Details and deadlines make all of the difference in public finance, and Paul C. Marengo’s 40 years of experience in the field have earned the trust of his many long-term clients. Paul works on almost all types of tax-exempt and taxable state and local government financings. He serves as bond counsel, underwriters counsel, issuer’s counsel and borrower’s counsel with calm assurance and attention to details. He takes pride in thoroughly understanding clients’ businesses, their problems and the larger contexts in which problems arise.

Beyond financing transactions, clients rely on Paul to draft legislation and administrative rules, prepare model disclosure documents, and advise on recent developments in law and regulations.

The tax side of public finance is at the heart of Paul’s current bond counsel practice. He provides tax advice for such complex matters as single family and multi-family housing issues, tax increment financings, toll highway and sports facility revenue bonds, and variable rate financings with integrated swaps. Local governments and state agencies have benefitted from his aggressive and successful defense of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examinations of the tax-exempt status of their bonds, avoiding large penalties and potential embarrassment.

Day-to-day issues confronting governments, including open meeting laws, freedom of information requests, administrative rulemaking and budget issues are a major part of Paul’s experience. He has been general counsel to two state agencies and several Illinois municipalities and special districts. His clients appreciate how he explains difficult and complex matters clearly to clients and others.

  • Experience

    • Paul represented a large private university in all financing and disclosure matters since 2005, including $534 million in tax-exempt bonds, more than $1.7 billion in taxable bonds, $300 million in revolving bank lines of credit and $300 million of taxable commercial paper.
    • As outside general counsel to the Illinois Housing Development Authority, he advised the agency as to its programmatic responses to recent structural changes in the housing markets. His broader work in housing finance created many construction jobs and provided safe and affordable housing for many low- and medium-income families in Illinois.
    • Paul successfully defended a state agency issuer of tax-exempt bonds in a series of IRS bond audits, avoiding large monetary penalties and potential political fallout from unfavorable results.
    • As bond counsel, he assisted local governments in northern and northwestern Illinois with their borrowing for traditional governmental purposes, making life for the citizens of the region more efficient, safer and more modern.
    • Paul and the Schiff Hardin team drafted the statutory amendments needed to permit the financing of the new Soldier Field. He also drafted amendatory legislation needed to permit an airport authority client to finance a major economic development project, now a regional hub for a major air freight company.
    • He represented post-secondary educational institutions in asset securitization transactions involving portfolios of private student loans. This freed additional capital for scholarships to graduate and foreign students.
    • Paul worked with a client to terminate or greatly reduce the term to maturity of an existing swap portfolio in order to reduce or eliminate the client’s exposure to basis risk and counterparty risk and the possibility of losses due to substantial positive termination values of the swaps in the interest rate environment at that time.
  • Credentials


    • University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1974
    • Princeton University, A.B., 1971, cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
        • Insights

          News Release

          2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.

          News Release

          61 Schiff Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America List and Six Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year”

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 61 attorneys have been included in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as six who were named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

          News Release

          95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

          Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.

          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 The Best Lawyers in America

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.

          News Release

          99 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2017 Leading Lawyers List

          Ninety-nine Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2017 Leading Lawyers list for Illinois and Michigan.

          News Release

          53 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017

          Three Schiff Hardin attorneys also received the prestigious Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” award.

          News Release

          91 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois, Michigan Leading Lawyers Network

          The list is comprised of those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

          News Release

          40 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

          The Super Lawyers selection methodology includes a statewide nomination process, peer review by practice area, and independent research on candidates.

          News Release

          63 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

          Of the 64 Schiff Hardin attorneys honored by Best Lawyers, three Schiff Hardin attorneys were also nominated for Best Lawyers’ 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago

          Other Publications

          • "The 'Satisfactory Relationship' Exception From Qualification-Based Selection for Design Professionals," AIA Illinois News, Issue 3 (1997)
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        Upward trend in municipal bond ratings?

        New SEC rule: NRSROs must weigh risk consistently using same rating criteria for private sector corporate issuers and municipal governments -- possibly leading to an upward trend in municipal bond ratings. This view however is not universal. More