December 18, 2019
Dallas-based law firm Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, has added three attorneys to its affordable housing team. Donald Cunningham, Jr., will head up their new Baton Rouge, Louisiana office. Kara Hargrove and Esther Lee will work in Dallas.
Mr. Cunningham has vast legal expertise in public financing, affordable housing, housing tax credits, business development strategies, and other diverse areas of low-income housing finance. He has represented private and public entities on construction projects involving multimillion-dollar financing, and has been counsel on major projects that employed groundbreaking financial strategies.
“Donnie has been in the industry for many years, and his name is known and respected,” commented John Shackelford, founding partner. “With that long experience comes a deep knowledge of affordable housing, and we’re delighted to have his leadership for our expansion into Baton Rouge.”
Mr. Cunningham’s professional history includes acting as bond counsel for the closing of LIHTC (low-income housing tax credit) bond transactions totaling $100 million. He has represented government entities as bond counsel and acted as underwriters counsel to several major investment banking institutions.
“Shackelford’s expansion into Louisiana is another bold decision to grow the firm’s footprint,” Mr. Cunningham said. “I’m delighted to bring them my experience with affordable housing and play a significant role.”
Mr. Cunningham has additional experience in mergers and acquisitions, investigations, asset securitization, debt financing, ratepayer-backed securities, due diligence, and low-income housing tax credits.
Kara Hargrove’s legal experience touches on all aspects of business transactions, including helping clients in the securing of financing, M&A work, entity creation and conversion of existing entities. She graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law, where she received the American Bar Association’s 2018 Student Editorial Award for her work as managing editor of the SMU International Law Review Association’s Year in Review.
Esther Lee is another graduate of SMU Law. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma. Esther focuses primarily on a broad business transactional practice with an emphasis on real estate, corporate and partnership law. She is also bilingual, fluent in English and Korean.
Shackelford’s expansion into Louisiana follows their move into Tennessee with the opening of a Nashville office. The firm already has several Texas locations.