Cultural Institutions

Hawkins has served as bond counsel or underwriter's counsel for a diverse range of museums and other cultural and charitable institutions. Our engagements have often involved providing our clients with legal advice on the plan of finance, including fundraising campaigns, project eligibility, financial covenants and bond structuring. Our legal advice has been beneficial both in enhancing perceived credit quality and in providing flexibility to the borrowing institutions.  Noteworthy recent engagements include:

California Academy of Sciences
The Firm has served as bond counsel for several issues of bonds for the California Academy of Sciences (the "Academy") in connection with the Academy's project to build new facilities for its Natural History Museum, Steinhart Aquarium and Morrison Planetarium. The Academy's plan of finance initially involved two series of bonds issued in 2003 and 2005, the first issued for planning and design costs and the second for hard construction costs. In 2008, the Academy refinanced all of its debt with 6 series of variable rate demand obligations in the aggregate amount of $281,000,000.  The Academy refinanced its bonds again in 2010 with a combination of bank direct placements and variable rate demand obligations.  The Firm has assisted the Academy on all of its issues with legal analysis and advice with respect to its fundraising campaign, the project and the plan of finance.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
In 2008, we served as bond counsel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ("LACMA") for its $383,000,000 bond issue that included 5 series of variable rate demand bonds.  The Firm also served as bond counsel for LACMA projects in 2007 and 2004.  LACMA's  bonds have been issued to finance a new art museum and grand entranceway to the LACMA complex and a parking garage.  In 2011, the Firm served as bond counsel for the refunding of LACMA's bonds.  The refunding included bank direct placements and variable rate demand obligations.  As bond counsel, we advised LACMA on numerous complex tax and other issues regarding its plan of finance.

Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History
The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Foundation supports the County of Los Angeles in the operation of three museums that comprise the Natural History Family of Museums, including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County ("LANH").  In 2008, Hawkins served as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of two series of variable rate bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $89,790,000.  In 2007, Hawkins also served as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of two series of variable rate bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $84,400,000.  Proceeds of the bonds were used to fund the construction and rehabilitation of certain museum, educational and exhibition facilities of LANH.  The Firm also served as bond counsel for various amendments to the bond documents in 2009, 2010 and 2011, in relation to various aspects of the swap agreement relating to its bonds and the substitution of credit providers relating to the bonds.

Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County (Los Angeles Music Center)

The Firm served as bond counsel for bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $27,530,000 issued on behalf of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County (the "Music Center").  Proceeds of the bonds were used to finance major renovations to the Mark Taper Forum, 40 years after it first opened its doors in 1967.

The J. Paul Getty Trust
The Firm has served as underwriter's counsel on several transactions for The J. Paul Getty Trust (the "Getty Trust").  The transactions included a $225 million commercial paper offering completed in 2002, a $275 million long-term bond issue completed in May 2003, a $250 million long-term taxable bond issue completed in October 2003, and a $96 million long term bond issue completed in September 2004.  The Firm assisted the Getty Trust and the underwriters with a number of challenging disclosure issues concerning the projects and the complex financing structures of these issues.

World Wildlife Fund, Inc.
The World Wildlife Fund, Inc. ("WWF") is an international conservation organization.  While WWF had historically benefited from both individual and corporate philanthropy, prior to 2000 it had not raised capital through the issuance of debt. Hawkins served as underwriter's counsel in connection with the issuance of $42 million Series 2000A Bonds, which were sold on a competitive basis as tax-exempt fixed rate bonds, and $41.3 million Taxable Variable Rate Bonds, Series 2000B, which were sold as taxable variable rate demand obligations. The proceeds of both series of bonds were applied to finance an eight-story, 235,000 square foot office building.

The National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences ("NAS") is the premier scientific society in the United States. In 1999, NAS accessed the bond market to finance an office building, the purpose of which was to consolidate NAS activities in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area in a single location. In order to proceed with this project financing, NAS created a single member limited liability company under the laws of the State of Maryland. Hawkins served as underwriter's counsel on three transactions, totaling $130 million, that raised the capital for the project.

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