• Member Spotlight

Nicholas Vallorano

Mayer Brown in Chicago, IL

A lawyer with close to 10 years of experience, partner in Mayer Brown’s Government Transactions group, loves theater, and is a foodie. Meet Nicholas R. Vallorano.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I joined Mayer Brown after law school and am now a partner in its Government Transactions group in Chicago. My practice is focused on infrastructure, public finance, and regulatory matters. I represent government owners, sponsors, investors, lenders and contractors across various transaction types—including revenue risk concessions, availability payment structures, and design-build or design-build-finance structures—and asset types—including airports, roads, bridges, and social infrastructure.

    Outside the office, you can find my wife, our son, and I walking along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront with our Scottish Terrier or enjoying the City’s great theater and dining scenes. As The Workshop is a local affair for me, I stand ready to provide restaurant recommendations for our visiting members!

    What inspired you to join NABL in 2017?

    I have had the benefit of many mentors in my career who were active participants in NABL, including John Janicik, David Narefsky, and Stephanie Wagner. They encouraged me to become a member and attend The Essentials seminar (which was held that year in Denver, Colorado). It was a great opportunity to deepen my understanding of the core principles of our corner of the legal profession, and I’ve been a member ever since.

    You are the panel chair for the “Public-Private Partnerships: Key Components and Challenges” session at The Workshop 2024.  What is one key takeaway attendees will learn in your session.

    There is no one way to structure a P3: different levels of responsibility for the private partner (e.g., one or more of design, build, finance, operate, and maintain); revenue risk and availability payments; predevelopment or phased development structures or hard bids; and varying levels of risk allocation throughout. Governmental entities considering entering into a P3 can harness this flexibility to build a transaction that works to address the particular needs of their project.

    What is one new idea/strategy you have learned from your time attending NABL events in the past?

    More than any one idea, I think the most important lesson I have learned is the collegial, collaborative approach that NABL brings to the public finance space. Many elements of the legal profession get a reputation as very adversarial or zero sum, but that has never been my experience in our industry. I have found NABL’s events to be opportunities to collectively think through key issues, which is more rewarding and, frankly, more fun. This approach also carries through to transactions after events, as many members of the deal team are also likely to NABL members. 

    What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

    As an infrastructure-focused lawyer, I was taught that “see something, say something” applies far more broadly than passenger safety! If you notice something you’re not sure about on a transaction, even as a junior member on a team, speak up and don’t assume that the issue has been addressed and finally resolved—even if it is in precedent.