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Mayer Brown announced today that Infrastructure partner David Narefsky (Chicago) was named a 2018 “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer, recognizing his work on financing the rehabilitation of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Red/Purple mass transit lines among the “deals that mattered most in 2017.” Mr. Narefsky also received the prestigious award in 2011 for his work on the Denver FasTracks Eagle P3 commuter rail project.

The American Lawyer profiled Mr. Narefsky’s efforts leading the charge when Chicago needed to pull together funding for a $2.1 billion rehabilitation of the right of way and “L” stations running several miles north of Wrigley Field. To secure a $1.1 billion grant from the federal government, the cash-strapped CTA had to produce $625 million in matching funds. Moreover, with uncertain infrastructure spending priorities of the incoming administration, Chicago needed to demonstrate access to those matching funds quickly – before President Obama left office.

Taking an innovative approach, Mr. Narefsky designed a first-of-its-kind transit-focused Tax Increment Financing that pulls from the increased value of property situated along the rail lines to support the project, The American Lawyer said. Next, he drafted legislation and helped to secure approval from Illinois’s deeply divided legislature and Chicago’s City Council, enabling Chicago to obtain critically important federal funds 11 days before Obama’s term ended.

A member of the firm’s Government Relations & Public Law practice, Mr. Narefsky is also co-leader of the Infrastructure group and focuses his practice primarily on infrastructure and municipal finance. He has had an active role in numerous high-profile public-private partnership transactions, with particular responsibility for governmental, financing and regulatory aspects.

View The American Lawyer’s profile of Mr. Narefsky here.