Ballard Spahr LLP > Philadelphia, United States > Firm Profile

Ballard Spahr LLP
United States

Finance > Financial services regulation Tier 2

The consumer financial services group at Ballard Spahr LLP offers comprehensive advice covering complex CFPB and agency regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters. The team is also recognized for its knowledge of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, allowing it to attract a variety of payment system providers, fintech firms and private equity firms as clients. Daniel McKenna and John Socknat steers these efforts, working out of the Philadelphia and Washington DC offices, respectively; in Pennsylvania, John Culhane is noted for his student lending law knowledge. Former CFPB official Michael Gordon joined the firm in March 2022, with Mark Furlettti leaving in February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Daniel McKenna; John Socknat

Other key lawyers:


‘The Ballard Spahr team provides some of the most informative, practical, and relevant advice and guidance in the industry. Their client education on important industry topics is always timely, on-point, and practical. They do not simply repeat the issue, they sincerely put forth effort to educate their clients as to options and suggestions to address the issue.’

‘Michael Gordon brings a perspective on regulatory matters that others may not have, in light of his past experience within a federal regulatory office.’

‘Lisa Lanham’s knowledge in relation to financial services licensing requirements and regulation, coupled with the relationships she has built within regulatory agencies has been very beneficial in moving license projects and issues forward efficiently and effectively.’

Key clients

Discover Financial Services

Goldman Sachs

Accenture Credit Services

Lending Club

Social Financial

Bread Financial

Toyota Financial Services

American Bankers Association

Consumer Bankers Association

Snap Finance

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

Community Loans of America

Finance > Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal Tier 2

Ballard Spahr LLP’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice group is well known for its municipal bankruptcy expertise, particularly in connection with chapter 9 cases involving pension obligations debt. The practice has a strong reputation for advising indenture trustees but also represents fiscally challenged municipalities, underwriters, bond insurers, and institutional investors. William Rhodes in Philadelphia, and Tobey Daluz and Matthew Summers in Wilmington, jointly head the multidisciplinary practice group. Public finance specialist Rhodes leads on municipal recovery and represents issuers, broker-dealers, and investors in all areas of public finance, with a focus on state oversight of distressed municipalities, while litigators Daluz and Summers also have broad bankruptcy experience. In a standout matter, Rhodes and Kevin Cunningham, also in Philadelphia, represented an indenture trustee in connection with the covenant defaults and financial distress of the owners and operators of multi-family housing units, involving asset sales, bondholders’ presentations, and the negotiation of forbearance agreements. William Wassweiler in Minneapolis plays an important role in the team, and regularly advises financial institutions serving as corporate trustees in circumstances involving municipal bonds.

Practice head(s):

Tobey Daluz; William Rhodes; Matthew Summers

Other key lawyers:

David Fernandez; Kevin Cunningham; Kimberly Magrini; William Wassweiler

Key clients

KBC Bank N.V.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

National Federation of Municipal Analysts

Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority

Wilmington Trust, National Association

UMB Bank, N.A.

Build America Mutual Assurance Company

U.S. Bank National Association

Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A.

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Computershare Trust Company

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 2

With a strong national footprint, Ballard Spahr LLP demonstrates strength advising buyers and sellers – ranging from privately held companies to multinational public corporations and private equity funds – on middle and lower-middle market M&A. Brian Doerner, who is a key contact for life sciences transactions in the Philadelphia office, and Barbara Rummel in Minneapolis, who has completed numerous transactions involving public and privately held businesses, serve as co-leaders of the firm’s M&A group. Co-head of the private equity practice Maggie Tatton in Minneapolis and Gregory Seltzer, who oversees the emerging companies and venture capital department, are other key contacts. Based in Phoenix, Karen McConnell specializes in corporate and securities law, and has a wealth of experience in both strategic M&A and private equity investments.

Practice head(s):

Brian Doerner; Barbara Lano Rummel

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Communications Systems, Inc.

