Robert F. McCarthy

Rob McCarthy is a public finance attorney. He serves as bond counsel on structured revenue financings for development projects, including bonds issued by port authorities, new community authorities, and the State of Ohio and its agencies. Rob also represents school districts and other public entities on general obligation financings.

In addition to his work as bond counsel, Rob works with public and private clients to establish and manage economic development programs, including joint economic development districts (JEDDs), new community authorities (NCAs), and tax increment financing (TIF). He also negotiates economic development incentives on behalf of school districts and other public and private parties.

Earlier in his career, Rob served as a law clerk to Justice Yvette McGee Brown on the Supreme Court of Ohio and as an assistant attorney general in the administration of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

Rob serves as Vice Chair for Talent in Bricker Graydon LLP’s Public Sector Group.


  • Proposed Honda-LG Energy Solution $3.5 billion battery plant (Fayette County, Ohio)

    Represented Fayette County, the Jefferson Township - Washington Court House Joint Economic Development District, and the West Central Ohio Port Authority in various aspects of the proposed Honda-LG Energy Solution $3.5 billion battery plant joint venture to be located in northwest Fayette County. This work included negotiation of a development agreement, implementation of tax increment financing, use of a joint economic development district to support the project, and negotiation and documentation of direct incentives including property tax exemptions and sales and use tax exemptions with respect to building materials for the proposed plant.

  • L Brands Beauty Park campus in New Albany, Ohio

    Served as bond counsel to the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority for an approximately $230,000,000 revenue bond issue to fund the costs of construction of a 360,000 square-foot office facility and a 500,000 square-foot distribution facility. Advice included negotiating sales and use tax abatements on building materials and real property tax abatements on real property tax values.

  • First greenfield project in the United States

    Represented an international paper products manufacturer in connection with the establishment of the first greenfield project in the United States. This Project involved the creation of a public-private partnership to finance the necessary infrastructure, including a 12-mile gas line. The Bricker team included construction, environmental, public finance and real estate attorneys.

  • $120 million mixed-use development project

    Successfully led the closing of a mixed-use public-private development project in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Served multiple roles in the project’s financing, including as bond counsel to the developer, commercial loan bank representative and legal counsel for PACE financing.

  • OFCC K-12 Project on State University Campus

    Served as counsel for a recently consolidated school district for a $42 million K-12 OFCC (state) co-funded project on the campus of a state university, with the local share bonds sold to the USDA. 

  • International manufacturing facility in central Ohio

    Retained by an Italian-based company to provide all legal services in the construction and development of a 1.4 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in central Ohio. One of the main aspects of the site selection involved the environmental conditions of the site and environmental permitting issues in the project’s development. In this engagement, the firm assisted with various real estate, environmental and tax matters, including the negotiation of a variety of easements. The PUCO has approved energy efficiency rebates for the company’s combined heat and power systems which will result in significant cost savings and operational benefits.

  • $218 million State of Ohio bond issuance

    Served as bond counsel for the issuance of over $218 million in Major New State Infrastructure Project Revenue Bonds. Responsibilities included drafting documents to reflect the understanding of the parties, as well as the tax analysis necessary with respect to the use of proceeds. As bond counsel, we rendered our approving opinion as to the authorization and valid issuance of the bonds and their status of being exempt from federal income taxation.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, Board of Trustees of the Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Member, NAIOP Central Ohio Chapter
  • Vice chair and member of Governance Committee, Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District
  • Member, Education Committee, Ohio Government Finance Officers Association
  • Secretary, Bridge Park New Community Authority

Presentations & Published Works

  • Presenter, "Downtown Redevelopment Tools: Hot Topics in Municipal Economic Development," OMAA/OML Webinar, May 2019
  • Presenter, "What Your Bond Finance Team Worries About," CDFA PFM Capital Markets Webinar Series, May 2019
  • Presenter, "Economic Development: Responsible Growth in Your Community," Ohio Township Association Law Directors' Group, August 2018
  • Presenter, "Project Finance and Incentives Options," Ohio Municipal League Summer Regional Conference Series, June 2018
  • Presenter, "Economic Development Incentives - Lessons Learned," 2017 OSBA Capital Conference, November 2017
  • Presenter, "JEDDs and Other Economic Development Tools," Ohio Association of Public Treasurers Annual Fall Conference, October 2017
  • Presenter, "Advanced Economic Development," Ohio Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), Annual Conference, September 2017
  • Presenter, "Economic Development Fundamentals," Ohio Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), Annual Conference, September 2017
  • Presenter, "County Role in Economic Development: Update on Recent Legal Trends," Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association Summer Workshop, June 2017
  • Presenter, "Legislative Update - 2017: Update and a Look Forward," Ohio Economic Development Association 360: State Economic Development Briefing, May 2017
  • Presenter, "Economic Development Ethics," Ohio Economic Development Association 2017 Ohio Basic Economic Development Course, April 2017
  • Presenter, "Encouraging Cooperative Development Initiatives through JEDDs," Ohio Municipal League webinar, January 2017
  • Presenter, "Downtown Redevelopment Districts and Innovation Districts: A New Economic Development Tool,” City of Logan/Hocking County Forum on Downtown Revitalization, January 2017

Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association; Columbus Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of Bond Lawyers

Awards & Recognition

  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Public Finance Law), 2020-2023


  • The Ohio State University (J.D., 2008); Articles Editor, Ohio State Law Journal; recipient, Moritz Merit Scholarship
  • Harvard University (B.A. with honors, 2002); President, Institute of Politics (a student center and memorial to President John F. Kennedy)
Best Lawyers Award Badge
Best Lawyers Award Badge
Best Lawyers Award Badge