• Member Spotlight

Tommy Ratchford, Murray Barnes Finister LLP

While he’s served two legislative sessions as Assistant Executive Counsel in the Office of the Governor in Georgia, he may also be serving or maybe enjoying Italian cuisine according to his literary interests.

Tommy Ratchford, Murray Barnes Finister LLP-circle

His work has also included closely coordinating with state agencies, elected officials, and advocates on a number of policy areas including Tax, Economic Development, Transportation, Local Government, Natural Resources, Judiciary, Ethics, Public Safety, and Government Transparency.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I joined Murray Barnes Finister out of law school, and except for two legislative sessions serving as Governor Brian P. Kemp’s Assistant Executive Counsel, I have been fortunate enough to have focused my practice solely on public finance.  

Outside of the office, my wife and I are new parents and are learning to live our lives between our newborn’s naps. In between his naps, I enjoy making homemade pasta and clinging to the last vestiges of my tennis game.  

Back in 2018, you joined as a student member. In 2020, you joined as a regular member. How has your member experience evolved over the last six years? 

Joining NABL as a student member was a great introduction to the organization and public finance. Over the past six years, I have taken advantage of the resources that are available to members. For the past couple of years, I have attended the Essentials (virtually) and am looking forward to The Workshop this fall in Chicago.  

Which member benefits have you found to be valuable in your work? 

In addition to the materials from the Essentials, the “Fundamentals of Municipal Bond Law” has been an invaluable resource and is often my starting point when working through a tax issue.  

If you met someone who worked in public finance and they weren’t a NABL member, what would you say to persuade them to join?  

While NABL needs no introduction, I would emphasize that they are missing out on a forum to meet other practitioners, stay abreast of current developments, and the opportunity to help shape the practice through advice and comment on legislative and regulatory proposals at both the state and federal level. For those that still might be on the fence, the resources that NABL offers are incomparable and have been beneficial not just to my practice, but to every bond lawyer I have had the opportunity to get to know.  

What’s your favorite book or podcast that you have read/listened to in the past few years? 

While the Fundamentals of Municipal Bond Law is a close second, Bill Buford’s “Heat” was the last book that I couldn’t put down – it artfully juxtaposes the complex and long history of Italian cooking with the author’s journey through modern (mid 2000’s) kitchens.