Real estate > Land use/zoning Tier 2

Ballard Spahr LLP combines the wider real estate department’s multi-disciplinary capabilities to undertake a broad range of mandates in the space, with emphasis on strong performance across zoning and land use, leasing, complex development, finance and construction. Highlights for the group include strong work in historic preservation and environmental issues, on behalf of leading business, civic leaders, community and governmental clients. Baltimore’s Amy McClain is a key point of contact as chair of the firm’s real estate department, while Matthew McClure  heads up the land use and zoning team and emphasizes his practice on development, zoning and historic preservation issues. The office was also bolstered by the elevation of Ashley De Luca to partner in 2022. David Gest  has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Amy McClain; Matthew McClure

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Midwood Investment & Development

Exeter Property Group

Wexford Science & Technology

The Rodin Group

Callahan Ward Companies

Mural Arts Philadelphia

Pearl Properties


Brevet Capital Management

Temple University

Landmark Properties

Metropolitan Council


Padre Canyon Resort

Hilco Redevelopment Partners

Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: automotive/transport Tier 3

Led by the ‘extremely responsive’ Neal Walters , Ballard Spahr LLP‘s New Jersey-based team regularly represents automotive clients in the defense of single plaintiff consumer and catastrophic injury actions, as well as in nationwide consumer class actions and appeals in state and federal courts.  As well as handling litigation throughout the life cycle, through to trial if necessary, the firm also provides risk management advice, helping to minimize any potential disputes. Walters has an excellent relationship with longstanding client Subaru and continues to lead the firm’s efforts in a slew of class actions progressing in the District of New Jersey. Associate Casey Watkins, who rejoined the firm in October 2022 following a stint as in-house counsel, also regularly provides vital input on litigation matters, as well as guiding clients through regulatory compliance matters, including in the context of autonomous vehicles.

Practice head(s):

Neal Walters

Other key lawyers:

Roberto Rivera-Soto; Steven Burkhart; David Haworth; Casey Watkins


Neal Walters is extremely responsive.’

Key clients

Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru Corporation of Japan

Omnicare, Inc., a CVS Health company

Sottoriva SPA

Oracle Finance

Lubert Adler and 2400 Market, Inc.

Lisec America

Energy > Renewable/alternative power Tier 3

Clients such as project developers and sponsors, investors, and lenders seek out Ballard Spahr LLP for advice on the acquisition, sale, and financing of projects in solar, on and offshore wind, biogas, and geothermal power. The energy group is jointly led by Patrick R. Gillard, Steve T. Park and Randall J. Towers in Philadelphia, and Baltimore’s John P. Smolen; with Gillard being recognized for his capabilities in a range of matters, such as utility finance, transactions,  public and private debt financing and the acquisition of electric power assets. Other notable practitioners include real estate and commercial finance partner Bruce Johnson and business transactions partner Matthew Vantusko, both in Las Vegas. In Minneapolis, Raymond Faricy is a key contact for clients seeking advice on the range of transactional matters in the wind and solar sectors, especially power purchase agreements. Washington’s Katie Leesman  is sought out by clients for her expertise on energy project finance and public-private partnership projects, project development and acquisition.

Practice head(s):

Patrick R. Gillard; Randall J. Towers; Steve T. Park; John P. Smolen

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Constellation Energy Generation LLC

Exelon Corporation

Controlled Thermal Resources, Inc. and its project subsidiaries (collectively, CTR)

McDonald’s Corporation

PECO Energy Company

University of Florida

Work highlights

    Finance > Project finance

    Ballard Spahr LLP is well regarded for its project finance work in both the energy and infrastructure sectors, with a strong roster of clients including lenders and sponsors, project developers, and government entities. The firm often works for both lenders and project sponsors on project finance assignments. Patrick Gillard and Steve Park, who are both based in Philadelphia, lead the P3 and infrastructure team, which has experience advising on projects in areas including transport and waste. John Smolen in Baltimore is also strong in this area, while Washington DC-based Katie Leesman is a key contact for work in energy projects, in particular in solar.

    Practice head(s):

    Patrick Gillard; Randall J. Towers; Steve Park; John Smolen

    Other key lawyers:

    Katie Leesman


    ‘The Ballard team, led by John Smolen, was extremely qualified in the areas of alternative project delivery methods. Each team member had the needed experience and the technical skills to complete the work promptly and professionally.’

    ‘The final work product was improved by the efforts of all members of the team. The team quickly moved to cover any loose ends, and there was always someone on the team who could be trusted to have the requisite skills and ability to respond to any new issue.’

