McGuireWoods is expanding its nationally ranked public finance practice with the arrival of Baltimore partner Melissa Messina, an attorney and former investment banker with deep experience advising and structuring financings for senior living communities and representing lenders and underwriters in complex finance transactions.
Messina joins McGuireWoods from the financial services firm HJ Sims, where she was a senior investment banker before assuming the role of executive vice president and associate general counsel. She worked closely with life plan communities, skilled nursing and assisted living communities and other clients on financings, affiliations, and transaction-related related legal issues.
Before joining HJ Sims, Messina was a partner at an Am Law 200 firm, where she represented lenders and underwriters in commercial and public finance transactions. She focused on senior living, healthcare, real estate and economic development financings.
“Melissa’s diverse background as a finance attorney and investment banker gives her a valuable perspective that will benefit the firm and our clients,” said Richard W. Viola, deputy managing partner of McGuireWoods’ corporate practice.
Messina has been a featured speaker at local and national conferences regarding tax-exempt municipal finance, primarily covering topics related to senior living industry capital and strategic planning and tax increment financing.
“Melissa has a wealth of experience structuring creative financial solutions for clients, particularly in the fast-growing senior living sector,” said Kay McNab, chair of the firm’s public finance practice.
Elena Marcuss, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Baltimore office, added: “Our public finance practice is a pillar of the Baltimore office, and Melissa’s arrival makes an outstanding team even stronger.”
McGuireWoods’ public finance lawyers pioneered the use of strategies such as public-private partnerships; special revenue, tax and assessment pledges; lease financings; and tax and revenue anticipation notes to achieve clients’ objectives. The firm has served as bond counsel to more than 250 states, counties, cities, towns, service authorities, sanitary districts and other issuing entities, and the Baltimore lawyers represent clients in some of Maryland’s largest project financings.
“McGuireWoods has a well-deserved reputation as a leader in developing sound, innovative financing strategies for clients nationwide, and I am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with this world-class team,” Messina said.