James S. Lawlor

James S. Lawlor


Philadelphia, PA

How Jim Helps Clients

Jim is a pragmatist and a problem solver. Cool-headed and fair-minded, he has the ability to untangle complexities, minimize distractions and keep things moving forward to help clients achieve their business goals.

Jim has diverse transactional experience representing lenders and borrowers in commercial loan transactions and representing underwriters, issuers, credit enhancers and trustees in public finance transactions. He is also experienced in handling finance transactions in the communications and media, transportation, health care, higher education, energy and nonprofit sectors.

Be an expert on the law, the deal, the risks and the options, but always defer to the client's business judgment. Be a source of light not heat in difficult situations.

In his bank finance practice, Jim has been counsel to lenders and agent banks in the negotiation and documentation of commercial loan transactions, including senior and subordinated, secured and unsecured, bilateral and syndicated credit facilities. He has also represented banks issuing letters of credit in connection with variable rate demand obligations. In addition, Jim represents clients obtaining financing for acquisitions, construction, inventory or working capital in multiple industries.

In public finance, Jim has worked primarily as bond counsel or underwriter’s counsel on tax-exempt conduit financings, through various state and local issuing authorities, for the benefit of colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities and other nonprofit organizations. He has also worked on similar transactions on behalf of for-profit organizations eligible for tax-exempt financing for manufacturing and exempt facility projects or under temporary disaster relief or economic stimulus legislation. His work in connection with tax-exempt transactions includes the development and documentation of project finance structures for trash-to energy plants and other solid waste conversion projects, mass transit facilities and manufacturing plants.

What Clients Can Expect

Count on Jim to take a solution driven approach to each transaction with thorough preparation, developing and managing all aspects of a practical, workable plan that supports the client's objective.

He researches the client's business and explores the unique aspects of every deal. He identifies risks and potential issues and offers experienced judgment and candid analysis. Jim has a gift for keeping cool and finding common ground in the heat of negotiations. He checks his ego at the door and handles difficult problems (and difficult people) with good humor and creative problem solving.

Outside the Office

Jim is a Philly Guy. He was born and raised in the working class suburbs of Philadelphia and now lives in the city. He has spent decades following the Phillies and the Eagles. And one of his favorite ways to spend time off is heading for the Jersey Shore with his wife and son.

Proof Points

  • The Best Lawyers in America®  since 2013 for Banking and Finance Law; Lawyer of the Year in 2018
  • Chambers USA, one of America’s leading banking and finance lawyers, 2012 – 2017.
  • AV® Preeminent rating, Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Counsel to CIT Bank as Administrative Agent in connection with $90,000,000 acquisition and working capital financing for vXchnge Holdings, Inc., in connection with the acquisition by the borrower of eight data centers.
  • Counsel to First Niagara Bank as Administrative Agent in connection with $350,000,000 syndicated credit facility for TAL International Container Corporation, secured by fleet of cargo containers.
  • Finance Counsel to CONSOL Energy, Inc. and CNX Gas Corporation in combined $2,500,000,000 syndicated credit facilities, secured by coal and gas rights and in subsequent corporate and debt restructuring in connection with $3,500,000,000 disposition of coal assets.
  • Counsel to Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center, in connection with $125,000,000 debt restructuring and related affiliation with Temple University Health System.
  • Bond Counsel to St. Luke’s University Health Network in connection with over $600,000,000 in tax-exempt bond offerings over a five year period (including one offering of Recovery Zone Bonds issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the economic stimulus law), in connection with development of a state-of-the-art hospital campus in Easton, Pa.
  • Counsel to Brandywine Realty Trust in connection with $90,000,000 of secured acquisition financings for three commercial office buildings in northern Virginia.
  • Counsel to Natixis, as letter of credit bank, in connection with $100,000,000 offering of tax exempt bonds issued under the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, a component of the Katrina relief law, financing the post-Katrina development of a sugar refinery in St. James Parish, La.