“Clients say: ‘He is always very professional and considered. He is always willing to go out of his way to help us achieve our objectives in a timely fashion.’” –
Chambers USA

Overview

Joe Seliga is co-lead of Mayer Brown’s Government practice and Infrastructure Investment Team. Joe advises on path-breaking road, bridge, airport, port, public parking, rail, mass transit, social infrastructure, water, wastewater and convention center infrastructure M&A and public-private partnership (P3) transactions. He has advised on many “Deal of the Year” award-winning transactions and has served as counsel to government owners, equity investors, lenders and contractors.

Joe is widely recognized as a leader in the infrastructure industry, having actively advised clients on infrastructure M&A and P3 transactions for nearly twenty years. Joe is rated in Band 1 in Chambers USA, which quoted a client highlighting Joe “for his thoroughness and his understanding and perspective on the challenges that come up in [P3] deals” and for “always willing to go out of his way to help [clients] achieve [their] objectives in a timely fashion.”

Joe chaired the first US Infrastructure Law Forum, a gathering of over 40 members of the US infrastructure legal bar, in September 2016 in Washington DC, and continues to chair the US Forum and serves as Co-Chair of the North American Infrastructure Law Forum, a gathering of leading infrastructure lawyers from the US and Canada. He also is Vice Chair of a new American Bar Association committee on P3s.

Joe also represents clients in various state and local government matters, including in the areas of complex government transactions, ethics, election and campaign finance law, economic development incentives and legislative drafting and statutory interpretation.

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

Roads and Bridges: Greenfield Transactions

  • Counsel to the Texas Department of Transportation on the $815 million SH 288 toll lanes project in the Houston metropolitan area, a long-term concession of the existing highway and the construction of new express toll lanes. The winning proposal included a $27 million concession payment to TxDOT.
  • Counsel to the Texas Department of Transportation on the $850 million SH 183 managed lanes project in the Dallas-Forth Worth metropolitan area, structured as a design-build-finance transaction with a 25-year operations and maintenance requirement, the first of its kind in the United States.
  • Counsel to WVB East End Partners on its $750 million long-term, availability payment, public-private agreement with the Indiana Finance Authority related to the development of the East End Crossing Bridge over the Ohio River between Indiana and Kentucky. This transaction was named The Bond Buyer's 2013 National Deal of the Year, North America Project Bond Deal of the Year 2013 by Project Finance magazine and North American Project Bond Deal of the Year 2013 by Project Finance and was awarded the Gold Award for Best Road Project and the Projects Grand Prix Award by Partnerships Bulletin.
  • Counsel to the Alabama Department of Transportation on the development of a new interstate bridge and causeway along Interstate 10 near Mobile, the first toll project and public-private partnership transaction undertaken by the State of Alabama. The construction value is expected to be approximately $2 billion.
  • US counsel to a design-build joint venture affiliated with one of the shortlisted consortia on the Gordie Howe International Crossing project.
  • Counsel to a short listed proposer for the Colorado Central 70 project, a DBFOM P3 to reconstruct and expand Interstate 70 in the Denver metropolitan area.
  • Counsel to the Illinois Department of Transportation on the development of the Illinois portion of the Illiana Corridor highway project through a public-private partnership structure.
  • Counsel to the Illinois Department of Transportation on the development of new express managed toll lanes along Interstate 55 near Chicago through a public-private partnership structure.
  • Counsel to a short-listed proposer on the Indiana Finance Authority's I-69 availability payment project.
  • Counsel to a short-listed proposer on the Ohio Department of Transportation's Portsmouth Bypass project.
  • Counsel to a potential sponsor with respect to the Mississippi Department of Transportation's Jackson Airport Parkway project, the first toll road to be developed in the State of Mississippi.
  • Counsel to a private sector consortium with respect to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority's Mid-Currituck Toll Bridge project, the first toll bridge to be developed in the State of North Carolina.
  • Counsel to the Ohio Department of Transportation on the development of its public-private partnership policy.
  • Counsel to the drafting of the Illinois Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation Act, which authorizes the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to enter into public-private partnership transactions.

Roads and Bridges: Existing Asset Concessions

  • Counsel to the City of Chicago in all aspects of the $1.83 billion concession and lease of the Chicago Skyway with Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., the first concession and lease of an existing toll road in the United States, awarded Project Finance North American Transport Deal of the Year 2004.
  • Counsel to the Indiana Finance Authority with respect to the $3.8 billion Indiana Toll Road concession and lease with Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., the largest infrastructure concession transaction completed in the US, awarded Project Finance North American Transport Deal of the Year 2006.
  • Counsel to the Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority in the $603 million concession and lease of the Northwest Parkway in Colorado with Brisa Auto-estradas de Portugal, S.A. and Companhia de Concessões Rodoviárias, awarded Project Finance North American Transport Deal of the Year 2007.
  • Counsel to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the proposed $12.8 billion long-term concession and lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike with Citi Infrastructure Investors and Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. 

