As we continue to work through the challenges presented by COIVD-19, we hope all your loved ones, friends, and you are healthy and well. If “unprecedented” was the word most used to described 2020, this year’s theme, The Workshop: Hybrid 2021, Navigating a Changing World, Together (Actually and Virtually), seeks to recognize that the words “Uncertainty” and “Flexibility” may become the words that are most used to describe 2021. In recognition of our desire to address the uncertainties that we have all experienced in some form in our professional and/or personal lives, we are happy to offer The Workshop attendees the flexibility to experience a live in-person event in Chicago or a live virtual experience from your home, office or wherever you may be. We developed this format in response to members’ feedback from the survey earlier this year. We structured each session to provide for the exchange of ideas and information concerning municipal bond law and practice from practitioners and representatives from the government and industry associations using a schedule that accommodates all four time zones. Whether you choose to join us live in Chicago or virtually, we are committed to advancing NABL’s core principle of educating the public finance community about issues affecting municipal bond law and practice. We hope you will join us either way.
Karen M. Jordan
Dentons US LLP
St. Louis, MO
First Vice Chair
Scott R. Lilienthal
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Second Vice Chair
Juliet H. Huang
Chapman and Cutler LLP
The deadline to submit your proof of vaccination has been extended to September 30, 2021.
Registration PDF Form
In-Person Attendance Limited for 2021
The Workshop will have limited in-person seating due to COVID-19, and NABL anticipates a sellout. Registration for the in-person conference will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so you are encouraged to register early. If in-person registration is full, plan to attend virtually!
NABL Policy for In-Person Registration at The Workshop: Hybrid 2021
In-person attendees must be fully vaccinated prior to attending the conference. In-person attendees must be fully vaccinated prior to attending the conference. Registered attendees must email a PDF of their COVID-19 vaccination record card as proof to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, September 30, 2021. If you register for in-person and do not provide proof by September 30, your in-person registration will default to a virtual registration.
NOTE: When you arrive at The Workshop, please bring the email receipt with the subject line "Proof of COVID Vaccination Receipt" from NABL confirming your vaccination information or present a government issued ID when picking up your registration materials on-site.
The Workshop: Hybrid 2021 Fees
NABL Members & Federal/State/Local Government Employees
□ $995.00 general pricing starting August 21, 2021
□ $1500.00 general pricing starting on August 21, 2021
Non-members can join NABL and register for The Workshop simultaneously. The registration fees below include NABL membership for the remainder of 2021 and through December 31, 2022. A membership application, which can be accessed by visiting nabl.org, must be submitted along with The Workshop registration form. NABL membership is by individual, not firm. It is discounted for new attorneys admitted to the bar after January 2018.
General Pricing starting August 21, 2021:
□ $1290.00 if admitted to the Bar after January 1, 2018
□ $1490.00 if admitted to the Bar before January 1, 2018
Registration Refund Policy:
- In-person cancellations or substitutions are not permitted.
- Transferring from an in-person to a virtual registration is permitted if requested in writing by Thursday, September 30, 2021.
- Substitutions are allowed only for virtual registrations if requested in writing by Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Email requests to email@example.com.
Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park
200 N. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
P: (800) 526-2008
The Fairmont Chicago still has guestroom availability for Workshop attendees. Please visit https://www.fairmont.com/chicago/ to make your hotel reservation at prevailing rates.
Check-in is at 3:00pm and check-out is at 12:00pm.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
18 miles northwest
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
12 miles southwest
For information regarding shuttle transportation to the hotel, please visit www.airportexpress.com.
In consideration of the health and safety of hotel guests, valet parking has been suspended. Self-parking is available at the Aqua Building directly across the street from the Fairmont.
3:00pm - 4:15pm CT
Hot Topics in Tax Law
Christie L. Martin
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
This panel will discuss current federal tax issues, including any recently released notices, rulings, regulations and/or other guidance. The panel is expected to address the latest infrastructure financing proposals, COVID-19 related financing issues, and LIBOR transition matters among other matters. In order to address current “hot” topics, the specific topics focusing on tax matters are subject to change. Final topics that will be addressed in each panel will be communicated to attendees in the session description on the conference app prior to The Workshop.
