R. Wade Norris, Esq.
R. Wade Norris has been a partner at Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC since September, 1993. Mr. Norris is widely recognized as one of the country's leading experts in the field of multifamily housing bond finance. Since 1977, Mr. Norris has been involved in over 3,500 multifamily housing bond financings, totaling billions of dollars in almost every state in the United States. Mr. Norris has also served as underwriters' and/or special tax counsel on secondary tax-exempt bond reofferings, and as underwriters' counsel or special disclosure counsel in a wide variety of general and revenue bond obligation financings. While a corporate securities lawyer at King & Spalding, Mr. Norris served as issuer's or underwriter's counsel in numerous hospital revenue bond financings and in various types of corporate debt and equity financings, including initial public offerings, spinoffs and merger/acquisition transactions.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Norris played a major role in the development of a financing program using a combination of FHA mortgage insurance and municipal bond insurance from MBIA which provided over $1.1 billion of financing for over 200 low-income housing projects throughout the United States. In 1985, he was the responsible partner on over 100 multifamily housing bond financings totaling well over $1 billion. In 1986, Mr. Norris was among the first practitioners in the country to develop standards for default refundings and other work-out refinancings of distressed multifamily housing properties, and in 1989, he was a principal architect of HUD's 11(b) refunding program which has resulted in refinancings of hundreds of multifamily housing projects saving the federal government hundreds of millions of dollars. In 1994, Mr. Norris was engaged by HUD to serve as its private consultant on a comprehensive analysis, compilation and revision of HUD's policies on all types of bond refunding transactions. This engagement culminated in the publication on January 18, 1995 of HUD Notice H-95-7 "Summary of HUD Policies on Multifamily Bond Refunding Transactions and Announcement of Certain Changes and Clarifications," prepared for HUD by Mr. Norris. In 1996 and 1997, the firm, through Mr. Norris, was engaged to serve as outside counsel to HUD in connection with the disposition of a substantial portion of its multi-billion dollar portfolio of HUD-held multifamily mortgage loans and properties.
Mr. Norris also pioneered the firm’s efforts serving as underwriter’s counsel in tax exempt student housing bond financings. Over the past 15 years, Mr. Norris assisted in the creation of one of the country’s most successful tax exempt multifamily housing bond “conduits,” which has now grown into the nation’s largest affordable multifamily housing tax exempt debt platform. He also was the principal author of “tax exempt back-to-back loan” documentation which enables certain banks to obtain “lending credit” versus “investment credit” for Community Reinvestment Act purposes when purchasing tax exempt debt on affordable housing . Following the real estate/financial downturn in 2008, Mr. Norris, together with his partners, pioneered the use of short-term cash backed tax exempt bonds to finance affordable housing projects using FHA insurance and certain projects using taxable loans from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. A major aspect of Mr. Norris’ practice has involved serving as Special Bond Matters Counsel and Special FHA/GNMA Counsel to Borrowers and Lenders on major tax-exempt bond and taxable FHA/GNMA financings throughout the United States. Over the past four years, Mr. Norris served as special outside counsel to Freddie Mac in its tax exempt loan or “TEL” structure for affordable housing financings, and he played a major role with Fannie Mae, it counsel and other participants developing the structure and documentation for and closing the first seven transactions under Fannie Mae’s “M.TEB” tax exempt MBS monthly pass-through structure.
Mr. Norris has been a speaker at numerous seminars on multifamily housing bond finance over the past 30 years, and has been a frequent panel leader on multifamily housing bond finance at meetings of the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Mr. Norris' frequently updated paper entitled "Introduction to Tax Exempt Multifamily Housing Bonds" is widely regarded as the industry's leading introductory article on tax exempt multifamily housing bond finance, and Mr. Norris has authored a number of other papers on various aspects of tax-exempt multifamily housing bond finance, which are available on the firm’s website at www.ennbonds.com.
