Issue 1 of the BurgherGray Newsletter

Dear Clients and Friends,

Last year was a year like no other, and the way we celebrated and otherwise experienced the holidays was no exception. But despite the many things we are all eager to leave behind in 2020, the holiday season provided an opportunity for rejuvenation and for reflection and introspection on all of the things that we discovered about ourselves and each other in the midst of the challenges and chaos of 2020. We hope that as you celebrated and spent precious time with loved ones you made time to seize this opportunity and discover the many reasons to be hopeful and optimistic for 2021 and beyond.

Some of us are still celebrating with families and loved ones, while others have returned to work of other daily routine. Either way, as we look forward to a new year with new promises, it was and still remains important for us to resist the temptation to focus on the fatigue, the pain, the loss, all that went wrong last year, and our longing for some semblance of normalcy. Instead, we should be mindful in this festive season of all the things, big and small, that we can count among our many blessings. Though it may not seem like it, things could have been worse in 2020—and that is much to be thankful for in itself. We are all still alive and healthy, more than the nearly 350,000 American casualties of Covid-19 can say, with families and loved ones to spend time and celebrate with.

Despite the challenges that we all had to navigate this past year, BurgherGray had much to be grateful for in 2020. Foremost among our blessings remains our family of dedicated, talented, innovative and resilient attorneys and support staff who make us special. Those qualities allowed us to come closer together as a family during the pandemic even as we moved farther apart physically. While not unaffected by the Covid-19, we managed to make the kind of adjustments that allowed us to forge through the year without having to take any of the drastic measures forced upon or elected by many others, such as laying off colleagues or asking them to take pay cuts at a time when they could least afford to. In fact, we managed to do quite the opposite, daring to grow the team in the middle of the pandemic by welcoming new public finance partner, Chuck Katz, a long-time friend of the firm and anchor of our equally new Chicago office. With his deep Section 103 tax expertise, Chuck has significantly bolstered our public finance capabilities, augmenting an already robust public finance team. Even more recently, we also welcomed experienced finance, banking and securities counsel, Jennifer Bergenfeld.

On the client side, we also managed to add a number of large institutional notables to our roster in 2020 while deepening our relationships with existing ones. Our efforts on behalf of our clients manifested in multiple landmark or otherwise noteworthy engagements—to the extent we can, we have shared some deal highlights below. We were very impactful in helping many clients, large and small, to navigate the avalanche of legislative and regulatory responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, helping them keep pace with and otherwise make sense of the ever-changing legal landscape. Nothing makes us prouder than the fact that we were able to seamlessly make the transition to a remote work environment, allowing us to remain open and available to serve our clients when they needed us most, and we look forward to working with and seeing many of you in 2021, as we continue to deliver on our commitment to provide best-in-class service to our clients and making a positive difference in our community. Thank you for your unwavering support over the years. 

Thank you for your unwavering support over the years. Please enjoy the below 2020 recap, have a safe and healthy remainder of your holiday season, and a Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021!

Managing Partner
Strategic Growth and Expansion — In May 2020, long-time friend of the firm, Chuck Katz, joined BurgherGray and in connection therewith we launched our Chicago office. Chicago has long been on the radar of the firm as the third-largest city in the country and home to many of our existing great clients and other businesses. We look forward to leveraging our physical Chicago footprint to better serve our clients for whom that presence still makes a difference in the new normal of remote work as we look to 2021 and beyond!

Promotion From Within — In September 2020, Christopher Klug transitioned from Of Counsel to Partner. With his extensive experience in complex tax planning and counseling, including corporate and partnership tax, trusts and estates and tax compliance, Christopher advises corporations, partnerships, private equity funds, hedge funds, joint ventures, real estate funds, banks, trust companies, family offices and high net worth individuals in a variety of domestic and cross border matters. Together with Augusto Egoavil, who has a similarly impressive tax background and with whom Chris joined the BurgherGray family over a year ago, they form a dynamic BurgherGray tax duo. Our clients love them! Lastly, Chris also now serves as managing partner of our Washington, D.C. office.

