New York

Hawkins' heaviest concentration of representation is with issuers in the State of New York. We have an extensive general obligation practice representing counties, cities, towns, special districts, villages, fire districts and school districts in New York, and have included among our clients such counties as Suffolk, Erie, Monroe, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester; cities including Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Saratoga Springs, Troy, and Yonkers; towns such as Amherst, Brookhaven, Clarkstown, Hempstead, Kirkwood, New Windsor, North Hempstead and Southold; and numerous villages.

At the state level, the Firm has played major roles as Bond Counsel in the implementation of financings for the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, New York State Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, the New York State Thruway Authority, the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York, the Battery Park City Authority, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York State Medical Care Facilities Finance Agency (now merged with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York).

The Firm currently serves as underwriters’ counsel with respect to the New York Local Government Assistance Corporation.  Financings for the State in its certificate of participation program are among the many New York State appropriation-backed financings in which the Firm has been involved.

School District Practice 
Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP renders legal opinions for more school district tax anticipation note and revenue anticipation note issues than any other firm within New York State. In 2004, the Firm provided legal services in connection with cash-flow borrowings for approximately 110 school districts throughout the State. Our practice currently includes approximately 150 active school districts. Hawkins has served as underwriters’ counsel on the initial pooled financing by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to assist New York school districts realign their debt service payments on outstanding debt with the new assumed amortization schedules promulgated by the State last year. The Firm’s school district cash-flow finance practice has grown each year for the past two decades largely as a result of the Firm’s concentration during that period in developing its finance practice for New York school districts generally.

Project Finance 
Several Hawkins partners devote a substantial portion of their practice to project finance. The Firm’s project finance practice encompasses principally energy-related project development and finance, including resource recovery, public power, electric utility and alternate energy projects. The Firm is recognized as a leading firm and has a substantial nation-wide practice in these areas, and is regularly retained as contract counsel, underwriters’ counsel, bond counsel, bank counsel and environmental counsel for such projects. We have also acted or are acting as counsel to numerous municipalities, counties and public authorities in connection with their solid waste management and resource recovery projects, including within New York State: The City of New York, Westchester County, the Town of Huntington, Broome County, Monroe County, Rockland County, and Onondaga County, as well as to numerous state and governmental units throughout the country.

Public Power 
The Firm has substantial national experience in public power and energy finance matters. We have participated in numerous public power and energy related financings for such clients as the Power Authority of the State of New York, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Long Island Power Authority, as well as numerous public power authorities across the country. Hawkins served as advisor and Bond Counsel for the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) takeover of the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) in 1998, which culminated in what was then the largest municipal bond issue in history, nearly $5.0 billion, with a total of over $6.5 billion issued over a 6-month period. Leading to this acquisition, the Firm was instrumental in negotiating the several interrelated agreements between LIPA and LILCO-related entities for the acquisition by LIPA of LILCO’s electric system, and the subsequent operation of the system by LILCO affiliates. As Bond Counsel we were instrumental in resolving the complex structural, litigation and disclosure issues inherent in such a massive undertaking.

Distressed Credits Within New York State 
Hawkins has been nationally recognized as the leading firm with specific experience and expertise in the problems of financially distressed governments at all levels since the national depression in the 1930’s. Our work with public bankruptcy and restructuring during that period led directly to the implementation by the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut of constitutional and statutory budgetary procedures governing fiscal public debt issuance that have served as models for other States across the country.

In the City of Troy, the Firm has served as Bond Counsel to the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of Troy, New York ("Troy MAC") since its inception in 1995. In its role as Bond Counsel, the Firm worked with various New York State officials in developing new legislation, drafting the Troy MAC General Bond Resolution and structuring the security for Troy MAC obligations.

In the City of Yonkers, Hawkins was retained as Bond Counsel in 1975 when Yonkers could not market its debt obligations and required the intervention of the State of New York in its fiscal affairs. The Firm drafted the Special Local Finance and Budget Act to implement a base-line budgeting process and effect the issuance of bonds to liquidate Yonkers’ accumulated deficit. These statutory budget and financing constraints have preserved the investment grade ratings of Yonkers debt obligations through subsequent fiscal crises.

Hawkins was retained in 2000 by the State Division of the Budget to help draft special State legislation creating an oversight and funding mechanism for Nassau County, which was under severe financial distress.  The resulting legislation created the Nassau County Interim Financing Authority (“NIFA”), which has issued bonds in excess of $436,200,000 in order to restructure Nassau County debt, provide budgetary relief, and finance the County’s ongoing capital project needs during its current fiscal crisis.  Hawkins has been engaged as either bond counsel or underwriters’ counsel with respect to several of NIFA’s bond and note issues to date. 

 

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