Mr. Norris attended Duke University where he received his B.A. degree in Economics with distinction in 1969 and served as Student Body President during his senior year. Mr. Norris received an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1971, with a concentration in systems analysis and finance. Mr. Norris received his law degree from Duke University School of Law in 1974, where he graduated with distinction and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Law Journal during his final year. Mr. Norris is a member of the Georgia and DC Bar Associations. Mr. Norris is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the American College of Bond Counsel.
Kent S. Neumann, Esq.
Kent Neumann is a partner at Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC, where he has been working since 1998. Mr. Neumann has served as underwriter’s counsel, purchaser’s counsel, bond counsel and borrower’s counsel and has also advised issuers and other clients on the legal and financial aspects of a wide range of tax-exempt and taxable housing and healthcare bond financings. These include publically offered and privately placed financings using credit enhancement provided by FHA, Ginnie Mae (GNMA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Bank, municipal bond insurance, bank letters of credit, insurance company guaranties, as well as unrated and/or uncredit-enhanced bond deals. Many of these transactions have involved multiple-tier financings utilizing senior/subordinated and other complex structures designed to achieve optimal efficiency and savings including “50% test” bonds, Section 202, Section 8, HOPE VI, NIBP and Build America Bonds.
In addition, Mr. Neumann has a unique level of experience in and knowledge of cashflow modeling, rating agency requirements, credit enhancement programs, financial structures and other critical variables affecting bond financings.
Mr. Neumann graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, San Diego, where he received a B.A. degree in Psychology in 1995. He graduated magna cum laude from Tulane Law School in May of 1998 and is a member of both the California and the District of Columbia Bars. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers.
Randal S. Putnam, Esq.
Randal S. Putnam has been of counsel with Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC since February, 2005. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Putnam was associated for twelve years with Kutak Rock LLP in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was a partner for six years.
Mr. Putnam graduated from Northwestern University, where he received a B.A. degree in Philosophy in 1989. He graduated from the New York University School of Law in 1992. He is a member of the Nebraska and New York Bar Associations.
Mr. Putnam has served as underwriter’s counsel in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt bonds financing multifamily housing with an emphasis on financings credit-enhanced by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and various bank issued letters of credit. He also has substantial experience with bonds credit enhanced by FHA/GNMA.
Thomas A. Downey, Esq.
Thomas A. Downey has been of counsel with Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC since April, 2015. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Downey was associated with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, San Francisco, California, where he was Special Counsel for six years. Prior to Mr. Downey's tenure at Orrick, he was a partner at Jones Hall APLC, San Francisco, California for 20+ years.
Mr. Downey has served has bond counsel and underwriter's counsel on a wide variety of tax-exempt financings, with emphasis on multifamily housing financings credit enhanced by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and bank letters-of-credit, FHA/GNMA financings and privately placed non credit enhanced financings.
Mr. Downey attended LeMoyne College where he received a B.A. in Economics in 1970. Mr. Downey received his law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1982. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1982 (currently inactive) and to the California Bar in 1989.
Ryan L. George, Esq.
Ryan L. George started as an associate at Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC in May, 2001 and became a contract attorney as of July, 2006. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. George served as a senior tax consultant with Ernst & Young LLP in McLean, Virginia. His experience includes the federal tax treatment of domestic and foreign corporations and Section 501(c)(3) entities.
Mr. George attended Washington & Jefferson College where he received is B.A. in Biology. Mr. George received his law degree and M.B.A. (with a concentration in corporate finance) from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998 and his LL.M in taxation from Georgetown University School of Law in 2002. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1999 and the District of Columbia Bar in 2001, and is a member of the American Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers.
Mr. George has served as underwriter’s counsel on a wide variety of tax-exempt financings including financings credit-enhanced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHA/GNMA financings, letter of credit-backed financings and noncredit-enhanced financings. Mr. George has also played a major role in the firm’s serving as special bond matters counsel in the nation’s largest bank sponsored affordable housing bond conduit private placement program and in developing the firm’s practice serving as special bond matters counsel to borrowers on bond financed projects, on student housing bond financings and on certain college and university financings.
