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McNees ranked No. 7 nationally, No. 1 in Pennsylvania for bond counsel services

February 26, 2024
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HARRISBURG, Pa. — (Feb. 26, 2024) McNees is ranked No. 7 in the U.S. for bond counsel deals sold through competitive bidding and No. 1 in Pennsylvania for its general bond counsel services, according to the most recent bond counsel rankings published by a national industry trade publication.

The rankings, compiled annually by The Bond Buyer, are based on total dollar volume for the year. Pennsylvania was the sixth-highest source of municipal bonds in 2023, accounting for $12.08 billion – McNees’ team served as bond counsel on deals accounting for one-sixth of that volume.


  • In 2023, McNees served as bond counsel for deals sold through competitive bond issuances in transactions totaling $2.09 billion – the seventh highest among law firms nationwide. The firm’s team achieved this through four deals. This is the first time the team achieved this distinction.
  • Among other firms in Pennsylvania, McNees served as bond counsel in transactions totaling $2.37 billion – the highest among law firms commonwealth-wide. Last year, McNees ranked third for completing transactions totaling $1.224 billion.
  • The largest deal McNees’ team completed in 2023 was serving as co-bond counsel to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its sale of nearly $2.09 billion of new and refunding bond issuances.
  • McNees offers comprehensive, all-inclusive public finance services to clients of all sizes from offices across Pennsylvania. The firm’s team is actively involved in projects that fund bridge building, road paving, school remodeling and more.

“We are so, so grateful to our clients for their trust and confidence – it is through serving them that we are a top 7 firm in the U.S. for competitive bond issuances and the top firm in Pennsylvania for general bound counsel services,” Martha (Frannie) Reilly, co-chair of the McNees Public Finance & Government Services Group, said. “Our team at McNees is committed to serve every bond counsel client with exceptional service. We are honored by this recognition.”

McNees’ Largest Deal of 2023

McNees served as co-bond counsel to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its sale of nearly $2.09 billion of new and refunding bond issuances designed to save taxpayers $99.7 million. That significant preservation of public funds means the Shapiro Administration, through its leadership in this deal, is now “able to fund programs that support the citizens of the Commonwealth instead of higher interest payments,” Secretary of the Budget Uri Monson said in a statement.

In spite of the bond market performing its worst in 50 years, according to industry experts, McNees’ Martha (Frannie) Reilly, Timothy Horstmann and Terry Snyder provided guidance on the financing’s structure and ensured the bonds could be issued on a tax-exempt basis. This enabled the commonwealth to sell these bonds across four separate bid groups, allowing for improved participation and competition among bidders and investors.

About McNees’ Bond Counsel Team

McNees offers comprehensive legal services to support clients throughout Pennsylvania from offices located across the commonwealth – from Pittsburgh in the west to Devon in the east – on a range of public finance needs. The firm’s team serves as trusted advisers to state and local government clients, including counties, cities, boroughs, townships, school districts and authorities. They also represent for-profit and non-profit borrowers in financing transactions including healthcare and higher education clients, underwriters, banks, trust companies and other financial institutions.

The bond counsel team, which includes Martha (Frannie) Reilly, Timothy Horstmann, Donna L. Kreiser, Michael E. Lamb, Ryan Gonder, Erica Wible and Terry Snyder, has experience handling a broad range of public finance matters, such as funding of a new capital project, financing of existing debt and tax-exempt bond transactions. Representative matters for clients of all sizes across Pennsylvania include:

  • $1 billion Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, General Obligation Bonds, First Series of 2022, which provided funds for capital projects across the commonwealth.
  • Served as bond counsel to the County of Lancaster in its sale of almost $15 million of general obligation bonds to refund prior outstanding variable rate debt of the county. As a result of the transaction, all of the county’s outstanding debt is now fixed-rate, thereby reducing interest rate risk to the county and providing it with predictable debt service for budgetary purposes.
  • Served as bond counsel to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority in its sale of almost $400 million of revenue bonds issued to fund critical water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure improvements. McNees’ team, together with PWSA’s leadership team, financial advisors and investment bankers, helped the authority navigate the high volatility of the bond markets and refinance its existing debt to save both the authority and Pittsburgh ratepayers money.
  • Continued to serve as bond counsel in connection with the Dauphin County Infrastructure Bank Program, which, to date, has made over $25 million of low interest loans to ten municipalities and municipal authorities for needed infrastructure improvements throughout Dauphin County. The program has offered a unique funding mechanism for municipal projects on favorable financing teams during a period of rapidly rising interest rates.

Prospective clients seeking bond counsel may contact the McNees Public Finance & Government Services Group at 717-232-8000 or 484-329-8050. For more information, visit


McNees is a multidisciplinary law firm founded in 1935 with nearly 160 attorneys representing businesses, associations, institutions, municipalities and individuals. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Devon, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Scranton, State College and York, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Frederick and Towson, Md.; and Washington, D.C. McNees is a member of the ALFA International Global Legal Network. | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter


Michael E. Lamb

Ryan Gonder