Public-Private Partnerships


From local schools to federal highways, public-private partnerships (P3) meet critical infrastructure needs and spur economic development around the world. Michael Best’s P3 group helps business and government form successful partnerships to achieve those goals.

We provide end-to-end legal services, guiding clients through every stage of a P3 project—from initial planning through financing, procurement, construction, and operation. Drawing on the experience and skills of lawyers throughout our firm, we take a multidisciplinary approach. Without skipping a beat, our team can advise you on the best partnership structure, resolve a construction dispute, assemble funding for environmental cleanup, or negotiate a multi-party operating agreement.

In addition, we coordinate with our affiliate firm in order to achieve client success. Michael Best Strategies advises on business, government relations, and public affairs strategies.

Of course, each P3 project has its own unique financial, regulatory, and political challenges. Working in concert with clients, consultants, government agencies, elected officials, and other stakeholders, Michael Best helps overcome challenges and bring projects to fruition.


Our experience spans the continuum of public-private partnerships, covering agreement structures with varying degrees of private-sector involvement, such as:

Mixed-Use Urban Development

We represent developers and governments in every aspect of major mixed-use development projects designed to rejuvenate urban areas. We understand the complexities of structuring and financing these types of P3 developments, including how to leverage fixed incentives of financing sources. Our team helps clients balance the various and sometimes conflicting demands of multiple uses, such as sports arenas, hotels, offices, residential, government facilities, retail, and parking, to create a unified project. Equally important, we help balance the diverse concerns of different stakeholders including public officials, developers, and local residents and businesses.

Higher Education

Michael Best’s dedicated Higher Education practice gives us a deep understanding of educational institutions. We help clients deal with the many challenges inherent in P3 developments, so that schools can focus on fulfilling their educational mission. These projects often involve multiple components, such as administrative offices, student services facilities, housing, retail, parking, and transit.


Our highly ranked Energy practice has the experience and industry knowledge needed to help clients get P3 projects built. We advise on a wide variety of projects, including transmission lines, pipelines, generation facilities, and renewable energy technologies. Our comprehensive services include assistance with financing; site acquisition; building and environmental permitting; environmental and economic development incentives; engineering, procurement, and construction contracts; ownership and operating agreements; interconnection agreements and other FERC filings; state public utility commission representation; and workplace safety compliance.


Within this broad category, we assist clients with many different types of social infrastructure and public infrastructure P3 projects. Social infrastructure includes developments such as government buildings, educational facilities, convention centers, hospitals, parking structures, sports stadiums, energy facilities, and telecommunications networks. Public infrastructure includes projects such as roads and highways, bridges, tunnels, transit systems, rail facilities, airports, and water systems. Whether you need end-to-end legal services from concept to completion, or help with a discrete portion of an infrastructure project, we’ve got you covered.

Hospitality & Convention Centers

Michael Best works with municipalities and developers in the acquisition, development, financing, construction, and operation of convention centers, resorts, and hotels. Our wide-ranging experience enables us to help clients determine the optimum type of development and partnership, structured to achieve both public and private benefit. As just one example, for a 350-acre waterpark resort and convention center, we helped a developer and a city reach a financial incentive and sharing agreement that provides for public construction, incentives, and tax rebates.

Sports and Entertainment

We serve as general project counsel and issuer’s counsel on many sports and entertainment facilities, representing developers, governmental bodies, and quasi-governmental organizations. Clients rely on our team for assistance with the development, financing (including public bond issuance), and construction of all types of sports and entertainment arenas, as well as capital improvements and expansions. Our experience also encompasses negotiating and drafting arena license agreements with professional sports teams, helping to secure their presence—and  the accompanying economic benefits—in cities across  the country.

Cultural Institutions

For many local and state governments, cultural institutions are more than an economic driver—they’re part of the region’s identity and its legacy, a gift to future generations. Cultural P3 projects typically require a thoughtful balancing of interests, coordination among multiple private organizations and governmental agencies, and the resolution of complex legal issues. Michael Best’s P3 team does all that and more, helping clients build and improve institutions such as museums, cultural centers, theatres, interpretive centers, and historical sites.


More and more, governments are using public-private partnerships to develop much-needed healthcare infrastructure that would otherwise be unaffordable: hospitals, clinics, diagnostic facilities, and research centers. We work with public authorities, developers, healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and universities to improve healthcare delivery through P3 projects. In addition to physical infrastructure projects such as facility construction, expansion, or renovation, our experience includes public-private partnerships designed to foster life sciences research and education.

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