Understanding The Role of Municipal Advisors
Municipal advisors have become prominent participants in issuances of municipal securities and the subject of regulations which also impact the activities of bond attorneys. This panel explores the regulatory framework for municipal advisors. In addition, we will discuss and analyze SEC and FINRA examinations and cases. Areas to be explored include: analyzing rule interpretations, as well as practical problems related to deal timing, rating agency and investor presentations, drafting preliminary and final official statements and other relevant topics.
Bank Direct Purchase – General Considerations (Non-Tax)
Deanna L.S. Gregory
Pacifica Law Group LLP
In this panel, we will discuss structuring and securities and general law considerations that arise in private placement issues and bank loans. Topics to be discussed include trends in bank loans and other direct-placement financings, such as letters of credit, hybrid financings, liquidity and operational financings; covenants and other term considerations; use of forward delivery arrangements, “Cinderella” and other refunding tools; application of certain MSRB rules; roles and responsibilities of Municipal Advisors and Placement Agents; and filing and notice considerations. The session will emphasize general concepts which practitioners may face on direct purchase transactions and discuss current developments relevant to bank products.
4:45pm - 6:00pm CT
Hot Topics in Securities Law
D.A. Davidson & Co.
This panel will include practitioners, investors and securities regulators discussing the latest federal securities law issues facing the municipal bond market, with a focus on how lawyers may assist their clients in addressing these issues. While the final topics are subject to change based upon current events, expect to hear updates about (i) risk factor disclosures, (ii) interpretation and impacts of the recent SEC pronouncements and initiatives concerning ESG disclosure, (iii) investor perspectives on ESG disclosure, and (iv) recent enforcement actions and pending rule changes impacting securities laws in the municipal market.
Tax Concepts in Bank Direct Purchase and Bank Qualification
G. Mark Mamantov
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
In this session, tax law practitioners will discuss the tax law issues that arise in bank direct placements and bank loans, with a portion of the session devoted to tax considerations regarding bank-qualified bonds. Issues that will be discussed include reissuance, determining the issue price of the obligation, what should be considered interest, whether contingent payments have been created, and margin rate factor provisions. The bank qualification discussion will focus on issues relating to refundings and deemed designations, timing of designations, impact of premium, and aggregation rules. In connection with the discussion of reissuance, the phase-out of LIBOR, and the use of SOFR as a benchmark rate will be discussed in connection with the reissuance discussion, although that topic will be discussed in more detail in other panels.
Refunding and Reissuance
William A. Milford
Bryant Miller Olive P.A.
This panel will focus on recent developments and discuss and analyze a variety of tax issues through a combination of hypotheticals and a roundtable discussion of refunding and reissuance trends. The panel is designed to appeal to attendees with a working knowledge of the applicable federal tax rules pertaining to refunding and reissuance transactions.
9:00am - 10:15am CT
Ethics: Diversity & Implicit Bias: An Introduction to Implicit Bias, Its Effects on the Practice of Law, Including Costs and Practical Solutions for Taking Control
Sani A. Williams
Bryant Rabbino LLP
New York, NY
Although America has been heralded as the great “Melting Pot,” it has been studied and proven over the years that, notwithstanding our diversity, we all have unconscious biases that unintentionally affect every aspect of our dealings with others. Is bias an unfortunate and inevitable part of our “DNA” as Americans? This panel will provide practitioners with invaluable insight into the issue of unconscious bias, as well as a forum for dialogue and exchange of ideas on this sensitive issue.
Arbitrage and Rebate: Can I Earn It? Can I Keep It?
Sarah A. Breitmeyer
Chapman and Cutler LLP
This panel session will address arbitrage and rebate concepts commonly encountered in structuring transactions and maintaining post-issuance compliance, with a particular focus on pandemic related structuring, replacement proceeds, arbitrage elections and issues arising in structuring combined taxable/tax-exempt financings. Hypotheticals and discussions will center on working capital financings (and specifically the impact of the American Rescue Plan), replacement proceeds issues, yield computation and yield restriction and election considerations. The session will assume that the audience has a general understanding of arbitrage and rebate principles, but topics will nevertheless be selected for broad appeal, focusing on common issues practitioners have faced in recent years.
Kathleen M. Marcus
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth
Newport Beach, CA
This panel will examine recent SEC Enforcement actions and priorities, including those initiated by Chairperson Gensler and the Biden administration. The discussion will explore the importance of accurate disclosures beyond those contained in offering materials and continuing disclosure filings in light of the February 2020 OMS Staff Bulletin No. 21. The panel will also consider how training and policies can impact the Staff’s charging decisions, including the significance of a robust disclosure compliance program. Additionally, the panel will provide an overview of the SEC Enforcement Staff’s process and procedures and how a municipal issuer can best navigate through an investigation when it finds itself within the SEC’s crosshairs.
