The General Counsel
Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed Barbara Adams General Counsel on June 1, 2005. As General Counsel, Ms. Adams leads a staff of more than 450 attorneys in representing the Governor and 32 executive and independent agencies in litigation, transactions, regulatory, legislative and criminal justice matters. Ms. Adams is also a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and Senior Staff.
Prior to her appointment as General Counsel, Ms. Adams was a partner at Duane Morris LLP, in Philadelphia, a national law firm of more than 500 attorneys. She served as chair of the firm’s Finance Practice Group and focused her practice on taxable and tax-exempt public finance, affordable housing development, state and local government law, energy law and campaign finance law. The majority of Ms. Adams’ transactions concerned financings involving a governmental entity or program. Ms. Adams’ practice also addressed special circumstances created by government involvement in development and finance projects, including procurement; open meeting/“sunshine” law, right to know, freedom of information and publicity issues; tax and collection concerns; public policy limitations upon certain contracting rights; governing board and council deliberations and procedures; evaluation of condemnation and other sovereign powers; and intergovernmental cooperation matters.
Additionally, Ms. Adams frequently acted in the role of bond counsel, underwriters’ counsel, borrower’s counsel and trustee’s counsel in bond issues for governmental debt management and for housing, transportation, infrastructure, educational and health care facilities. She has handled the negotiation and the documentation of numerous derivative products, credit enhancements and escrow restructuring programs.
Ms. Adams has also served in a variety of professional, civic and charitable endeavors. She is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers and the American, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia Bar Associations. She is a charter member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. She also served as a member of the boards of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Enterprise, the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations and the People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia and as co-chair of the Policy Committee on Housing for then Governor-elect Rendell’s transition team.
Ms. Adams is a graduate of Temple University School of Law and Smith College.