John H. Bunz - Brochure


J.D. (with Honors), Drake University, 1990

B.A., Luther College, 1987


Practice Groups

  • Business Entities
  • Economic Development/Urban Renewal
  • Higher Education
  • Public Finance
  • Real Estate & Environmental


John practices in the area of public finance and also works on finance matters within the Higher Education practice group. He has experience serving as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, bank counsel and borrower's counsel in various revenue bond financings, including those related to higher education, public power, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, and governmental and 501c(3) hospitals. John also has experience with new markets tax credit transactions.

John has been involved with facilities financings encompassing a wide variety of financing techniques and structures. Higher Education facilities financed include every type of capital improvement seen on college campuses, including dormitories, stadiums, research facilities and academic buildings. John also has broad experience with student loan revenue bond financing programs, and is bond counsel to many of the Iowa community colleges with respect to the Iowa New Jobs Training Program.

Prior to joining the firm’s Public Finance department, he practiced in-house with the Principal Financial Group, as a staff attorney with The Marley Company in Kansas City, and as an associate with the law firm of Shugart, Thompson and Kilroy (k/n/a Posinelli) in Overland Park, Kansas.

After law school, he served as law clerk to Justice K. David Harris of the Iowa Supreme Court. John chairs the firm's Business Entities Practice Group, and is a past member of the firm's Management Committee.

Bar Admissions

Iowa, 1990

Kansas, 1991

Missouri, 1992

Court Admissions

All Iowa Courts

Representative Projects

A sample of recent matters and closings John has completed include the following:

In the third and fourth quarters of 2019, represented a community development entity ("CDE") in providing debt financing for the following New Market Tax Credit projects:

  • construction of a new feed mill and the installation of certain equipment needed for the facility containing approximately 30,000 square feet, plus 10,000 square feet of office and warehouse space located in Storm Lake, Iowa
  • renovation and expansion of an existing youth emergency facility which provides mental and behavioral health services for youth and their families at its location in Mason City, Iowa
  • expansion of a specialty lighting manufacturing and operation facility located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and the expansion of a lighting production facility located in Muscatine, Iowa
  • construction of a new Boys and Girls Club facility and related equipment located on the campus of a private university in Des Moines, Iowa
  • renovation of an approximately 6,500 square foot historic special event center located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa
  • construction and renovation of an approximately 9,000 square foot historic performing arts center for rehearsal space, green rooms, ADA compliant dressing rooms, laundry and shower facilities, enclosed loading docks, administrative office space, new lavatories for patrons, a new concessions area for patrons, and the construction of a new kitchen storage area, located in Des Moines, Iowa
  • construction of certain leasehold improvements constructed for the benefit of the Boys and Girls Club at two schools owned by the Des Moines Independent Community School District in Des Moines, Iowa

As bond counsel in 2019:

  • represented a large Big Ten university with respect to the issuance of tax-exempt bonds related to the construction of a $90,000,000 football stadium end zone project
  • represented an “on-behalf of” student loan issuer with respect to $140,000,000 of an issuance comprised of a multiple series of taxable and tax-exempt bonds, the proceeds of which will be used to finance eligible student loans


American Bar Association

Iowa State Bar Association

Polk County Bar Association

National Association of Bond Lawyers


Best Lawyers in America© - Public Finance Law (2013-2024)

  • Des Moines Lawyer of the Year 2019
  • Des Moines Lawyer of the Year 2022

Super Lawyers Great Plains - Banking (2021-2024)


National Association of Bond Lawyers, The Workshop, “Basic overview of Opportunity Zones” and “Community Redevelopment with New Markets, Historic, Energy Tax Credits and Other Incentives,” September 2019

Ahlers & Cooney, Post Issuance Compliance for Bonds Client Seminar, "Primary Market Disclosure; Role of Disclosure Counsel," October 2016

Professional, Community and Civic Leadership

Des Moines Golf and Country Club, Board of Directors


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