Michael Pignato
PEOPLE

Michael Pignato

Partner
pignato.michael@dorsey.com

Overview

MIKE HELPS CLIENTS WITH TRIBAL FINANCE TRANSACTIONS, COMMERCIAL LENDING (INCLUDING GAMING), ENERGY PROJECT FINANCE, DEVELOPMENT AND ACQUISITIONS AND DERIVATIVES.     

Mike is a partner in Dorsey's Finance and Restructuring group and co-chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Industry Group.

Mike represents lenders, tribes and other participants in tribal finance transactions, including in connection with the construction and expansion of casino, lodging and entertainment facilities, energy projects and tribal infrastructure projects.  This expertise extends to the representation of lenders and other participants in commercial gaming transactions, including in connection with casinos, gaming equipment manufacturers and vendors and gaming development and management companies, throughout the United States.

A significant part of Mike’s practice also includes the representation of  investor owned utilities, municipal power agencies, generation and transmission cooperatives, developers, lenders and investors in the development, construction, financing, acquisition, disposition and restructuring of electric generation facilities (wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal, cogeneration, gas, coal, other), mining projects, water desalinization facilities, biofuel facilities and other similar projects.

Mike’s commercial lending practice includes the representation of lenders and borrowers in syndicated and participating loans, revolving and term loan facilities, letter of credit facilities, construction and real estate loans, acquisition financings, leveraged lending and asset-based financings.

Mike also devotes a portion of his practice to representing corporate end-users, energy companies, borrowers and others in derivatives transactions, primarily in connection with interest rate, foreign exchange and commodities swap and hedging transactions.

Education & Admissions

University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A., 1991)

University of California, Hastings College of Law (J.D., 1994)

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California

Experience

Representative Transactions

Representative Tribal Lending and Commercial Gaming Transactions

  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with $500 million senior secured credit facility for expansion of a tribe’s gaming enterprise in California.
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with $38 million senior secured credit facility for a tribal gaming authority in Washington.
  • Counsel to lender in connection with a $36 million senior secured credit facility for a tribe in Oregon.
  • Counsel to lender in connection with an $85 million senior secured credit facility for a tribe in Michigan, including a convertible tax-exempt loan facility.
  • Counsel to tribal economic development enterprise in connection with $80 million senior secured credit facilities for tribal gaming operations in Washington.
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with $75 million senior secured credit facilities for tribal gaming operations in Michigan.
  • Counsel to tribe in connection with $200 million senior secured credit facilities, including a convertible tax-exempt loan facility, for tribal gaming operations and other governmental projects in California. 
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with $70 million senior secured credit facilities, including a convertible tax exempt loan facility, for tribal gaming operations and other governmental projects for a tribal enterprise in California. 
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with $85 million liquidity facility for a tribe in Alabama.
  • Counsel to lender in connection with $50 million senior secured credit facilities for video terminal operator in Illinois.
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with $105 million senior secured credit facilities for commercial gaming operations in Iowa and Illinois.
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with $100 million senior secured credit facilities for commercial gaming operations in Iowa.
  • Counsel to lender in connection with $15 million senior secured credit facilities for manufacturer and supplier of gaming equipment.

Representative Commercial Lending Transactions

  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with a $200 million senior secured working capital loan for a wine company.
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with a $205 million senior secured credit facility for a wireless device retailer.
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with a $125 million senior secured credit facility for a retail nurseries company.
  • Counsel to administrative agent in connection with a $100 million senior secured credit facility for an agricultural products company. 
  • Counsel to New York branch of foreign bank in connection with letter of credit facilities, cash management agreements and loan transactions.

Representative Energy and Project Finance Transactions

  • Counsel to lender in connection with multiple project financings for renewable energy projects (solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal) located throughout the United States.
  • Counsel to investor owned utility in connection with multiple build-to-transfer and construction-ready wind power projects located in Minnesota, North Dakota and Colorado (100 MW – 600 MW).
  • Counsel to investor owned utility in connection with the acquisition of operating wind power projects in South Dakota (39 MW and 41 MW).
  • Counsel to investor owned utility in connection with the acquisitions of operating biomass (50 MW) and multiple gas-fired generation facilities (80 MW – 300 MW).
  • Outside general counsel to municipal power agency, including in connection with wholesale power contracts, facility construction agreements, power purchase agreements and other matters.
  • Counsel to mining company in connection with $200 million project financing of precious metals mine in Nevada. 
  • Counsel to mining company in connection with multiple financings for precious metals mine located in Nevada.

News & Resources

Events & Speaking Engagements

LIBOR + SOFR = Confusion: What Tribes Need to Know About Treasury Management and Loan Interest Rate Agreements, NAFOA’s 37th Annual Conference
Construction Seminar: An Owner's Challenges

Industries & Practices

Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • Construction & Design
  • Construction Litigation
  • Cooperative Law
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Electric Power
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Healthcare
  • Indian & Alaska Native
  • Latin America
  • Lending Transactions
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Private Equity
  • Project Development & Finance
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Real Estate & Land Use
  • Sustainability

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Board of Directors, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Accolades

  • Minnesota Lawyers of the Year (2012)

North Star Lawyer logo

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer (2012-2014 and 2016, 2018)
Michael Pignato