Marc Lemon, former chief counsel to the Federal Highway Administration, has joined the global infrastructure and public-private partnerships (PPP) practice of Washington DC-based law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge.
While serving as chief counsel to the Federal Highway Administration, Lemon helped to develop the US Department of Transportation’s PPP-focused Office of Innovative Programme Delivery, according to a statement from McKenna.
Lemon also helped to overhaul the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, more commonly known as TIFIA, which provides low-cost, long-term loans to infrastructure projects, according to the statement. On the side of the private sector, Lemon has also advised on the Ambassador Bridge connecting Michigan to Ontario, Canada.
In an interview, Lemon, who most recently served as a partner at Baker & Miller, described his focus as PPPs, transportation and regulatory issues, and government finance. Lemon said he was optimistic about the development of PPPs in the US, particularly in the north-east.
“There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in [PPPs] across the country but especially in the north-east where we have not seen [PPPs] utilised to a great extent thus far,” Lemon said.
He said the pending reauthorisation of the US’ current surface transportation legislation, which is set to expire at the end of September, could enable “a great expansion of [PPP] vehicles and opportunities to allow for private investment in the national highway system and the surface transportation programme”.
“We are seeing an interest and acknowledgement in Washington now that this is really the most viable way of funding things like congestion relief and capacity expansion and even maintenance of the national highway system,” Lemon said.
Frank Rapoport, chair of the firm’s global infrastructure and PPP practice, described Lemon as a governmental affairs expert who has “tremendous insight into the Department of Transportation and the TIFIA programme”.
Rapoport also said he believes that the north-eastern US, particularly New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, “will ultimately become a robust and gigantic market for [PPP] projects”.
McKenna’s infrastructure and PPP group consists of 27 lawyers and nine public policy advisors, according to a spokesperson. Lemon will be based in the firm’s New York and Washington offices, according to a statement.