Muni vet Wong to lead Nixon Peabody’s project finance practice


Virginia Wong, a 27-calendar year veteran of the municipal bond sector, has been preferred to guide Nixon Peabody LLP’s venture finance and community finance exercise as the business carries on to expand its small business.

Wong, who has been with the organization due to the fact 1995, takes over the purpose from Kenneth Lind, who has led the apply since 2018 and designs to retire early upcoming year.

Wong led the team that served as bond counsel on the restructuring of far more than $33 billion in Puerto Rico financial debt this yr. The offer represented the biggest municipal restructuring in U.S. heritage, exchanging Puerto Rico’s existing credit card debt for $7.4 billion in new common obligations bonds and $8.7 billion in new GO contingent price instrument notes.

Our group is comprehensive of impressive thinking that aids purchasers accomplish their ambitions, reported Virginia Wong, Nixon Peabody’s new head of its undertaking finance and public finance apply.

Nixon Peabody LLC

“I’ve been actually lucky during my career to be in a position to do the job on some exciting and complex transactions,” she advised The Bond Consumer. “The Puerto Rico restructurings for COFINA [Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corp.] and the standard obligation restructuring that just closed were two of the extra complicated transactions to get the job done on.”

Performing on Puerto Rico brought a new standpoint to the way the organization looked at transactions, she mentioned, as she received the creditors’ perspective, seemed at how to rebuild the credits and realize what went incorrect and how to resolve it and to leave the federal government of Puerto Rico in superior economical shape.

She reported it was good to work with Omar Marrero and his workforce at the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Fiscal Advisory Authority and with the other advisors at Ankura and O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

“It was a excellent staff hard work to be a aspect of and a incredibly profitable end result for the govt of Puerto Rico,” she reported. “It was a very complicated transaction — the first issuance of contingent worth devices by a municipality in the United States. An unbelievable sum of work went into all of it and I’m quite very pleased of our staff.”

Wong has served as bond counsel and as underwriter’s counsel for many muni specials, this kind of as project bond transactions, securitizations and tax-exempt income bond financings.

She has also labored with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, the New York Metropolis Municipal Water Finance Authority and the Gross sales Tax Securitization Corp. in Chicago.

Moreover, she has represented establishments and foundations in tax-exempt financings, like Lincoln Centre for the Accomplishing Arts and the Whitney Museum. She has labored on public-non-public partnership financings, which consist of the Elizabeth River Crossing Undertaking, the Los Angeles Airport Men and women Mover challenge, C-70 and the Denver Eagle tasks in Colorado, and the Goethals Bridge in New York Town.

“I’ve gotten to work with the titans of public finance over the system of my career,” she explained. “I’m very happy to be a public finance attorney and the work that we do is so essential and has a favourable impression on all of our communities.”

The firm’s project finance and community finance observe contains far more than 50 attorneys and professionals and is seeking to include.

“Our team is growing,” Wong reported. “We’re incorporating new associates and new partners. We see a whole lot of expansion in the sector and we’re very optimistic about the future.”

Seeking ahead, she said, the firm sees plenty of alternatives for their shoppers.

“The markets have obviously improved and there is some new troubles, but we are also very optimistic and we see a opportunity to broaden the get the job done we are doing,” Wong explained. “We have normally prided ourselves on doing work on ground breaking and hard transactions and obtaining new techniques to enable our customers address their financing concerns.”

Lind is envisioned to retire at the close of January 2023. Prior to becoming a member of Nixon Peabody, he was the performing finance director and deputy general counsel for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“We are quite appreciative of Ken’s contributions more than the many years, as his deep market knowledge, commitment, and thoughtful management approach, each internally and externally, have been keys to the apply group’s successes and our popularity for top rated-notch illustration of our clients,” Michael Goldman, chair of the firm’s job finance, infrastructure and real estate division, explained in a assertion.

Nationally, Nixon Peabody LLP ranked sixth amongst all muni bond counsel in 2021, according to data from Refinitiv. They did $14.781 billion of business enterprise in 138 promotions, a marketplace share of 3.2%.

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