“California is the place where there is the greatest trouble for municipalities, especially given the resistance of some public pension funds to make concessions,” said McKenna Long & Aldridge attorney Mark Kaufman, who is relocating to San Francisco from Atlanta.

SAN FRANCISCO - McKenna Long & Aldridge attorney Mark Kaufman, known for his work on Harrisburg, Pa.'s restructuring, has moved west to join his firm's San Francisco office.

Kaufman, who is a partner and co-chair of McKenna's Municipal Reform & Innovation practice, will lead the firm's work in municipal restructuring matters in California.

"California is the place where there is the greatest trouble for municipalities, especially given the resistance of some public pension funds to make concessions," Kaufman said. "I'm looking forward to working with local governments, as well as investors and other key participants in the state's tax-exempt arena, in finding the best solutions to fiscal problems."

Kaufman joins the San Francisco office from the firm's Atlanta office, where he focused on advising financially distressed cities and towns, tax-exempt bondholders, bond insurers, and other public finance stakeholders on issues and strategies relating to fiscally challenged municipal credits.

Most recently Kaufman served as lead counsel advising the state-appointed receiver of Harrisburg in concluding a complex financial restructuring without resorting to a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing.

Kaufman worked with a broad group of bondholders and other creditors in developing an out-of-court plan of reorganization for Harrisburg to restructure more than $400 million of debt.

His experience with Harrisburg and knowledge of distressed public debt will be a huge asset for the firm's West Coast insolvency group, said Charley Maher, who was recently named managing partner for McKenna's San Francisco office.

"California represents the largest collection of municipal governments of any state in the country, and it's no secret that many of those cities have remained under severe fiscal stress since the recession," said Maher.

San Bernardino, Stockton and Vallejo have filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy since 2008, with many other local governments in the state facing financial challenges from underfunded public pension plans to a shrinking tax base and high unemployment.

"Mark's breadth of knowledge on municipal reform and restructuring complements our existing litigation, transaction and financial practices throughout the state," Maher said.

Kaufman received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his bachelor's degree from Cornell University.

He previously served as president of the Bankruptcy Section of the Atlanta Bar Association and is a former chair of Georgia's Bankruptcy Bench and Bar Conference, as well as the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute.

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