Donna is Co-chair of the Financial Services and Public Finance Groups and also practices in the Public Sector group. She also serves on the Management Committee of the Firm and is Member-in-Charge of the Lancaster office of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC.
Donna focuses her practice on municipal and project finance law, including economic development, transportation, government, health care, and education. She serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, trustee’s counsel, bank counsel and borrower’s counsel for state, county, and municipal clients and for economic development authorities and non-profit entities in the implementation and financing of major capital initiatives that benefit public, private and non-profit entities (including, for example, hotel, hospital and health care facility, university and water and sewer transportation and treatment facility projects) and debt refinancings for public, for-profit and non-profit organizations. In addition, Donna counsels issuers on general obligation borrowings.
Donna also has extensive knowledge of various financing structures, including hedging instrument and synthetic fixed rate and variable rate debt.
As former deputy general counsel in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), Donna was OGC’s chief legal liaison with the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency, the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. She was OGC’s liaison on all public finance transactions, working directly with the issuing agencies.
Donna regularly participates in due diligence reviews for many issuers and underwriters on bond financings as bond counsel, disclosure counsel and underwriter’s counsel. Donna advised a number of issuers in 2014 on their responses to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) initiative. As a result of the MCDC initiative, the Firm was retained by an underwriter which is active in local government financings in Pennsylvania, to represent it as special underwriter’s counsel to review the disclosures regarding compliance with SEC Rule 15c2-12 made by issuers in the official statements for the financings in which that underwriter is involved. Donna leads this representation.
Donna headed the bond counsel team representing a large regional water and sewer authority, which financed its acquisition of a neighboring city-owned water and sewer system. This acquisition was the first public-public transaction of its kind, and The Bond Buyer recognized the financing as the co-recipient of the Deal of the Year for the Northeast United States in 2013.
McNees was ranked fifth in Pennsylvania in the 2016 Bond Counsel Rankings by The Bond Buyer. The firm also was ranked fourth in Pennsylvania in the 2016 Bond Underwriter’s Counsel, and is one of just two firms to appear in the top five in both lists. In 2013, McNees was ranked the number one Pennsylvania bond counsel firm by dollar volume, according to The Bond Buyer’s annual publication of top Bond Counsel firms. Our firm was noted as having served as bond counsel on issues totaling more than $1.4442 billion.
Shippensburg University, B.A., 1982, magna cum laude
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1985
The Best Lawyers in America®, Public Finance Law, 2013-present
Women of Influence, 2017
6th Annual Leading Woman Award, Ladies First, 2017
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Lancaster Bar Association
American College of Bond Counsel, Fellow
National Association of Bond Lawyers
Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers, Member
Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace “Red Book”
Community Life Network, Board of Directors, Board Member
Advisory Council to the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Lancaster, PA
Junior Achievement of Southcentral Pennsylvania., Vice Chair of the Board of Directors
Pennsylvania Commission for Women, past chair, 2001 (appointed by Governor Tom Ridge)
Community Council of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Member