    ‘John Smolen is a highly skilled attorney, a problem solver, and he has all the skills and technical abilities to promptly and professionally provide advice and complete all the needed work. I trust John completely, and he made sure I had considered all angles before making decisions.’

    ‘John Smolen protected our interests, and collaborated well, even when we chose to pursue non-traditional paths in structuring our transaction. He is cordial and witty and was well-liked by all the members of the team. He was never condescending, and we always felt he had our best interests in mind. He is an excellent attorney!’

    ‘Excel in collaboration and use of technology.’

    ‘Steve Park is exceptional for P3 transportation transactions.’

    Key clients

    Constellation Energy Generation LLC (Constellation)

    Exelon Corporation (Exelon)

    Controlled Thermal Resources, Inc. and its project subsidiaries (collectively, CTR)

    McDonald’s Corporation

    PECO Energy Company

    University of Florida

    Virginia Department of Transportation

    Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

    Nebraska Department of Transportation

    Georgia Department of Transportation

    University of Florida

    Port of Nome, Alaska

    Riviera Beach, Florida

    Finance > Fintech Tier 3

    Ballard Spahr LLP has ‘a wealth of knowledge and experience in various areas across licensing, regulations, arbitration, litigation and privacy protection, making them a special one-stop shop for fintech companies‘. The firm has long had a strong focus on the fintech and payments industry, assisting a range of start-ups, banks and investors on the full range of issues. Ronald Vaske in Minnesota jointly leads the team with Lisa Lanham  in Philadelphia, who joined in 2022 from Alston & Bird LLP alongside of counsel, Rinaldo Martinez. Other key individuals include John Socknat in Philadelphia, who co-heads the firm’s consumer financial services group, and New York litigator Marjorie Peerce who is ‘an asset on any team‘.

    Practice head(s):

    Ronald Vaske; Lisa Lanham


    ‘The team was very knowledgeable with the law, very tech savvy, and remained in good communication.’

    ‘Marjorie Pearce’s knowledge of the practice area and her respect in the community make her an asset on any team.’

    ‘The Ballard team has a wealth of knowledge and experience in various areas across licensing, regulations, arbitration, litigation and privacy protection, making them a special one-stop shop for fintech companies. They are very good listeners and really try to understand each client and each individual case. The collaboration is great – we can always find the right specialist quickly through our main point of contact.’

    ‘Lisa Lanham is the best licensing lawyer I have worked with – super capable, energetic, responsive and empathetic. She has a true passion in helping underserved Americans by working with innovative companies like us.’

    ‘Rinaldo Martinez is very well versed in regulatory issues and takes a practical approach. It’s always pleasant to work with him.’


    Key clients

    Bancorp Bank

    Salt Blockchain

    Continental Finance Company

    Lending Club


    Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi)

    Fifth Third Bank

    First PREMIER Bank

    South State Bank

    TAB Bank


    First Electronic Bank

    Marlin Mortgage Capital, LLC and Sailfish Servicing, LLC (Affiliated Entities)

    Yellowstone Capital Partners

    Avant, LLC


    First Electronic Bank

    Figure Technologies

    Salt Blockchain

    Nth Round

    Work highlights

      Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 3

      Ballard Spahr LLP has a strong specialism in health benefit plans, assisting numerous clients with the implementation and maintenance of programs for complying with ACA requirements, privacy and security rules as well as laws governing wellness initiatives. The firm also has considerable experience of benefit pension plans, advising on the merger and termination of pension plans, among other issues. Its client list includes plan sponsors, plan committees, investment funds, and investment advisors. Brian Pinheiro leads the practice from the firm’s Philadelphia office, representing for-profit, tax-exempt, church and government employers in relation to a full array of plans. Edward Leeds, who is also based in Philadelphia, has a central focus on the design, administration and taxation of health and welfare benefit plans, and is valued for his ‘expertise and responsiveness’. Washington DC’s Finn Pressly, an August 2022 recruit from Littler Mendelson, P.C., also counsels on health and welfare benefit plans, as well as handling benefits-related due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.

      Practice head(s):

      Brian Pinheiro

      Other key lawyers:


      ‘This team has the benefits expertise and the historical knowledge of our programs which is critical. They are on top of new regulations and help to keep us compliant in all areas.’

