Dinsmore Ranked No. 1 Bond Counsel Firm in Kentucky
Dinsmore & Shohl set the pace in Kentucky, serving as bond counsel for the highest dollar volume of transactions for the first half of 2014, earning the firm a first place ranking by The Bond Buyer. Dinsmore’s transactions as bond counsel totaled more than $628.7 million (par amount) in the Commonwealth, which is more than the second and third ranked bond counsel firms combined. In Ohio, the firm claimed third place with bond transactions totaling $651.5 million (par amount) and was the fourth ranked bond counsel firm in Pennsylvania with transactions totaling $336.7 million (par amount). The news comes as the firm looks to continue to leverage opportunities six months after the merger with Peck, Shaffer & Williams (Peck Shaffer).
Dinsmore has also officially released details of the formation of its new Finance Department, created by restructuring several practice areas. The new department consists of 55 attorneys in the Commercial Finance and Public Finance Practice Groups. Columbus Partner Tom Wilson was elected as Head of the Finance Department. He joined Dinsmore in the Peck Shaffer merger and also serves on the Board of Directors as a result of his new role. Wilson says he sees a lot of interplay in his department.
“It all comes down to making sure our clients have the tools they need to turn their projects into reality,” said Wilson. “When you combine our Public Finance expertise with the established success of the Commercial Finance group, there are many options to leverage for our clients.”
Cincinnati Partner Joanne Schreiner remains the Chair of the Commercial Finance Practice Group and will continue to oversee the 16 attorneys that comprise it. Schreiner’s group covers commercial lending and business transactions. She says even with the economic recovery in progress, there are still hurdles to navigate.
“National banks have tightened underwriting, making deals harder to finance, but the void is being filled with regional banks, which are significantly increasing their lending budgets,” said Schreiner. “Demand for credit remains quite strong, and delinquencies are down. That means there are funds available for new loans.”
The two attorneys selected to co-Chair the Public Finance Practice Group each have more than 30 years experience as bond counsel. Pittsburgh Partner Christopher Brewer and Cincinnati Partner John Merchant lead the 39 Public Finance attorneys. They have already seen clients benefit from the expanded group, especially as they face federal regulations like the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative.
“These new regulations have many clients concerned about their past disclosures. Our group can work on their new financing projects while doing a compliance review on all their previous transactions,” said Brewer. “We have all the tools and experience to address their needs, and these MCDC audits are just one way to illustrate that. Our clients have the peace of mind that we have them covered on every front.”
In the six months since Merchant joined the firm in the merger, he has experienced the benefit of Dinsmore’s depth of service and enjoys having a full spectrum of legal perspectives at his disposal.
“Now when I have a real estate question or other question in a project, I pick up the phone and talk through it with another attorney in the firm. Our Public Finance work compliments so many areas that it will be fascinating to see how we can leverage our expanded platform to help our clients,” said Merchant.
Dinsmore also continues to expand its presence in the firm’s new locations gained from the Peck Shaffer merger. The Chicago office has recently added eight attorneys, including four from Thompson Coburn and attorneys from Kirkland Ellis and Tressler. In Denver, the firm welcomed Kwali Farbes to the Public Finance group. Farbes is new to Dinsmore, but she previously spent five years at Peck Shaffer before leaving in 2012 and brings dynamic energy to the office.
In addition to the Finance Department, Dinsmore also offers its Corporate, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment and Litigation Departments to serve clients. The firm has more than 500 attorneys and locations in 16 cities throughout Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.