DASNY President and CEO Paul Williams Joins Arent Fox’s Growing New York Office
New York, NY — Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce the expansion of its nationally recognized Real Estate, Finance, and Government Relations practices with the addition of Paul T. Williams Jr, as counsel, following his service as president and chief executive officer of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York — the state’s largest conduit issuer of municipal bonds to build higher education, health care, mental health, court, and other public facilities. Mr. Williams will advise clients on the range of issues presented in competing for and executing public-private partnerships, while also helping clients achieve their public policy goals. He will practice out of the firm’s New York office.
“Paul has significant experience handling complicated public-private financings and is a recognized authority in New York,” said New York Managing Partner Andrew I. Silfen. “His ability to provide counsel on public-private partnerships and project finance will be a great resource for clients and makes him a valuable addition to one of Arent Fox’s signature practice areas.”
During his tenure at DASNY, Mr. Williams directed the sale of more than $30 billion in bonds and oversaw annual expenditures averaging more than $1 billion in capital projects across the state of New York. DASNY is one of the largest issuers of tax-exempt debt in the nation, with a primary goal to raise capital for construction and renovation projects. Arent Fox advises financial institutions in real estate project loans and credit and liquidity facilities on tax-exempt bond issues. The firm routinely represents parties in financings involving multifamily housing, senior living facilities, hotels, hospitals, airports, educational facilities, and industrial development and infrastructure projects.
“As the head of DASNY, Paul oversaw large-scale projects involving complex municipal financing,” said David L. Dubrow, leader of the firm’s New York Real Estate practice and nationwide Municipal & Project Finance group. “His experience and insight into what it takes to get projects funded and completed will be a huge benefit to our clients, who will be able to use him as a resource for complex bond offerings and public-private partnerships.”
As chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on State Debt Issuance, Mr. Williams won wide acclaim for transforming state procurement practices, leading directly to an increase in the use of minority owned firms in state transactions from three percent to more than 25 percent. He also chaired a task force aimed at empowering Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises. In that role, he developed new rules and procedures to transform New York’s procurement processes to increase the utilization of minority owned firms, leading directly to the enactment of the Business Diversification Act of 2010.
A past president of 100 Black Men, Inc. of New York, and former chair of the Eagle Academy Foundation, Mr. Williams has received a number of honors for outstanding service to his profession and the community, including The Municipal Forum of New York Public Service Award, National Association of Securities Professionals Pacesetter Award, New York Metropolitan Black Bar Association Trailblazer & Lifetime Achievement Awards, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Roy Wilkins Award. Mr. Williams is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, and a former Ford Trustees Scholar at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Chambers USA and Legal 500 consistently rate Arent Fox’s Real Estate practice for its “top-quality” talent and industry-leading capabilities across a broad range of sectors. With more than 60 attorneys focused on the real estate industry, Arent Fox is recognized nationally for its work counseling capital investors, developers, owners, lenders, and REITs in real estate finance, joint venture, development, and acquisition and disposition matters on both an individual asset and portfolio basis.