Overview Experience News Intelligence Laura L. Bilas Partner lbilas foley.com Download vCard Laura L. Bilas is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. She is the chair of the firm’s Public Finance Practice and her practice is concentrated on public finance and structured lending matters. Ms. Bilas’ experience includes serving as bond counsel, borrower’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel, and credit enhancement provider’s counsel for numerous public finance and other structured transactions, including general obligation, special service area, special assessment, tax increment, multi-family housing, health care and industrial development financings. She is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions, Health Care Finance, and Public Finance Practices, as well as the Health Care Industry Team. Ms. Bilas’ practice includes service as bond counsel, borrower’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel and credit enhancement provider’s counsel for 501(c)(3) financings, including financings for health care, cultural, educational and assisted living institutions. Ms. Bilas has served as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and issuer’s counsel to the Illinois Housing Development Authority and to lending institutions on housing financings, aggregating in excess of $1 billion. She has also served as credit enhancer’s or liquidity provider’s counsel for over 250 tax exempt bond financings for domestic and foreign bank clients. Representative Experience Bond counsel to state housing authority in connection with the refunding of its single family Homeowner Mortgage Revenue Bonds and release from escrow and conversion of the interest rate on its program bonds to pay for the purchase of Mortgage Backed Securities guaranteed by GNMA as part of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Single Family New Issue Bond Program. Co-underwriter’s counsel on The Bond Buyer’s 2012 Deal of the Year: Michigan Finance Authority $2.9 billion of Unemployment Obligation Assessment Revenue Bonds. The bonds were issued under recently adopted legislation utilizing an innovative structure to obtain AAA ratings from three major rating services. Bond counsel to the City of Chicago in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt tax increment financing debt and the subsequent securitization of such debt through the issuance of certificates of participation. Underwriters counsel in connection with a major university’s issuance of housing and auxiliary system revenue bonds, including both tax-exempt bonds and taxable qualified energy conservation bonds. Borrower’s counsel for a west coast health care system in the issuance of over $1 billion of debt including five series of tax-exempt and taxable bonds. Proceeds of the bonds were used to refinance and restructure the existing debt of a target hospital system and structured to preserve “acquisition financing” treatment under IRS treasury regulations. Recognition Ms. Bilas has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. Since 2010, she has been selected by The Best Lawyers in America©. She was selected for inclusion in the 2012 - 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers® list in the area of bonds/government finance.* Affiliations Ms. Bilas has served on the board of directors of Women In Public Finance, is a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and previously served on the governing body of Athena Power Link. Education Ms. Bilas received her law degree from the University of Minnesota (J.D., cum laude, 1985) and her undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University (B.A., highest distinction, 1982). Admissions and Professional Memberships Ms. Bilas is a member of the American Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. She is admitted to the Bar in Illinois and Michigan. Selected Publications and Presentations Role of Bond Counsel – Economic Development in Your Community: Learn from the Leaders – Illinois State Bar Association Law Ed Program (2017) Private Direct Placements for Health Care Providers – The Alternative To Accessing the Public Markets - Foley & Lardner Webinar Series (2012) Foley & Lardner Finance Practice Class – Letters of Credit (2009) The Credit Agreement – The Building Block of Financial Documentation (2007) Advanced Zoning and Land Use in Illinois – Special Service Areas and Special Assessments (2005), Lorman Education Services * The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.