Ethan Ostrow, Esq.
Ethan Ostrow joined Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC in July, 2013. Mr. Ostrow has served as underwriter’s counsel, purchaser’s counsel and issuer’s counsel in connection with a range of tax-exempt and taxable affordable multifamily housing bonds and loans, including public offerings and private placements of rated as well as unrated bonds, and financing structures using loans and mortgage backed securities backed by FHA, Ginnie Mae (GNMA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other credit providers.
Mr. Ostrow has previously served as counsel to a range of parties in real estate and real estate financing transactions, with particular focus on distressed situations, in which he has represented Chapter 11 debtors, secured creditors, unsecured creditor committees, equity holders, and asset purchasers, as well as parties to bankruptcy-related litigation in bankruptcy courts throughout the country. He has advised clients and investors in industries ranging from telecommunications to healthcare.
He also has significant experience in the area of asset-backed securitization, including several SEC-registered offerings under Regulation AB and Rule 144A placements of fixed and floating rate bonds secured by receivables derived from retail installment sale contracts and loans.
Mr. Ostrow graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1996 with a B.A. in Russian and History. In 2003, he received his Masters in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University and in 2006, he received a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law. He is a member of the Illinois Bar, the Wisconsin Bar, the DC Bar, and the bars of the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois.
Alex M. Zeltser, Esq.
Alex Zeltser joined Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC as an associate in May 2015. He has served as underwriter’s counsel and purchaser’s counsel in a range of tax-exempt and taxable housing financings, including credit-enhanced and non-credit-enhanced public offerings and private placements of rated and unrated bonds backed by proceeds of FHA, Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. Prior to joining the firm, Alex was a transactional tax associate with Ernst & Young LLP, where he provided technical tax advice with respect to the federal income tax treatment of mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, and internal restructurings.
Alex graduated from the University of Maryland in 2007 with a B.A. in political science, received a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2011, and received an LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 2012. He is a member of the Bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Mary Murphy, Esq.
Mary Murphy joined Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC as an associate in August, 2012. Mary has served as underwriter’s counsel and purchaser’s counsel in a range of tax-exempt housing financings, including public offerings and private placements of rated as well as unrated bonds, backed by proceeds of FHA, Ginnie Mae (GNMA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans as well as financings credit enhanced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mary graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2009 with a B.A. in Economics and she received a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 2012. Mary is a member of both the New York and District of Columbia Bar Associations.
Adele M. Hook
Adele M. Hook has been the Firm Administrator for Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC since 1991. Ms. Hook earned an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Anne Arundel Community College in 1990. Prior to becoming Firm Administrator, she worked with Messrs. Eichner Norris & Neumann since 1981, both as a legal secretary and paralegal. Ms. Hook oversees or handles directly all managerial aspects of Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC and is familiar with all aspects of the firm’s practice. She also works directly with Mr. Eichner on various housing transactions.
Ms. Hook is a member of the Capital Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators, is Co-Chair of the Small Firm Committee of the Capital Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators, and a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers Legal Assistants Group.
Andrea Lake joined Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC as a Legal Assistant in July of 2007. Ms. Lake graduated from the University of Virginia in May of 2007 with a double major in Economics and Psychology. She was a research assistant at UVA’s Early Development Laboratory during her senior year. Additionally, she participated in varsity swimming at UVA and was a member of the 2003 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship team.
Kevin Egan joined Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC as a financial analyst in August of 2014. Mr. Egan graduated from the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech where he received a B.S. in Finance in May of 2014. Mr. Egan has passed Level I of the CFA Program. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Egan interned with UBS in Bethesda, Maryland.
Robert Williams joined Eichner Norris & Neumann PLLC as a legal assistant/ financial analyst in October of 2016. Mr. Williams graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. where he received a B.A. in Economics and International Studies in May of 2014. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Williams worked for a boutique law firm focused on international law in Washington, D.C. as a legal assistant and as managing editor of the firm’s monthly journal on international enforcement law.