Nossaman LLP

Geoffrey S. Yarema


T 213.612.7842
F 213.612.7801
777 South Figueroa Street, 34th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Geoffrey S. Yarema is a nationally recognized leader in infrastructure development and finance.  He has pioneered innovative procurement, contracting and financing structures for large public works projects throughout North America and is an essential advisor to public agencies seeking to make effective use of innovative forms of contracts including: design-build, design-build-operate-maintain, toll concession, availability payment, pre-development, and other kinds of public-private partnerships (P3s).

With three decades of experience in the field, Mr. Yarema is regularly sought out by U.S. state departments of transportation and regional transportation agencies, frequently called upon to act as Special Assistant Attorney General on groundbreaking infrastructure projects with career-betting importance.

Mr. Yarema's prominence in the industry has been widely honored: 

  • Ranked in Chambers Global and Chambers USA as Top Tier/Band 1 for Projects: PPP and described as "held in high esteem throughout the US PPP community", a "leader in his field", one of the "most influential attorneys in the business" and "the dominant player in PPP work in the USA." 
  • Recognized by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association in 2012 and 2003 as the "P3 Private Sector Entrepreneur of the Year" for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of P3s (the only 2 time designee); and named in 2008 as the private sector individual who had contributed most significantly over the last 20 years to P3s in the U.S. transport sector.
  • Named by Public Works magazine as a "2007 Trendsetter".
  • Ranked by California Lawyer magazine among the state's top 25 attorneys in 2000.
  • Appointed by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters in 2007 to serve on the Congressionally-mandated National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission.

Representative Work

Texas Department of Transportation.  Leads a team serving as Special Counsel on the largest P3 program in U.S. history, structuring procurement and contract documents, negotiating agreements and closing innovative financing arrangements for a pipeline of Design-Build and Toll Concession-delivered projects worth more than $12 billion, including:

  • Central Texas Turnpike Program (including a $917 million TIFIA loan, the largest to date in program history)
  • State Highway 130, Segments 5 & 6  (named 2008 Transportation Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine) 
  • North Tarrant Express Phase I  (named 2009 Global Transport Deal of the Year by Infrastructure Journal) 
  • LBJ Express (IH 635)  (first project to be accepted into FHWA Express Lanes Demonstration Program and named 2010 Project of the Year by American Road & Transportation Builders Association)
  • DFW Connector  (largest ARRA-funded project in the country)
  • Grand Parkway
  • IH 35E Managed Lanes
  • North Tarrant Express Phase II

California Department of Transportation – Presidio Parkway.  Supervised team serving as outside legal advisor for the procurement and financing of an Availability Contract to design, build, finance and operate the $1.1 billion, six-lane reconstruction and seismic retrofit of San Francisco's southern access to the Golden Gate Bridge through a historically significant national park.  Only the third highway project to be developed through an Availability Payment P3 in the United States, it is the first procurement initiated under California's 2009 P3 law, reached financial close in June 2012 and was selected 2012 Project of the Year by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association,  Americas P3 Deal of the Year by Project Finance International, North American P3 Deal of the Year by Project Finance and Best Real Estate Deal of the Year by the San Francisco Business Times.

New York State Thruway Authority – Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project.  Supervised team serving as procurement and contracting counsel for a $3.1 billion Design-Build Contract to replace New York's longest bridge, the largest such contract to date in the United States.

California High Speed Rail Authority – Initial Operating Segment.  Advising on the institutional arrangements, procurement plan and financing options for an 800-mile, multi-billion dollar high-speed train system to connect the state's major urban centers, including a series of Design-Build contracts to develop the Initial Operating Segment covering  approximately 120 miles from Fresno to Bakersfield, the first of which ($985 million) is expected to be executed Q2 2013.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Accelerated Regional Transportation Improvements Program.  Serving as a key advisor on the procurement and award of an Availability Payment Contract to design, build, operate and maintain $800 million in highway improvements, including HOT lanes in the I-5 corridor. 

British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Partnerships British Columbia – Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project.  Engaged as a key advisor on the procurement and award of an Availability Payment Contract to reconstruct the 110-kilometer, CDN$600 million highway between Vancouver and Whistler, critical to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Awards & Honors

Bio Photo
Bio Photo



J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1978, Articles Editor, Virginia Journal of International Law
Recipient, Hardy Cross Dillard Prize on International Law

B.S., University of Florida, 1975, Phi Beta Kappa (Environmental Sciences)



Professional Affiliations

National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission: Member (2007-2009)

Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, University of Southern California: Member of the Advisory Board (2006-2011)

National Academies of Science, Transportation Research Board (TRB): Member, Taxation and Finance Committee (2001-2009)

American Road and Transportation Builders' Association: Past Member, Executive Committee and Board of Directors; Design-Build Task Force; Past President and Current Member, Board of Directors, Public-Private Ventures Division; Co-Chair, Finance Working Group, TEA-21 Reauthorization Task Force

Lecturer, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Project Finance Institute

Awards & Honors

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