firm's clients throughout the Northeast region and beyond,” said Ballan.
Ballan is a bond, trustee, disclosure, underwriter’s, borrower’s, and developer’s counsel for a range of tax-exempt and taxable transactions, including economic development, housing, transportation, education, sports facilities, nonprofit, pilot bond, loan securitization, public asset sales, energy, solid waste, water and wastewater projects.
He is a current director of the State of New York Mortgage Agency and was the final chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York, which helped guide the city during its recovery from its 1970s fiscal crisis before disbanding in 2008. He is also a chairman of the New York State Public Asset Fund.
Ballan was also a member of the New York State Watershed Protection and Partnership Council, a board member of the New York City Environmental Control Board, and a board member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.
He was special bond counsel to the New York Yankees in connection with the financing by the New York City Industrial Development Agency of the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. The Bond Buyer awarded the transaction its Deal of the Year award in 2006.
He was also lead disclosure counsel for $2.4 billion of special facilities bonds for the LaGuardia Airport Terminal B reconstruction project, which The Bond Buyer recognized as Northeast Deal of the Year for 2016.
Ballan also led the bond counsel team for the Empire State Development Corp. on the financing of Barclays Arena for the Brooklyn Nets, grasping numerous, novel legal matters relating to the finance structure, securities, and real estate and tax laws; and was special counsel to the Empire State Development Corp., leading a legal team that created the New York Liberty Development Corp., which issued New York Liberty Bonds for commercial projects to assist New York City following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Ballan earned his law degree from George Washington University and his undergraduate degree from Williams College.
Robert Owen Senzer, also of Dentons, will join Ballan at Cozen O’Connor and focus his practice on public finance and economic development. Senzer, who joins the firm’s Midtown office as of counsel, has been a bond, underwriter's, developer's, and trustee's counsel in tax-exempt and taxable bond transactions representing billions of dollars.
Consistently nominated by New York Super Lawyers as a leading bonds and government finance lawyer, Senzer has been lead counsel on transactions for state and local authorities and local development corporations involving water, wastewater and solid waste and resource recovery facilities, parking garages, stadium financings, and tobacco settlement securitizations.
Senzer earned his law degree at St. John's University, and his bachelor’s at Cornell University.