10:45am - 12:00pm CT
LIBOR Phase-Out Update
Barry M. Rothchild
Nixon Peabody LLP
New York, NY
This panel will inform and update attendees as to the current state of the LIBOR Transition and challenges surrounding the phase-out of LIBOR, which will occur for most non-USD LIBORs at the end of 2021 and for the more widely used USD LIBOR tenors on June 30, 2023.
Public Private Partnerships – From Start To Finish
Lorraine M. Tyson
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Public private partnerships have long been touted as a way for governments to shift costs and risks for public infrastructure projects to the private sector. This panel will provide a high-level overview of the P3 process. It will also discuss issues that are often negotiated during a P3 transaction including financing, structuring and tax issues. Hot topics will also be discussed including recent P3 deals and federal infrastructure legislation.
Tax Issues in 501(c)(3) Financings
Andrea M. Ball
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
New York, NY
This panel will address issues relating to various aspects of qualified Section 501(c)(3) bond transactions from the perspective of both Bond Counsel and Borrower’s Counsel. Panelists will discuss opinion issues for entities that have not yet received a determination letter (Form 1023 pending), entities not able to locate a copy of the Form 1023 filed with the IRS upon which the determination letter is based, entities classified as “private foundations” rather than “public charities,” and entities that have made certain “foot faults” with respect to Form 990 and other required filings. The session will also include a discussion of the issues that arise in connection with charitable fundraising campaigns, specifically deal sizing and “replacement proceeds” as well as potential private business use from naming rights agreements. Finally, the session will discuss the involvement of Section 501(c)(3) organizations in new-market-tax-credit financings and the ability to use qualified Section 501(c)(3) bonds to refinance loans incurred in connection with such financings.
2:00pm - 3:15pm CT
The Commissioner’s Side: IRS Examinations, Voluntary Compliance Programs and Outreach
Michael G. Bailey
Law Office of Michael G. Bailey
This panel will focus on (1) current topics relating to IRS examinations of tax-exempt bonds and other tax-advantaged bonds; (2) current topics relating to the IRS Voluntary Closing Agreement Program (VCAP) for tax-exempt bonds, and other tax-advantaged bonds and (3) other initiatives, activities and publications of the tax-exempt bond functions with the IRS.
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
This session will include an overview of tax-exempt lease financing structures (including COPs and lease revenue bonds) and important tax, securities, and state law concepts in tax-exempt leasing. The panel will discuss key differences between tax-exempt leases and other lease products sometimes offered to municipalities; the tax consequences of lease amendments, waivers and forbearance; and some state law changes that relate to leasing. Panelists will also identify and help attendees understand what lessors expect from issuers and their counsel in lease transactions.
Health Care Facilities - Non-Tax Matters
Jessica M.J. Zaiger
Kansas City, MO
This panel will examine non-tax issues for financings of 501(c)(3) health care providers, with the panel addressing hot topics in health care finance. The two primary focuses are expected to be considerations for forward delivery issuances, and lessons learned from the COVID-19 public health crisis and associated market turmoil impact on health care borrowers. This will include unique disclosure and documentation considerations in forward delivery issuances, unique disclosure situations health care borrowers experienced during the COVID-19 crisis, and the experiences of health care borrowers during COVID-19 in managing liquidity and interest rate risk, and addressing default and potential default scenarios. Time permitting, the panel may also address additional topics including the impacts of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures (including non-acute care facilities and providers); and varied financing structures and products.
3:45pm - 5:00pm CT
Ethics and Technology
Ryan K. Callender
Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we practice as public finance practitioners. This panel will take an in-depth look at the ethical issues surrounding the practice in municipal finance transactions in light of the changes we have all experienced, and the application of ethics rules to selected topics. What efforts should we undertake to preserve client confidentiality and protect clients from threats before, during and after closing?
