Lisa A. Gorab chairs the Public Finance practice at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and serves as the firm’s Assistant Managing Director. Ms. Gorab has been a shareholder at Wilentz since 1997.
Ms. Gorab is a seasoned public finance lawyer known throughout New Jersey for her ability to structure and implement a full range of tax-exempt and taxable financing transactions for the issuance of: municipal debt obligations, including general obligation notes and bonds; school bonds and lease transactions; revenue bonds for publicly owned utilities and other facilities, including water, sewer, solid waste disposal, resources recovery, pollution control and parking facilities; economic development bonds; health and university facility bonds and other 501(c)(3) corporation bonds and renewable energy financings and related requirements. As bond counsel to dozens of government agencies and authorities, municipalities, counties, improvement authorities and school districts, Ms. Gorab provides advice and representation in connection with all aspects of their capital financing and related governmental requirements. She has played a key role in financings that have funded a variety of development and redevelopment improvement projects throughout the State of New Jersey. In particular, Ms. Gorab has extensive experience in the following areas:
Large-scale redevelopment projects include public/private partnerships and water privatizations. Ms. Gorab and the Public Finance team have participated in both competitively bid and negotiated transactions as bond counsel, working closely with Wilentz public utilities and redevelopment attorneys to provide the most comprehensive services.
School and Construction Finance
Keeping abreast with education law provisions and underlying regulations pertaining to school facilities construction programs, Ms. Gorab and the Public Finance team regularly guide school boards through voter education processes to promote passage of referendums and ensure compliance with state law as well as coordination with municipal officials. Through the issuance of school bonds, she also helped schools undertake needed improvements that provided a better learning environment for New Jersey students.
Energy Improvement Finance
Well versed in the provisions of the law surrounding financing alternatives, Ms. Gorab and the Public Finance team have been instrumental in structuring solar projects that have saved school districts hundreds of millions in energy costs through the installation of solar panels. In 2017, they guided the Middletown Board of Education through performance financing that will fund installation of solar panels on 17 of its school facilities, saving the school district an estimated $6 million in energy costs over the next 15 years. The team also served as bond counsel in the first ever “Clean Renewable Energy Bond” (CREB) financing in New Jersey.
Ms. Gorab is the first female, permanent member of the firm’s Management Committee, and serves as the firm’s treasurer. She is also a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee and the Professional Evaluation Committee and co-chairs the Diversity Committee. In 2018, Ms. Gorab was named by The New Jersey Law Journal as one of the 2018 Top Women in the Law. She is among the 20 female attorneys named to the list “who have influenced the law and legal profession in exceptional ways.” In November 2017, Governor-elect Philip D. Murphy named her as member of his administration’s transition team, on the Law and Justice committee. In that capacity, Ms. Gorab advised Governor-elect Murphy regarding policies for promoting pay equality for women as the new administration was preparing to take office in 2018. Ms. Gorab resides in Westfield, NJ.
Before joining Wilentz and while enrolled as a full-time law student, Ms. Gorab was assistant vice president of commercial lending at United Jersey Bank. In that capacity, she provided credit facilities to companies and individuals that ignited the spark of redevelopment and the sweeping resurgence of Hoboken and Jersey City in the late 1980s through the early 1990s.
Ms. Gorab wrote Bankruptcy In Bridgeport: Could It Happen To You? and has lectured extensively in the area of public school facilities financing and the financing of renewable energy projects.