CHICAGO — Minnesota-based law firm Briggs and Morgan PA, one of the state’s top bond counsels, has hired attorney Catherine ­Courtney.

The new addition boosts the firm’s public finance team to five attorneys.

Courtney, 45, joined the law firm as of-counsel after 20 years at Minneapolis-based Best & Flanagan LLP, where she worked in a range of municipal finance areas.

Her areas of expertise included charter schools, 501(c)(3)s, housing and health care.

Courtney has also specialized in broadband finance. She was underwriter’s counsel for Oppenheimer and Co. during a 2008 broadband financing case that went to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The verdict favored the city of Monticello, which had been sued by a telephone company after issuing $24.64 million of bonds to finance a fiber-optic broadband communications network.

“The courts ruled in favor of the city all the way,” Courtney said, adding that broadband financing is becoming increasingly popular with local governments.

Courtney will work for Briggs and Morgan in both its Minneapolis and St. Paul offices.

The firm ranked 87th nationally as bond counsel last year, working on $825.9 million of volume. It is 60th so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters.

In Minnesota, the firm ranked third as bond counsel last year — working on a total of $757 million of volume — and is second so far in 2010, with $555.5 million. It ranks 10th in the state as underwriter’s counsel so far this year.

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