Ballard Spahr hires Estes to bolster U.S. P3 infrastructure law practice

As Congress debates a $1 trillion infrastructure program, Ballard Spahr announced William Estes, an experienced public sector attorney, has joined the P3/Infrastructure Group in its New York City office.

Estes, who has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer, has overseen multibillion-dollar design-build and infrastructure developments for government agencies, Ballard Spahr Chair Mark Stewart announced on Wednesday.

Estes will work in the P3/Infrastructure Group, which is part of the firm’s National Finance department. He will advise clients on the procurement, negotiation, financing and administration of alternative delivery projects, including design-build and public-private partnerships. He will work across the transportation, mass transit, social infrastructure, ports and energy sectors.

He is joining the firm as the federal government is looking to implement a massive infrastructure program to rebuild roads, bridges and water/wastewater systems across the country and to fund renewable energy, broadband and the resiliency and hardening of infrastructure — all areas in which Estes has practiced law.

“The federal government is making an unprecedented investment in infrastructure and Ballard Spahr’s P3/Infrastructure practice is an ideal platform from which I can serve clients as they serve the public directly or with private partners in facilitating critical infrastructure development projects,” Estes said. “I’m thrilled to be joining the firm at such an important time.”

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Estes was vice president and general counsel to the New York City School Construction Authority, which serves the largest school district in the United States.

The SCA constructs and renovates buildings in the district, which has almost 1,800 schools and over 1 million students. As the SCA’s chief legal officer, he counseled management on all legal aspects of the authority’s $19 billion five-year capital plan.

Estes also served from 2009 to 2015 as general counsel and secretary to the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corp., which has one of the nation’s longest tolled highways and which during the years he was there had a 500-mile-long waterway.

He also advised the Thruway Authority on the $3.9 billion contract to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, which was New York State’s first design-build project and was financed through a $1.6 billion federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan. He also counseled the authority on food and fuel concessionaires, a P3 fiber-optic contract and renewable energy generation.

“Bill’s extensive background with alternative project delivery methods will serve our clients well during an exciting time for infrastructure development,” said Steve Park, co-leader of the P3/Infrastructure Group. “He is a terrific attorney and a great fit for our practice and clients.”