Private Activity Bond Tests
Keisha S. Palmer
Robinson & Cole LLP
This panel will review some of the basic principles of the private activity bond tests as well as address less straightforward applications of the rules including identification and allocation of private business use, especially as affected by the mixed-used project Regulations; management contract guidelines; and modifications to the remedial action Regulations. The panelists and the audience will have the opportunity to issue spot and discuss potential private activity issues during the discussion of hypotheticals addressing both pre and post issuance events. The audience should be well-acquainted with the private activity bond tests. Those who are not familiar with the application of the private activity tests or who would like a refresher on the basics should review the materials produced at The Essentials conference.
Jon P. Jurich
Pacifica Law Group LLP
This panel will review current and emerging market trends and related issues for housing practitioners, including: current deal structures and issues relating to volume cap use, federal legislation, the interplay of the low-income housing tax credit and housing bonds, disclosure considerations, the impacts and lessons learned during the COVID pandemic, and innovations in capital stacks.
9:00am - 10:15am CT
Community Redevelopment with Opportunity Zones, Historic, New Markets, Low-Income Housing, Energy Tax Credits and Other Incentives
Kostas A. Poulakidas
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Designed for public finance attorneys and their clients, this panel will address tax and non-tax aspects of Opportunity Zones and other economic development incentives that are relevant to the bond community. This panel is not intended to provide in-depth analysis of the ins and outs of Opportunity Zones and how they work with economic development incentives, but rather help public finance attorneys understand the basics of the Opportunity Zones, other economic development incentives, and how to talk with municipal clients about transactions that may involve Opportunity Zones and economic development incentives.
Preparing to Deliver the Bond Opinion: Tax Diligence and Documentation
Brian P. Teaff
Purchasers of tax-exempt bonds rely on the opinion of bond counsel as to the compliance of the bonds with the requirements of the federal income tax code. The tax due diligence and documentation performed by bond counsel is a critical foundation for the delivery of the opinion. This panel will explore various approaches to compliance with applicable tax requirements and will engage attendees in a discussion of the due diligence and documentation necessary to support the tax opinion.
Underwriter’s Counsel Roundtable
Camille M. Evans
This panel will discuss navigating roles, responsibilities, regulations, and risk management throughout the underwriting process. A review of best practices for evaluating, diligencing, communicating and documenting the transaction from the outset through closing.
10:45am - 12:00pm CT
The Role of Issuer’s Counsel – Before, During and After Bond Issuance
Scott D. Ulrey
New York City Office of Management and Budget
New York, NY
This panel will explore the role of issuer’s counsel with a particular focus on the perspective of the in-house issuer’s counsel. How can issuer’s counsel help clients set themselves up for success in their transactions? How should issuer’s counsel interact with the other legal and financial professionals involved in the bond issue? How does the issuer’s counsel make sure that its client is protected as much as possible while achieving the issuer’s goals for the financing? What is the role of issuer’s counsel after bonds are issued, and how can the issuer’s counsel help the issuer achieve post-issuance compliance? Does the role change if issuer’s counsel is outside or internal counsel?
Ethics: Conflicts, Competence and Confidentiality
Gilmore & Bell, P.C.
Kansas City, MO
This panel will include public finance practitioners and malpractice insurance representatives discussing the latest trends in how bond counsel can be exposed to professional liability. The panel will feature a practical discussion of how exposure to liability can be reduced and how losses may be prevented and interactive questions regarding application of the model rules to public finance transactions. Emphasis will be given to understanding current and ever-expanding bases of liability under the Model Rules, recent ethics decisions, industry standards, Treasury guidance and SEC Enforcement actions. The panel will highlight the latest trends in engagement letters, identifying counsel roles, avoiding conflicts of interest and using disclaimers. Legal malpractice carrier personnel will offer unique perspectives on liability scenarios for practitioners. Current discussion topics will include potential implications of cryptocurrencies and increased digitization of public finance transactions and liability considerations around cannabis-related financings in public finance.
Opening General Session & Annual Membership Meeting
12:30pm – 2:30pm CT
2021-2022 NABL President
Ann D. Fillingham
Dykema Gossett PLLC
The Opening General Session begins with the Annual Membership Meeting where members will vote for the new officers, and hear from the incoming 2021-2022 NABL President, Ann D. Fillingham, Dykema Gossett PLLC, about her vision for the upcoming year. The prestigious Bernard P. Friel Medal, and Frederick O. Kiel Distinguished Service Award will also be presented.
