Jim Mello, senior member of the firm’s Public Finance practice, focuses on public law. A primary part of his practice involves private-public development projects and governmental finance. His insights into the complex and changing world of public finance and knowledge of federal, state and local governments allow him to provide clients with sound business advice.

As counsel to municipalities, development entities, small manufacturers, nonprofit organizations and investment banking firms, Jim structures deals to finance cash flow borrowings, infrastructure projects, redevelopment projects and other projects. His work has resulted in the financing or refinancing of many public/private projects including retail shopping centers, business headquarters and manufacturing facilities.

In addition to his transactional practice, Jim has significant municipal law and public finance litigation experience. In actions relating to tax increment financing, zoning and finance, he serves as trial and appellate counsel to parties through all phases of governmental litigation.

Jim is a frequent presenter on issues of municipal and redevelopment law and public finance before such organizations as the Missouri Municipal League, Missouri Economic Development Finance Association and Missouri Bar Association.


  • Saint Louis University John Cook School of Business  (J.D., cum laude, 1990)
  • University of Missouri  (M.S., 1977)
  • University of Missouri  (B.S., summa cum laude, 1974)


  • Missouri, 1990
  • Illinois, 1991

Professional Activities

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • Missouri Economic Development Financing Association
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis


  • The Best Lawyers in America®; Public Finance Law, (2003-present); Municipal Law (2018-present); Lawyer of the Year (2016)
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers® (2008-present)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Real Estate (2010-present)
  • Outstanding Local Government Achievement Award, East-West Gateway Council of Governments (2022)
  • AV® Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell


Prior to joining the firm, Jim accumulated extensive public management experience serving as the chief administrative officer in the cities of Ferguson, Mo.; Walpole, Mass.; and Perryville, Mo.

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