Blakely Latham Fernandez focuses her practice in the space where business and government intersect, recognizing that complex business issues and solutions often exist in a political environment, just as complex public issues and solutions often benefit from private partnerships.
She represents both governmental entities and private sector clients in structuring projects that include public benefit and, often, incentives. As a former elected official, she recognizes the stewardship and political considerations that are an important part of project development.
Blakely's representation of public entities includes acting as traditional bond counsel, public law and administrative law counsel, and special counsel on economic development. Her representation of private sector clients includes acting as developer's counsel, corporate counsel, and special counsel on public contracting and procurements.
Recent Notable Matters
Nueces County, Texas — bond counsel and economic development counsel for a variety of projects, including certificates of obligation, energy savings finance agreements, energy resilience contracts, special districts, housing and legislative issues
Webb, County, Texas — economic development counsel for negotiations with developer for a tax increment reinvestment zone and related public infrastructure
Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority — bond counsel and general counsel in a $212 million transaction for the 365 Tollway, which is a critical public safety and economic investment along the Texas-Mexican border which the Anzalduas and Pharr International Bridges and provides access to the McAllen International Bridge
City of El Paso, Texas — economic development counsel on developing large scale quality of life projects, including a downtown arena and two museums
Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority — general counsel to a Texas toll road authority, including the development of the 365 Toll Road and International Trade Corridor Connector
LNG refinery — special counsel on public incentives for a $10 billion export facility to mitigate tax consequences
Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization — general counsel to a multi-county MPO in designing and negotiating a $230 million plan to finance transportation projects, creating the first Regional Infrastructure Fund in Texas
Various multi-family housing developers — general counsel to private multifamily developers in development of captive projects for large industrial employers
Public-private water delivery project — special counsel to corporate entity structuring a proposal to a public utility for large water delivery project including, and advising on legal issues including right of way acquisition, water options, water leases, project construction and development, and take or pay contracts
City of Laredo, Texas — economic development counsel developing tax reinvestment strategy and negotiating terms for a 750 acre development
Texas Department of Transportation — disclosure counsel on initial Texas Mobility Fund Obligations
Publications and Speeches
“Public Dollars in Private Developments,” Urban Land Institute (ULI) San Antonio, November 2018.
“85th Texas Legislature – Legislative Update,” Texas Women in Public Finance, Austin, January 20, 2017.
“Leveraging Private Sector Know-How for Successful Public Projects,” The Bond Buyer, October 24, 2016.
“Parity in Pay,” San Antonio Equal Pay Summit, San Antonio, October 21, 2016.
“Talking Eagle Ford Infrastructure,” San Antonio Business Journal, February 27, 2014.
“Charter School Parent Supports ‘Go Public Campaign,’” Rivard Report, November 17, 2013.
Best Practices Handbook to Assist Communities in the Eagle Ford Shale, San Antonio River Authority, September 2013.
“TAAS and GI Forum v. Texas Education Agency: A Critical Analysis and Proposals for Redressing Problems with Standardized Testing in Texas,” St. Mary’s Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 143, 2001.