McCarter & English, LLP is a firm of approximately 400 lawyers with offices in Boston, Hartford, Stamford, New York, Newark, East Brunswick, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Washington, DC. In continuous business for more than 170 years, we are among the oldest and largest law firms in America. 

james choukas-bradley


Mr. Choukas-Bradley is a partner with McCarter & English who joined the firm from Miller, Balis & O’Neil, P.C. in February 2014. He focuses on counseling and representing public gas systems and their joint action agencies, individually and in groups, in their dealings with energy suppliers, pipelines, financial institutions, hedge counterparties and customers. 

As a pioneer and leading practitioner in helping public gas systems operate in the deregulated gas industry, he has assisted in the formation of joint action agencies, development of financed natural gas supply acquisition programs and projects, development of publicly-owned natural gas pipeline projects to attach competitive gas supplies and negotiation of market-leading supply and capacity management transactions. 

Mr. Choukas-Bradley's energy practice is national and includes representation of issuers of tax-exempt bonds in structured finance transactions, negotiation and drafting of energy contracts, structuring of retail rates and tariffs, negotiation of hedging contracts, assistance in legislative efforts and practice before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

advisory counsel


Mr. Norman and Mr. Noble joined Municipal Capital Markets Group, Inc. (MCM) in January 2013 and together constitute the MCM Structured Finance and Advisory Practice.  They specialize in structured financings of municipal natural gas prepayments and have been involved with BBE since its formation in 2008 and with its Co-managing COO and CFO since 2000.  The MCM  Structured Finance and Energy Team provides financial advisory and swap advisory services to BBE. 


Mr. Norman is a veteran Managing Director of Wall Street firms including Wells Fargo Securities and Banc of America Securities with over 30 years of experience in municipal finance.  Mr. Norman, together with other members of the BBE team, pioneered municipal gas prepayments beginning in the late 1980’s upon deregulation of the interstate pipeline industry and as Senior Manager, Co-Senior Manager or Financial Advisor has completed 23 prepayments totaling $11 billion with a diverse array of credit and bond structures. This experience comprises about one-third of all municipal prepayments ever completed.  Mr. Norman has recruited, trained and managed a team of investment bankers and overseen transactions including gas pipelines, reserve acquisitions, central utility plants, co-generation projects and taxable cash flow monetizations and securitizations. Mr. Norman is a licensed Municipal Advisor,  General Securities Principal, Municipal Securities Principal, and General Securities Representative. Mr. Norman is a former Treasurer of the Colorado Municipal Bond Dealers Association and is a frequent speaker at American Public Gas Association and Municipal Bond Buyer events.  Mr. Norman started  his professional career in 1980 in the oil and gas industry with Halliburton. 

Mr. Noble has over 20 years of experience in public finance at firms including Wells Fargo, Banc of America Securities and First Union.  Mr. Noble specializes in natural gas prepay contracts, natural gas acquisition, energy savings performance contracts, farm subsidies, tax credit bonds, enhanced use leasing, real property lease finance, and renewable energy.  This experience includes developing and analyzing structures for new and innovative projects for energy acquisition and federal structured transactions. Mr. Noble has played a key role in 13 natural gas prepays with a par amount of approximately $10 billion.   In addition, he structured the first publicly offered Clean Renewable Energy Bond for National Rural Utilities in 2008. Mr. Noble is a licensed Municipal Advisor and General Securities Representative. 

manhattan heights consulting

Jesse Choukas-Bradley


Jesse Choukas-Bradley has been a member of the Black Belt team since 2014. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2013, Jesse moved to New York City and founded Manhattan Heights Consulting, a sole proprietorship that provides consulting services to gas utilities throughout the southeast. Jesse serves as Black Belt's New York representative and  has close relationships with Black Belt's financial partners in the city. Jesse has worked on two successful gas prepayment transactions.