How Robert Helps Clients
Robert M. Drillings represents participants in tax-exempt and taxable municipal bond financing, including issuers, conduit borrowers, credit enhancers, underwriters and direct purchasers. His experience includes governmental purposes financings, 501(c)(3 ) bond transactions, financings of public housing and privately-developed affordable and mixed-income housing and military housing, transportation and utility facilities, and securitization of governmentally-owned assets including delinquent real property taxes and tobacco master settlement agreement payment streams.
Robert’s background in public finance and municipal law is uniquely diverse and sets him apart from other practitioners in his field, as he has moved successfully between the public and private sectors throughout his career. After beginning care career in the New York City Law Department’s Municipal Securities Division, he has been a partner of two nationally known corporate and financial services law firms and was the general counsel of a group of New York State public benefit corporations involved, principally, in the financing of affordable and mixed-income housing and community development. He has also been the general counsel of the public finance and global infrastructure group of a triple-A rated bond insurer, where he was also responsible for regulatory and licensure matters and was a member of the company’s credit committee, before moving to the business side of the company as the deputy head of the public finance and global infrastructure group. Robert has developed and implemented innovative solutions for difficult financings and defaulted issues, and as vice president of another bond insurer, negotiated restructurings and implemented loss mitigation strategies involving defaulted credits.
What Clients Can Expect
Robert’s broad experience in public finance and related fields equips him to bring to his engagements a perspective that few other bond lawyers have. Having held a visible leadership position in public sector entities that were active financers of real estate development in a major market, as well as having been a member of the management team of a bond insurance company which was owned by an overseas financial services and banking corporation, enables him to more fully identify with and understand the decision-making process that elected officials and businessmen and women wrestle with daily. That makes Robert a better advisor, counselor and advocate for them.
Outside the Office
Robert is New York City-born and bred and enjoys being outdoors. He is a life-long skier, spending as much time as he can each winter in the Utah mountains. In non-winter months, he frequently hikes in New York’s Hudson Valley and Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, and he also enjoys mountain biking. He and his wife have two grown sons, both of whom are involved in the tech industry, one as a venture capitalist focusing on technology investments, and the other as a software engineer at technology company whose cloud-based software platform enables and optimizes programmatic online advertising.
- Developed, structured and coordinated all legal aspects of a tax-exempt financing by a municipal urban renewal agency employing a unique revolving fund structure for acquisition of land, including structures thereon, and its redevelopment as a community of approximately 370 owner-occupied, one- and two-family homes, including construction of necessary infrastructure.
- Represented a large city in connection with the financing of a new municipal water treatment plant to replace that city’s existing facility parts of which were rendered unusable by toxic materials from a nearby corporately-owned site. The engagement included negotiating a financial settlement with the corporate owner to offset a portion of debt service on bonds issued for the new facility.
- Represented two municipalities that jointly operated a community hospital in connection with the financing of systemic budget deficits and the assumption of operation and maintenance thereof by the not-for-profit operator of a general hospital located outside of their immediate area.
- Structured and oversaw a tax-exempt commercial paper program in a New York county that complied with provisions of the State’s traditional and rather restrictive local finance statute.
- Structured tax lien securitization programs in three New York counties enabling those counties to immediately monetize delinquent real property tax liens that otherwise would have had to be carried as illiquid assets for extended periods of time.
- Drafted special state legislation authorizing a public private partnership to develop a multi-rink ice skating center in a public park and structured the tax-exempt financing of the complex.