Main Menu Main Content
Photo of Public Authority
Public Authority

Public authorities have long served as essential providers of governmental services in New York State.  From roads, bridges, and airports, to transit, solid waste, utilities and power generation, to igniting economic development and as engines of innovation, modern New York life is unimaginable without them.  Just as the services provided by public authorities are wide-ranging, so are the complicated series of statutes and regulations governing every facet of their operation, governance, and finance.

Hodgson Russ is uniquely qualified to assist public authorities in navigating the myriad of complex issues they face in carrying out their missions.  We have served as legal counsel from the inception of both international and domestic authorities, drafting enabling legislation, serving as corporate counsel, guiding financing, drafting policies, and assisting in every aspect of public authority legal compliance, including successfully litigating on their behalf.  The services we provide include:

  • Agency Governance: Public authorities have detailed governance requirements and powers, often under overlapping enabling legislation and general state statutes. We also advise our clients on board of directors’ matters, ethics issues, open meetings and Freedom of Information Law requirements, and guide compliance with public hearing and related requirements.
  • Public Finance: Hodgson Russ has an extensive public finance practice serving as bond counsel to numerous authorities, and as agency counsel for industrial development agencies and local development corporations. From project inception through final financing we draft resolutions and notices, negotiate project agreements, confirm compliance with tax regulations and offer legal opinions as needed.
  • Bidding and Contracting: Authority contracting is guided by complex requirements of the Public Authorities Law, State Comptroller’s regulations and directives, and each authority’s own policies. We are regularly called upon to draft policies and guide procurement and other forms of contracting to ensure compliance with all applicable guidelines.
  • Regulatory Compliance and Oversight: Public authorities are subjected to increasing levels of both regulatory and legislative oversight, and Hodgson Russ can provide the path to efficient compliance and responsiveness.  We provide guidance on the Public Authorities Accountability Act (PAAA) (for which Hodgson Russ has been approved by New York State’s Authorities Budget Office (ABO) as an authorized trainer), complying with the PAAA and related ABO requirements.  We assist in responding to ABO and OSC audits, filing annual PARIS reports, and determining when the recapture of financial assistance is required.
  • Negotiation and Preparation of Contracts: We prepare and negotiate all types of contracts used by authorities, including construction contracts, energy-related contracts and arrangements, software and service contracts, shared services, PILOT, and Host Community Agreements.
  • Litigation: We have successfully represented public authorities in some of New York’s most important cases. When necessary we provide the full range of administrative and judicial forum support, including enforcement of PILOT and clawback agreements.
  • Project Management: We assist clients in every stage of project management, including acquiring or selling interests in real estate and developing facilities, including the transactional details to ensure an efficient deal while also complying with PAAA requirements and other applicable State rules and approval requirements, such as the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
  • Ethics and Conflicts: We draft policies and provide guidance on understanding and implementing New York’s multiple state laws and policies governing ethics and conflicts.
  • Labor and Employment Matters: We advise our clients on prevailing wage, MBE/WBE, and other requirements, draft employment contracts and policies, and assist with other labor and employment matters.

Our clients include industrial development agencies, transit authorities, energy-related authorities, state and regional development authorities, international bridge commissions and other unique entities.  With a deep bench of attorneys who’ve practiced in this space for decades, Hodgson Russ has worked on a broad and deep array of matters facing public authorities.

Presentations & Events