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Public-Private Partnerships

Bradley J. Nowak Williams Mullen Headshot

Williams Mullen’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Practice counsels and represents both governmental entities and businesses seeking public-private partnering arrangements and financing for such initiatives. In addition, we routinely assist equity participants, capital market investors and lenders, as well as design-builders and project operators. This broad experience enables team members to comprehend and reconcile the differing objectives and perspectives of the various stakeholders.

The firm’s core group of P3 attorneys and professionals are skilled in crafting and implementing creative, comprehensive solutions to match public- and private-sector goals, limitations and risk tolerances. Drawing upon the broad resources of the firm's government relations, construction, public finance, economic development, real estate and tax practices, the team offers a cross-disciplinary approach tailored to fit the needs of each public-private project.

The team's experience with such projects ranges from water systems to highways, and from luxury hotels to sustainable energy. Contractual arrangements have involved design-build, construction management, and design-bid-build approaches, partnered with a wide variety of financing mechanisms and tax incentives. From the development of sophisticated capital, mezzanine and debt structures, to privatization, to project operations and maintenance, our P3 Team helps clients realize and execute on opportunities where public policy objectives are served by private sector business goals and experience.

The firm has counseled clients on public-private projects from Maine to Hawaii. In Virginia, the firm has been extensively involved in dozens of P3 agreements and proposals under the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (PPEA) and the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 (PPTA).

In sum, Williams Mullen’s P3 Team works with both public and private clients to identify and facilitate opportunities that build on the common ground shared by commercial business goals and public policy objectives. Using a thorough understanding of legal, financial and competitive influences, the team’s ultimate goal is to assist clients in developing innovative ways to accelerate project delivery, mitigate risk and maximize return.


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The following is a sampling of our Team's P3 experience:
Water and Wastewater

  • Counsel to a national government in the procurement and negotiation of a public-private partnership for its water and wastewater facilities. 
  • Counsel to a major metropolitan sewerage district in the planning, procurement and negotiation of a public-private partnership resulting in privatization of the district’s wastewater system.


  • Developer’s counsel in establishing a public-private partnership with a state transportation department to advance the development of a major greenfield highway.
  • Counsel to a transportation district commission in establishing a public-private partnership for the design and construction of new transit operations, and administrative and parking facilities, in conjunction with private development.
  • Developer's counsel to a community development authority established to finance high-use water and sewer infrastructure and other public improvements.


  • Counsel to a public service authority in the privatization of waste-to-energy facilities. 
  • Counsel to a major city in a public-private partnership involving the construction of a 900-ton-per-day expansion to the city-owned waste-to-energy facility.


  • Bond counsel and public-private partnership counsel to a university business school in connection with development, design and financing of new facilities to house the school. 
  • Developer’s counsel in the creation of a public-private partnership with a county school board for the design, financing and construction of two new high schools.
  • Developer's counsel and bond counsel for the establishment of an alternate education program for a city school district.


  • Developer’s counsel in establishing a public-private partnership with an economic development authority for the development and financing of a full-service hotel and conference center. 
  • Developer’s counsel in structuring a public-private partnership for the development of a resort hotel and accompanying parking facility.