Bridging the Gap — In October 2020, Jennifer Bergenfeld joined the BurgherGray team as Special Counsel. Jennifer’s principal practice area is Capital Markets and Finance, with a focus on banking, finance and securities compliance matters, including investment management (registered and unregistered funds). Jennifer joins the firm after many years serving in various senior counsel positions at global banks and other financial institutions as well as in private practice.

Leader in Training, Climbing the Ladder — In December 2020, Associate, Brian Idehen, was selected as a 2021 CUP Fellow. Becoming a CUP Fellow is a very big accomplishment, resulting from a highly selective process, which highlights Brian’s commitment to excellence at BurgherGray, as well as his efforts outside of the firm to support his community through impactful contributions. BurgherGray is an avid supporter of the CUP program and is honored to have one of our Associates selected for this honor. Please join us in congratulating Brian on his great accomplishment!

Deal Highlights:

While 2020 has been filled with its unique challenges, we remained active in our core practice areas. We are proud to share those highlights that we can without violating client confidence, and while there is much more work ahead, the highlights below reflect our team’s continued recognition for excellence and hard work in 2020.

BlackRock PMCCF Panel — BurgherGray was honored by its selection by BlackRock as one of 3 panel firms to represent it as investment manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF). Our firm joined Skadden Arps and Sidley Austin as the other initial panel firms. You can read more about the selection and the PMCCF facility here.

Financings New York City’s Airports — In recognition of our growing public finance capabilities, BurgherGray was tapped by Empire State Development, through its affiliate, New York Transportation Development Corporation, to represent it in connection with the following airport redevelopments projects: John F. Kennedy Airport’s New Terminal One (this deal is expected to close sometime in 2021, with a total development cost currently estimated to be about $7,400,000,000), JFK’s Terminal 8 ($360,395,000 aggregate par amount of bonds), and LaGuardia Airport’s Terminals C&D ($1,511,015,000 aggregate par amount of bonds of). BurgherGray expects to remain active in transportation finance space, and public finance generally, in 2021.

FDIC Mission-Driven Fund Counsel — BurgherGray was selected by The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to represent it, as co-counsel, in the establishment of a new Mission-Driven Bank Fund. The Fund will provide a vehicle for private sector and philanthropic investment in FDIC-insured Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). This engagement highlights the FDIC’s as well as BurgherGray’s commitment to diversity as FDIC-insured MDIs and CDFIs commit most of their resources to minority, lower income, and rural communities as “mission-driven banks” playing a vital role in supporting underserved communities by making loans and providing other banking products and services, including mortgages, small business loans, and community development and affordable housing investments. You can read more about the Fund here.

Toyota D&I Bond Counsel — BurgherGray joined Toyota Financial Services in their quest to advance diversity on Wall Street, by serving as co-counsel to TFS on the fifth issuance of their Diversity & Inclusion Bonds. You can read more about the issuance here.

Community Outreach

As part of our continued commitment to supporting and giving back to our community, especially during such a tumultuous year, BurgherGray was happy to be able to support the below organizations. Please contact us with any questions on how you can support the below organizations in 2021!

The BurgherGray team was proud to participate in the Black Lives Matter protests in Harlem this summer following the murder of George Floyd. Click here to read Managing Partner Gopal Burgher shared his thoughts on the subject.
New Additions to the BG Family

BurgherGray’s family continued to expand organically in 2020. Please join us in welcoming the next generation of attorneys to the BG Family:
Ludovic Lanthia II, born on March 12, 2020. Ludovic is the firstborn child of Charmaine & Jephte Lanthia, and is named after his late paternal grandfather. In his leisure time, Ludovic enjoys eating, listening to music and playing the guitar.
Walker Alexander Hurley, born on March 24, 2020. Walker is the youngest child of Brianca & Charles Hurley. When Walker is not playing with his older siblings Isabelle and Carter, he spends his time attempting to walk and reading legal briefs with his father. Walker’s trademark smile reflects his enthusiasm as one of the newer members of the BG family!
Josiah Omorogbe Idehen, born September 26, 2020. Josiah is the firstborn child of Deidra & Brian Idehen. “JoJo” is named after his maternal and late paternal grandfathers. The youngest of the “2020 BG Boys,” Josiah enjoys being sung to, has recently discovered his hands and is an expert babbler.

Thank you for reading and please look out for the next edition of our newsletter including our Q1 recap and Q2 forecast!