Joan  N. Stern philadelphia

Joan N. Stern



Joan N. Stern has established herself as one of the country’s top public finance attorneys. She concentrates her practice in the areas of general government and education, transportation and utilities, tax and revenue anticipation financing, health care and housing finance, refinancing and working capital finance, project finance, and derivatives transactions. Joan serves clients in the full range of public finance matters, including serving as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, issuer’s counsel, and trustee’s counsel for all types of bond issues, tax-exempt and taxable; drafting debt and finance legislation for a variety of financing programs for governmental and corporate clients; derivative transactions; and enforcement matters involving the SEC and the IRS.

Chambers USA has named Joan one of America’s leading banking and finance lawyers, noting that she has “phenomenal understanding of bond transactions and related tax and corporate issues.” Clients say that her “experience and command of the legal requirements of debt issuance are extraordinary” and she “is refreshingly direct and gets the job done.” Chambers sources also note that she is “extremely knowledgeable, well-versed in the law and easy to work with.”

Representative Matters

  • Principal drafter of the statute creating the financial oversight authority for the City of Philadelphia and has served as special counsel to the city in connection with that legislation and the bond issues of that authority.
  • As bond counsel, drafted the legislation and bond indenture creating a multi-modal transportation authority in New Jersey, consisting of a toll road, airport, and a group of public parking facilities, and as bond counsel for the authority’s initial financing, provided for the acquisition of all of the transportation assets, including the toll road and airport.
  • As bond counsel to the School District of Philadelphia, drafted deficit funding legislation for the school district and served as lead bond counsel for deficit funding bonds, multiple series of bonds for capital improvements and refunding bond issues for the district.
  • Served as lead bond counsel for two of the largest pension funding bond issues undertaken; one for a state and the other for a major city. For both issues, drafted the authorizing legislation as well as creating the governing instruments for the bonds.

Professional Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers, Securities Law and Disclosure Committee
  • American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

Community Involvement

  • Public Employees Retirement Commission of Pennsylvania, Member
  • Police Athletic League, Board Member
  • Urban Tree Connection, Board Member
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Board Member
  • Royal Academy America, Board Member
  • The Franklin Institute, Board Member
  • Moore College of Art and Design Board of Trustees, Vice Chair
  • School District of Philadelphia Task Force on Regulatory Reform, Member
  • School District of Philadelphia Task Force on Alternative Finance Strategies, Former Chair
  • City of Philadelphia Tax Policy and Budget Advisory Committee, Former Member
  • Philadelphia Charter Commission, Former Consulting Counsel

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2023 for Banking and Finance Law; Public Finance Law
  • Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Banking and Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Philadelphia
  • Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2018 Public Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Philadelphia
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Banking and Finance
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Banking and Finance Law; Public Finance Law
  • Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America  2013 “Lawyer of the Year for Public Finance Law” in Philadelphia
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), The Legal Intelligencer
  • Leading Women’s Award, Ladies First – The Mid-Atlantic Women’s Public Finance Forum
  • Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in American Law
  • Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers

News and Insights

Media Coverage