Following the Annual Membership Meeting, The Workshop’s General Session entitled “The Growth of ESG in Public Finance” will address how the growing trend in public finance is capitalizing on green investing and frameworks around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. The session will be moderated by Dave Erdman, Capital Finance Director, State of Wisconsin Capital Finance Office and feature the following thought leaders who, together with Dave, will discuss ESG trends and considerations in the public finance market: Drew Smith, Treasurer, University of Michigan, Rachel Barkley, Senior Vice President, Loop Capital Markets, Sally Bednar, Managing Director, Wells Fargo Securities and Nora Wittstruck, Director - ESG Lead for USPF, S&P Global – Ratings.
Wednesday, October 13 | 11:30am – 12:00pm CT
If this is your first time attending The Workshop or if you’re new to NABL, learn how to make the most of your Workshop experience at the Newcomers Orientation.
During this session, hear from 2021-22 NABL President, Ann D. Fillingham, Dykema Gossett PLLC, and other NABL leaders on how to navigate the conference. They will also provide advice on how to maximize your NABL membership as well as information on how you can volunteer for NABL and become more involved in the association.
Wednesday, October 13 | 6:15pm – 7:15pm CT
After a long day of learning, take a break to relax and reconnect with your colleagues at the NABL-hosted Welcome Reception. This will be a great opportunity for you to network in person and enjoy some light appetizers and beverages.
Morning Workout: Run and Power Walk
Thursday, October 14 | 7:00am – 8:00am CT
Put on your running shoes and begin the day with an invigorating morning run or power walk around Chicago’s Lakefront Trail in Millennium Park. This is an optional event, and there is no fee to participate. Registration is not required.
Bonus Session: Update From DC
Thursday, October 14 | 12:30pm – 1:30pm CT
During Thursday’s extended lunch break, learn about what’s new on Capitol Hill and NABL’s latest legislative advocacy efforts. The panel will highlight legislative activity impacting the municipal bond market in the coming year, in particular the ongoing talks on infrastructure. You’ll be able to meet NABL’s new Director of Governmental Affairs, Brian Egan, as he discusses the advocacy and education efforts NABL and industry partners have undertaken in 2021. In addition, NABL’s Governmental Affairs Committee will provide a brief update on the projects they are working on and look ahead to 2022.
NABL Committee Meetings
Thursday, October 14 | 8:00am – 9:00am CT
Three NABL committees, General Law and Practice, Securities Law and Disclosure, and Tax Law, will meet in-person on Thursday, October 14. All NABL members attending The Workshop: Hybrid 2021 in-person are invited to participate in these meetings. In-person registrants will receive information about how to sign up for the committee meetings one week in advance of The Workshop.
Attending The Workshop: Hybrid 2021?
Share the great news that you’re attending The Workshop: Hybrid 2021 via social media with your colleagues, attorneys, and industry participants. Encouraging your peers is very effective because 67% of last year’s attendees registered after hearing about it from a colleague. Download and save the 'I'm Attending' image below.
Make sure to follow NABL on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for conference and NABL updates. Please tag NABL's social media profile and use the hashtag #NABLHybrid21.
If you have any questions regarding how to promote the conference, reach out to NABL's Digital Marketing Coordinator, Jade Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are the on-site conference policies to ensure the health and safety of our in-person attendees:
- All in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated prior to attending the conference.
- The City of Chicago has issued a mandate that requires masks to be worn in all indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status. NABL will adhere to this mandate and also follow all current local guidelines and CDC recommendations during the conference.
- Attendees must wear masks during the conference unless actively eating or drinking.
- Presenters will be unmasked, and the stage will be a reasonable distance from the audience.
- Hand sanitizer and masks will be readily available on-site for attendees to use.
- Daily communications through the online event app will remind participants to forgo attending the conference if feeling ill, and on-site self-administered COVID-19 testing will be available.
For those who attend in-person or virtually, The Workshop will offer the following CLE credit:
60 Minute States: 11.25 total hours of CLE credit, which includes 3.75 hours of ethics credit
50 Minute States: 13.50 total hours of CLE credit, which includes 4.50 hours of ethics credit
This is an excellent opportunity to keep current with your law specialty and easily fulfill your mandatory CLE requirements. NABL will apply for CLE credits, including ethics credit, from those states that have mandatory CLE requirements.
NABL’s automated online CLE process will allow in-person and virtual attendees to log into their online profiles and update their registration form to reflect the sessions actually attended by Friday, October 22, 2021. Members will be able to download their state CLE certificate(s) after November 3, 2021.