Eckert Seamans adds five to Harrisburg office

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Law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC has hired five public finance attorneys from Rhoads & Sinon LLP for its Harrisburg, Pennyslvania, office.

Partners Jens Damgaard, Jonathan Cox, Benjamin Ried and David Twaddell, and associate Ryan A. Mentzer, were scheduled to join on Monday.

The hires add to a Pennsylvania buildout that included the addition of partners Sarah Davis Buss and Christopher Rayl from Campbell & Levine LLC to the firm’s Pittsburgh office in November. Eckert Seamans, with about 355 attorneys overall, has 15 offices nationwide and three in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia.

“The group is really excited about the affiliations in Pittsburgh and the five lawyers in Harrisburg,” Marc Stein, the firm’s public finance chairman, said in an interview. “This is a concentrated effort to bolster our public finance group.”

Eckert Seamans in 2016 represented clients in 133 transactions, including tax-exempt and taxable debt financings totaling more than $12 billion in aggregate principal amount, and derivative transactions -- interest rate swaps, swaptions, caps, collars, and floors – that exceeded $2 billion in an aggregate notional amount.

“Each of the attorneys brings a different skill set and a different sweet spot, whether its municipal financing or project financing,” said Stein.

Damgaard assists school districts, counties, municipalities and municipal authorities in orchestrating tax-free bond issues and loans, and grants, for a variety of public projects.

Cox is bond counsel and bank counsel in connection with financing of capital projects for a variety of issuers. He also assists clients with state and federal funding programs, including those of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Community Development and Rural Utilities Service.

Ried works with issuers, including continuing care retirement communities, colleges, hospitals, and volunteer fire companies, on tax-exempt bonds and notes, and has been counsel to underwriting firms and banks throughout the commonwealth.

Twaddell’s experience includes the issuance of general obligation bonds and notes and revenue-based financing for the commonwealth and its agencies, and for municipal issuers.

Mentzer also assists municipalities, school districts and local authorities in issuing tax-exempt bonds and notes to finance new projects and to refinance outstanding debt.

In Pittsburgh, Buss focuses on infrastructure and nonprofit and economic development financing, while Rayl has nearly 25 years of public finance experience working with state and local governmental issuers, 501(c)(3) organizations, underwriters and lenders.

At Campbell & Levine, they closed billions of dollars in public finance projects, including some of western Pennsylvania’s most complex transactions. They also collaborated on public-private partnerships.

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