Samuel W. Howell, IV

Charleston native, Sam Howell, has practiced law for over 30 years. He con­centrates his practice in the related areas of Public Finance, State and Local Government Law, and Economic Development Incentives. During his career, Mr Howell has served as general counsel to several governmental bodies and commissions including service as the Charleston County Attorney from 1997 to 2001.

Mr Howell’s work in public finance includes providing bond counsel services to the State of South Carolina, many of its agencies, and many of its local governments, including cities, counties, school districts, special purpose districts and regional authorities. In addition to his extensive experience as bond counsel to local governments throughout the South and to Native American tribal governments and enterprises across the continent, Sam Howell has provided services as underwriter’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, developer’s counsel, disclosure counsel, trustee counsel, special tax counsel, and lender’s counsel in bond transactions.

His client work in public finance includes general obligation bonds and warrants, utility revenue bonds, annual appropriation financings, cash-flow financings and other assessment bond financings. He has worked on every type of private activity bond for the private sector, including manufacturing facilities, affordable housing, airports, hospitals and other non-profits and port facilities.

In federal and state appellate courts, Sam Howell has argued many cases on the powers of governmental bodies, public finance issues and related issues of taxation. His State and Local Government Law practice also includes one of the most extensive election law practices in the South Carolina.

Mr Howell’s Economic Development Incentives practice includes public/private partnerships, and the various methods to fund the costs of capital improvements associated with residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use development. This experience includes tax increment financing (TIFs), special assessment financing (CDDs and MIDs), industrial revenue bonds, PILOTs and FILOTs, multi-county industrial and business parks, and related economic development incentives.

In addition to his extensive legal experience, Sam Howell’s service on boards and commissions has provided a unique “in house” insight into the dynamics of the State’s bond-issuing authorities and local governments. Few bond attorneys have any similar experience. He served on the Board of Commis­sioners of the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority from 2002 to 2006. He also served on the South Carolina State Election Commission from 1992 to 2002, serving as the Commission’s Chairman from 1997 to 2000.

Sam Howell’s interests include hunting, fishing, history, and Southern litera­ture. He serves or has served on the boards of the South Carolina Historical Society, the University South Carolina Library, and Friends of the Hunley.

Charleston, South Carolina, 1956
University of the South, B.A., 1977,
University of South Carolina, J.D., 1980
Practice Areas:
Municipal Bonds; Municipal Finance; Public Finance; Industrial Development Bonds; Governmental Law; State Government Law; Local Government Law; Economic Development Law; Economic Incentives; Election, Campaign and Political Law
Charleston County Bar Association; South Carolina Bar; National Association of Bond Lawyers; International Municipal Lawyers Association.
1980, South Carolina; 1997, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina and U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
Miscellaneous Information:
Recipient, Georgia M. Wilkins Scholarship. Member, South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, 2002-2007. Member, South Carolina State Election Commission, 1992-1993, 1994-2002; Chairman, 1997-2000. Member, Election Law Study Committee of South Carolina General Assembly, 1989-1994. Member, Nominating Committee for State Legislative Audit Council, 1994-1995. Charleston County Attorney, 1997-2001.