Suzanne S. Mayes focuses her practice on municipal and project finance, particularly in the areas of economic development, transportation, public works, education, senior living, and housing. She is co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Public & Project Finance Practice Group, and also serves as the vice chair of the firm’s Business Law Department. Suzanne served two terms on the firm’s board of directors.
Suzanne serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, and disclosure counsel to a wide range of public, for-profit, and not-for-profit clients. She regularly acts as bond counsel for state, county, and municipal clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware or as special counsel in the context of major capital projects or debt refinancings.
Suzanne has completed numerous housing financings for state housing authorities; acted as co-bond counsel in connection with the financing of stadiums; counseled issuers on large-scale general obligation borrowings, student loan bond financings, and airport and toll road issuances; assisted state government with the issuance of unemployment compensation funding revenue bonds; and provided counsel to government entities in connection with public-private and public-public partnerships.
She also has extensive knowledge of complex financing structures, including hedging instruments such as swaps, forward delivery financings, and synthetic fixed-rate and variable-rate debt. Over the last two decades, Suzanne has developed close professional relationships with key government officials at the local, county, and state level.
Evidence of their high regard for Suzanne’s capabilities is the fact that government representatives often call on her to get involved in their financings. Suzanne’s good rapport and credibility with state and local government officials not only means she is involved in many of the most complex local, county, and state financings, it also means she is able to achieve efficient and positive results on behalf of other clients.
When appropriate, she works with Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies to serve as a liaison between the firm’s private clients and government representatives. Suzanne was elected to the American College of Bond Counsel in 2016, an organization formed for the purpose of recognizing lawyers who have established reputations for their skill, experience, and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of bond law.
In 2010, she was recognized as one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women in Pennsylvania” by the National Diversity Council. She was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Special Achievement Award in 2006, honored as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2008 Women of Distinction, and was named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2018 “Best of the Bar.”
Suzanne received the Alice Paul Equality Award in 2012, which recognizes individuals with a strong and long-standing commitment to advancing women’s equality. And, in 2018 Suzanne was recognized for significantly contributing to the growth of the Philadelphia landscape by Commercial Real Estate Women Philadelphia.
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Suzanne has been recognized as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” since 2006. She is a member of the American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations. She is a former member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s House of Delegates, a former board member of that bar association’s Committee on Women in the Profession, and a former chair of the Tax-Exempt Finance Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Business Section.
She is a former member of the board of directors of the Delaware Valley Regional Finance Authority. She is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers. In 2011, she was appointed to the Judicial Nominating Advisory Panel for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In 2012, Suzanne was named as a member of Governor Corbett’s Higher Education Advisory Panel in Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a founding member of the board of directors of Ladies First, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational and networking opportunities for female public finance professionals in the mid-Atlantic region.
In 2016, Suzanne was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Ladies First Tribute Award in which she was recognized for her leadership and the inspirational role she has played in the organization’s success. Suzanne serves on the board of directors for Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Montgomery.
She serves as immediate past president of The Forum of Executive Women as well as a member of the board of directors. Suzanne is also a member of the board of directors of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. She is a former member of the advisory board of BLOCS (Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools), as well as Mount Saint Joseph Academy, and is also a past president of that institution’s alumnae association. She is also a former member of the board of trustees of Manor College.
Suzanne earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. She received her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Fairfield University.
- Served as co-underwriter’s counsel to several major, multi-national investment banks in a $1.6 billion Rule 144A private placement of notes secured by student loans held in an off-balance sheet Delaware trust established by a nationally known student loan agency.
- Served as underwriter’s counsel on new money/refunding revenue bond transactions for large universities in the Philadelphia area totaling more than $300 million.
- Represented the issuer and borrower as co-disclosure counsel on a $2.8 billion unemployment compensation revenue bond financing.
- Served as bond counsel to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development in connection with its issuance of $57 million of revenue bonds to benefit The Wistar Institute, an international leader in biomedical research.
- Served as bond counsel for the Centre County General Authority in connection with its issuance of $10 million of revenue notes to benefit the Liberty Lutheran Housing Development Corporation.
- Served as underwriter’s counsel to a prominent investment banking firm in connection with a large urban school district’s issuance of more than $250 million of general obligation bonds in multiple series.
- Served as underwriter’s counsel to Wells Fargo Securities, Inc. in connection with the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency’s issuance of $123 million of single family mortgage revenue bonds.
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1991
- Fairfield University, B.S., summa cum laude, 1988
BAR ADMISSIONS : New Jersey; Pennsylvania
- American Bar Association
- Economy League of Greater Philadelphia Board of Directors
- Former Member, Manor College Board of Trustees
- Former Member, Mount Saint Joseph Academy Board of Directors
- National Association of Bond Lawyers
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Board of Directors
- Redevelopment Authority of the County of Montgomery Board of Directors
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