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MelissaBennett

She | Her | Hers

Partner

"I enjoy the collegial atmosphere of my field and the challenge of sorting out a good puzzle when structuring transactions."

Overview

Biography

Melissa serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, and counsel to credit-enhancement providers and direct purchasers on a variety of general obligation and revenue bond transactions, including financings for school districts, municipalities, higher education institutions, health care providers, and affordable housing projects. She has extensive experience handling public offerings, private placements, and direct purchases.

Melissa also serves as agency counsel to several industrial development agencies and local development corporations in connection with straight-lease transactions and tax-exempt and taxable revenue bond issuances and provides day-to-day advice to IDA and LDC clients on compliance and governance. She additionally represents institutional lenders in secured commercial financing transactions, including conventional real estate mortgages, secured lines of credit, and construction loans.

In addition to her own practice, Melissa serves as a member of the firm's Technology Committee.

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association

Selected Memberships & Affiliations

  • Barclay Damon’s Women’s Forum
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • New York State Economic Development Council
  • New York State Association of School Business Officials
  • New York State Government Finance Officers’ Association

Languages

  • French
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Served as bond counsel for the New York State Housing Finance Agency's issuance of $209,640,000 Affordable Housing Revenue Bonds, 2021 Series D, E, and F. 
  • Served as bond counsel for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York's $335,230,000 School Districts Revenue Bond Financing Program, Series 2021A–C.
  • Served as bond counsel for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York's $28,185,000 InterAgency Council Pooled Loan Program Revenue Bonds, Series 2021A. 
  • Served as bond counsel for the Suffolk County Economic Development Corporation's issuance of $35,655,000 Revenue Bonds, Series 2021 (St. Johnland Assisted Living, Inc. Project).
  • Served as underwriters' counsel for the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency's $44,685,000 School Facility Revenue Bonds, Series 2020 (Rochester Schools Modernization Project).
  • Served as underwriters’ counsel for the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation’s $258,340,000 State Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Funds Revenue Bonds (New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority Projects – Second Resolution Bonds) Series 2018 B Subordinated SRF Bonds.
  • Served as underwriters’ counsel for Golden State Tobacco Securitization Corporation’s $1,674,650,000 Tobacco Settlement Asset-Backed Bonds, Series 2018A-1.
  • Served as bond counsel for the Town of Colonie Local Development Corporation’s $12,500,000 Tax-Exempt Revenue Bond (Shaker Pointe at Carondelet, Inc. Project), Series 2018.
  • Served as transaction counsel to Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency in a straight-lease transaction for a $40 million senior living facility involving multiple corporate layers and requiring complex document structuring and significant mortgage negotiations.

Prior Experience

  • Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc., Legal Intern
  • University at Buffalo School of Law Affordable Housing Clinic, Student Attorney
  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Legal Assistant

Selected Honors

  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Stars: Government Finance, 2019–2021

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