Bill Rhodes
Bill Rhodes

William C. Rhodes

Tel 215.864.8534
Fax 215.864.8999

William C. Rhodes is Chair of the Public Finance Department as well as Practice Leader of the Municipal Recovery Initiative. Mr. Rhodes regularly represents issuers, broker-dealers, and investors in all areas of public finance, with an emphasis on the offering of high-yield (unrated) municipal securities. 

Mr. Rhodes represents clients in the financing of public infrastructure, transportation, economic development, and public purpose facilities for governments and their authorities. His clients also include public and private secondary schools, colleges, and universities; health care systems; cultural institutions; and municipal- and investor-owned water, wastewater, and energy utilities. He also has extensive experience in affordable housing, including single-family mortgage finance and multifamily, military, and senior housing projects.

Mr. Rhodes regularly advises issuers, underwriters, municipal advisers, and investors in the evolving landscape of municipal securities regulation and enforcement, including regulatory compliance, primary and secondary market disclosures, and enforcement actions.

Mr. Rhodes recently served on a National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) committee researching and presenting findings to the full NABL membership regarding common legal attributes of state and local general obligation indebtedness under the laws of various states, including Pennsylvania. In light of recent municipal bankruptcies involving GO debt, market participants are seeking clarification about the prioritization and remedial features of GO instruments and greater transparency about the way GO debt differs from state to state. The NABL report was intended to address these concerns. Currently, Mr. Rhodes is serving on an ad hoc committee of Pennsylvania bond lawyers preparing a Pennsylvania-specific companion report to the NABL GO Bond report.

Pro Bono Experience

As a member of Ballard Spahr's Pro Bono Committee, Mr. Rhodes coordinates pro bono engagements within the Public Finance Department.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association
Colorado Bar Association (inactive)
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Philadelphia Bar Association
National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL)
Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers (PABL)

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, public finance law, 2015-2016

The Legal 500 US, finance – municipal bankruptcy, 2015


Co-author, "MCDC Issuer Deadline is December 1. Are You Prepared?" Ballard Spahr alert, October 13, 2014

Co-author, "Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief," Ballard Spahr alert, August 4, 2014

Co-author, "General Obligation Bonds: State Law, Bankruptcy and Disclosure Considerations," National Association of Bond Lawyers, August 2014

Co-author, "Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s," Ballard Spahr alert, June 13, 2014

Co-author, "Federal Government Steps Up Monitoring of Distressed Municipalities," Ballard Spahr alert, April 22, 2014

Co-author, "SEC Enforcement Division Encourages Self-Reporting by Municipal Securities Issuers and Underwriters," Ballard Spahr alert, March 11, 2014

Co-author, "MSRB Proposes Municipal Advisor Supervision Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, February 26, 2014

Co-author, "Illinois Passes Landmark Pension Reform," Ballard Spahr alert, December 11, 2013

Co-author, "Additional Pay-to-Play Disclosure Required of Municipal Securities Dealers," Ballard Spahr alert, July 2, 2013

Co-author, "SEC Fraud Charges against Harrisburg Have Implications for Secondary Market Disclosures," Westlaw Journal / Securities Litigation & Regulation, May 29, 2013

Co-author, "SEC Fraud Charges against Harrisburg, Pa., Have Implications for Secondary Market Disclosures," Ballard Spahr alert, May 10, 2013

Co-author, "New Jersey Gets Federal Approval for $1.8 Billion in Hurricane Sandy Aid," Ballard Spahr alert, May 8, 2013

Co-author, "Options for Pennsylvania Cities and Municipalities in Financial Distress," Municipal Reporter, December 5, 2012

Co-author, "New Best Practices Released for Pension Obligation Disclosure," Ballard Spahr alert, November 15, 2012

Co-author, "Bank Loan or Municipal Security (or Both)? A Reminder from the MSRB," Ballard Spahr alert, October 4, 2011

Co-author, "MSRB Makes Recommendations to SEC on Disclosure Practices," Ballard Spahr alert, September 8, 2011

Co-author, "GASB Proposes Changes to State and Local Government Pension Financial Reporting," Ballard Spahr alert, July 11, 2011

Co-author, "PA Municipalities Further Challenged with Amendment of Financial Recovery Act," Ballard Spahr alert, July 8, 2011

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Rhodes is a frequent speaker and presenter on panels focused on legal issues in the municipal bond market. Recent speaking engagements include:

Co-Chair, The Bond Buyer's 3rd Annual Municipal Distress, Recovery & Financial Sustainability Symposium, Baltimore, May 1, 2014

Interviewed by to discuss The Bond Buyer's 3rd Annual Municipal Distress, Recovery & Financial Sustainability Symposium, April 16, 2014

Panelist, "What's in a Name? Why Not All General Obligation Debt Is the Same," National Association of Bond Lawyers Tax & Securities Law Institute General Session, March 27, 2014

"State Law Oversight and Remedies in Pennsylvania," How States Deal with Local Government Distress, Municipal Analysts Group of New York, February 7, 2014

Panelist, "Second Annual Green Infrastructure Seminar: New Opportunities and Trends," Ballard Spahr CLE program co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute and Bioengineering Group, Philadelphia, October 28, 2013

Co-Chair, The Bond Buyer's 2nd Annual Symposium on Distressed Municipalities, Providence, R.I., March 18, 2013

"Pricing Issues Related to Distressed Credits," Advanced Seminar Distressed Credits & Fiscal Emergencies: A New Paradigm for the Municipal Market, Detroit, October 5, 2012

Co-Chair and Moderator, "Views From the Bond Market," The Bond Buyer's Symposium on Distressed Municipalities, Philadelphia, March 27, 2012

"Act 47 and Municipal Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania," Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, January 2011

"What Dodd-Frank Means for Housing Finance Agencies and Other Issuers," Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, November 2010

"Municipal Fiscal Distress and Recovery in Pennsylvania," Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities, October 2010

"Ethical Issues in Municipal Finance," Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers, May 2010

"Capital Funding and Finance," The Association of Children’s Museums, May 2010 

Community Activities

Mr. Rhodes serves on the Haverford Township (Pennsylvania) Planning Commission.

Board Memberships

Past board member and former President, Elfreth's Alley Association, a 501(c)(3) corporation that preserves and interprets Elfreth's Alley, the nation's oldest continuous residential street and a National Historic Landmark in Philadelphia

Dickinson School of Law of Pennsylvania State University (J.D. 1991)
Member, Dickinson Law Review

Swarthmore College (B.A. 1987, cum laude)