Public-Private Partnerships (P3)

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Practical Guidance for All Types and Sizes of P3 Projects

Facing massive infrastructure needs as well as shrinking budgets, state and local governments are increasingly turning to development through public-private partnerships (P3). These arrangements can expand access to capital, expediting delivery of complex projects and more efficiently transferring risks between the public and private sectors. Accordingly, P3s elicit the challenge of satisfying numerous stakeholders with varying interests.

Saul Ewing’s attorneys represent developers, contractors, sub-contractors, project owners, investors and state and local government entities in P3 projects of all sizes — from the development of mixed-use properties which blend housing, retail and office space, to university buildings to stadiums and bridges. We provide guidance from concept development to final disposition and exit strategies, with careful consideration of public needs combined with the practical realities of the goals of private investments. Our P3 team provides services across the following areas:

Corporate and Real Estate

  • Structuring corporate entities between public and private parties, such as joint ventures and limited liability partnerships
  • Drafting and negotiating various contracts and project agreements, including construction contracts, ground leases, purchase and sale agreements, and loan documents
  • Advising on procurement processes
  • Counseling on risk allocation, insurance considerations and indemnification
  • Assisting with project financing
  • Advising parties to a P3 transaction on contract compliance, insurance requirements and bonding
  • Advising on tax implications
  • Drafting and negotiating renewable power agreements

Regulatory Compliance

  • Advising on land use/zoning matters, including helping to seek approvals and permits at the municipal, county and state levels; handling appeals; and, if necessary, working to change or challenge applicable ordinances
  • Providing legislative and regulatory compliance advice relative to all applicable state, local and federal laws and regulations
  • Advising on environmental laws and regulations

Disputes & Litigation

  • Handling claims of breach of contract, professional negligence and common law torts for both government and private sector clients
  • Representing clients in force majeure litigation that may arise with construction stoppage
  • Navigating sovereign immunity principles and state and federal constitutional implications of government action

Whether providing discrete advice to a subcontractor, representing the lead P3 developer, or defending government entities, we leverage our extensive relationships and deep bench in the environmental, construction, government contracts and tax practices to help drive successful outcomes.


Key Contacts
James E. Goodrich
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Jordan D. Rosenfeld Headshot
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For a selection of our P3 representations, click here.

  • A Pennsylvania college in negotiating a ground lease for, and in connection with, the P3 development of a mixed-use structure with student housing for 500-700 students and retail amenities. Additionally, we have represented the college in matters relating to its development of a parking facility and roof-top athletic facility, including the ground lease, lease amendments, conveyance agreements and tax appeals. The firm also represented the college in connection with another P3 development project for student and market-rate housing.
  • A Pennsylvania college in connection with a P3 development of new student dormitories and retail.
  • A public university in the creation of a joint venture with a developer and the negotiation of a ground lease for the construction of a hotel on the university campus.
  • The master land developer and the vertical developer in the creation of a mixed-use development property with multi-family and low-income housing, office, public parks, and retail space on more than 60 acres of a former military campus.
  • State government agencies in defending against claims from developer entities concerning a proposed billion dollar-plus redevelopment of a state office complex that never materialized.
  • A developer in pursuing claims in a dispute over its ownership stake in the development of a hotel and conference center constructed through a P3.
  • A county government in pursuing claims against the project designer, general contractor, concrete subcontractor and special inspection company for delays and millions of dollars of cost overruns in the creation of a major transportation center. After three weeks of trial, the defendants paid $25 million to settle all claims, covering 90 percent of costs incurred by the county.
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