John P. Smolen


John P. Smolen counsels public entities, private concessionaires/contractors, and financing parties in large, complex design-build and public-private partnership (P3/PPP) civil and social infrastructure projects across the country. John Co-Leads our P3/Infrastructure Group.

John has played a leading role in the procurement, negotiation, financing, and administration of several P3, design-build, and other alternative project delivery projects in the transportation, transit, energy, and social infrastructure spaces. John has represented public clients in several states, as well as developers and lenders in several horizontal and vertical infrastructure projects from statutory drafting, through pre-procurement, deal structuring, procurement, and negotiation, to post-selection commercial and financial close, with additional experience in implementation and administration.


Representative Matters

  • City of Nome, Alaska (Port of Nome) – lead P3 project counsel of landside and seaside development of Arctic Deep Draft Port
  • Counsel to the startup renewable energy developer, financing party in connection with suite of commercial installations
  • Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the Major Bridges P3 PDA/DBFM projects
  • New Jersey Transit – Microgrid project – counsel to the advisory team in connection with a traction power resiliency project

Professional Highlights

Pro Bono Experience

As part of his pro bono practice, John has represented a non-profit transitional program on real estate and corporate matters, military veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on issues relating to benefits, persons in asylum proceedings, and homeless/at-risk clients in criminal record expungement proceedings.

Professional Activities

Maryland State Bar Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers Global, "Up and Coming," Projects: PPP, 2022, 2023

Chambers USA, Projects: PPP (nationwide) "Up and Coming," 2021, 2022; Band 4, 2023

Legal 500, Finance - Project Finance, 2022

Recent Speaking Engagements

Panelist, Innovations in Infrastructure, Drexel University and Bond Dealers of America, December 8, 2022

Panelist/Moderator: EVs/AVs – What to Do to Get Ready and Make it Happen, the P3 Conference, March 2022

Panelist/Moderator, Reprise: Contractors in P3 Transactions, Climate Resiliency P3’s, the P3 Government Conference, December 2021

Panelist/Moderator, Contractors in P3 Transactions, the P3 Conference, September 2021


Co-author, "East End Crossing Project – Availability Payment P3 in Action," World Highways, June 2017



University of Kansas School of Law (J.D.)
Editor-in-Chief, Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (M.A.)

U.S. Naval Academy (B.S., with merit)



District of Columbia


U.S. Supreme Court