Social Infrastructure

  • Counsel to Purdue University on the first availability payment public-private partnership student housing project in the United States.
  • Counsel to the District of Columbia Office of Public-Private Partnerships on a public-private partnership transaction for the rehabilitation of the Daly Building in Washington, DC.
  • Counsel to a potential sponsor with respect to a short-listed proposer on the Houston Justice Center project.
  • Designated lenders’ counsel for the winning bidder (WMB Heartland Justice Partners) on the Indianapolis Consolidated Justice Facility project.

Airports

  • Counsel to the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority and the Puerto Rico Ports Authority on the long-term concession of San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. The transaction was named as Project Finance International's P3 Deal of the Year for the Americas in 2013 and North America Transport Deal of the Year 2013 by Project Finance.
  • Counsel to the City of Chicago on the proposed long-term concession of Chicago Midway International Airport.

Ports

  • Counsel to the Connecticut Port Authority on its agreement with an affiliate of Gateway Terminal for the long-term operation of the State Pier in New London, Connecticut. 
  • Advising the Port Authority of Jamaica on the long-term concession of the Kingston Container Terminal. The project was named 2016 North America Port Deal of the Year by IJGlobal.
  • Counsel to the Port of Portland (Oregon) on the lease of its Terminal 6 container facility to International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), the first US port investment of the Philippines-based company.
  • Counsel to the Port of Americas Authority, a governmental entity of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, on the proposed concession of its Port of the Americas container terminal in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  • Advised CenterPoint Properties on its $8.9 billion proposal to enter into a long-term public-private partnership related to the Port of Virginia and advised Virginia Port Partners on a subsequent proposal to enter into a public-private partnership related to the Port of Virginia.

Public Parking

  • Counsel to Australia-based Queensland Investment Corporation on a long-term parking and mobility concession at Northeastern University, a private university in Boston, Massachusetts. 
  • Counsel to the Port Authority of Jamaica on the long-term concession of the Kingston Container Terminal.
  • Counsel to the Port of Portland (Oregon) on the lease of its Terminal 6 container facility to International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), the first US port investment of the Philippines-based company.
  • Counsel to the Port of Americas Authority, a governmental entity of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, on the proposed concession of its Port of the Americas container terminal in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  • Counsel to CenterPoint Properties on its $8.9 billion proposal to enter into a long-term public-private partnership related to the Port of Virginia and advised Virginia Port Partners on a subsequent proposal to enter into a public-private partnership related to the Port of Virginia.

Convention Centers

  • Counsel to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), which owns McCormick Place and Navy Pier in Chicago, on various matters, including:
    • An agreement with DePaul University related to the development of a new 10,000-seat Events Center at the McCormick Place Convention Complex.
    • A Private Management Agreement for the operations of McCormick Place, making McCormick Place the largest convention center in the country to be managed under such an agreement.
    • An Asset Purchase Agreement under which MPEA acquired the assets of Trigen-Peoples District Energy Company related to McCormick Place district energy heating and cooling facility.
    • A nearly $1 billion design-build agreement for the construction of the West Expansion of McCormick Place.

Water/Wastewater

  • Counsel to the City of Indianapolis on public-private partnership alternatives related to management of its water and wastewater systems.
  • Counsel to the Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District on the possible purchase of certain wastewater treatment and sewer collection facilities of Aqua Illinois in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

Lotteries 

  • Counsel to a bidder with respect to the proposed concessions of the Illinois Lottery and the Indiana Lottery, the first lottery concession transactions proposed in the United States.
  • Counsel to the Government of Liberia, on a pro bono basis through the International Senior Lawyers Project, related to a private management agreement for its government-sponsored lottery. 
     

Education

Northwestern University School of Law, JD, cum laude

Coordinating Articles Editor, Northwestern University Law Review

University of Oxford, St Catherine’s College

Marshall Scholar, Graduate Researcher in Geography and Urban Development

University of Leicester, MA, Urban History with Distinction

Marshall Scholar

Georgetown University, AB, magna cum laude

Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Illinois

Court

  • US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Memberships

  • Chair, United States Infrastructure Law Forum
  • Co-Chair, North American Infrastructure Law Forum
  • Vice-Chair, American Bar Association Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section, Transportation Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships Committee
  • Board of Trustees, Chicago History Museum
  • Member, Illinois Campaign Finance Reform Task Force, 2011-2015
  • Member, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 2011 Emerging Leaders
  • Member, Inaugural Class, Presidential Leadership Scholars, a leadership development program sponsored by the presidential centers of Presidents George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association