      ‘They understand the client and their unique needs and work with us to meet our objectives and remain legally compliant.’

      ‘Edward Leeds is absolutely the best benefits counsel I have worked with throughout the years.’

      ‘I value Edward Leeds’s honesty, willingness to work through issues and compromise where needed, expertise, and responsiveness.’

      Key clients

      The Chemours Company

      Temple University/Temple University Health System

      Republic Services, Inc.

      American Red Cross


      Wawa, Inc.

      CSL Behring LLC

      Ricoh USA, Inc.

      Union Pacific Corporation

      Labor and employment > Labor-management relations Tier 3

      Ballard Spahr LLP advises on employer-side mandates across heavily unionized industries, including the manufacturing, transportation and public employer sectors. Core competencies for the ‘efficient and responsive’ team include assisting employers with unfair labor practice cases, high-stakes labor negotiations and arbitrations, alongside corporate campaigns and representation before the NLRB. New Jersey-based attorney Denise Keyser leads the team with long-standing experience in the space. Brian D. Pedrow focuses his practice on the full scope of employment-related litigation, whilst Shannon D. Farmer is praised as ‘extremely knowledgeable‘ and remains another key name in the team for all forms of labor and employment matters. Meredith Dante represents employers from a broad range of industries, including healthcare, insurance and technology. Steven W. Suflas left the practice in November 2022. Attorneys are in Philadelphia, unless otherwise stated.    

      Practice head(s):

      Denise Keyser


      ‘The team is efficient and responsive.’

      ‘Shannon Farmer is extremely knowledgeable and very responsive.’

      ‘The team acquired in depth knowledge of our company, our people and our labor relations needs.’

      ‘Meredith Dante and Shannon Farmer exhibit the quality of listening to our situation and needs and then giving us an honest assessment of our options (usually more than one) to help us maximize our success when dealing with our varied unions.’

      Key clients

      City of Philadelphia

      Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

      Temple University

      Temple University Health System

      American Red Cross

      City of Baltimore

      American Council of Life Insurers

      Wallenius Wilhemsen Solutions

      PacifiCorp. d/b/a Rocky Mountain Power

      University of Pittsburgh

      Geisinger Health System

      Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping

      HomeTown Lenders

      Fidelity Brokerage Services

      Real estate > Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 3

      Ballard Spahr LLP offers an experienced team that advises both public and private REITs on range of matters comprising complex securities, corporate, tax, real estate and bankruptcy issues. Baltimore’s Douglas Fox advises private and public entities, whilst Craig Ganz splits his time between the Los Angeles and Phoenix offices and advises on banking, financial and lending issues. The group is also well-placed to advise on specific matters of Maryland corporation law – Charles Moran is a key name here. Other important names in the department include real estate specialist Wendi Kotzen in Pennsylvania and ‘efficient and effective‘ counsel Thomas Bashore. Lawyers are in Baltimore unless otherwise stated.

      Practice head(s):

      Nathan Seiler; Douglas Fox; Craig Solomon Ganz; Wendi Kotzen; Charles Moran

      Other key lawyers:


      ‘Ballard provides efficient, quick and sage advice on all aspects of Maryland corporate law – often in high stress situations such as M&A. They have demonstrated very imaginative solutions to issues, time and time again.’

      ‘I work primarily and over many years with Charles Moran and Douglas Fox.’

      The team is incredible responsive and knowledgeable. It has great insight into the REIT market as it advises so many Maryland REITs.

      Tad Bashore is efficient and effective. He has an incredible knowledge of the market and what is happening.

      Key clients

      Healthpeak Properties

      Kilroy Realty Corporation

      SL Green Realty

      LTC Properties

      Veris Residential

      Spirit Realty Capital

      Agree Realty Corporation

      Orion Office REIT

      Four Corners Property Trust

      RPT Realty

      City Office REIT

      Broadstone Net Lease

      Equity Commonwealth

      Real estate Tier 3

      Ballard Spahr LLP represents leading banks, special servicers, private equity firms, REITs, CMBS lenders, and borrowers in the full breadth of complex transactional, leasing and development work. It is particularly known for its strength in land use, tax structuring, condominiums and hospitality resort developments. Department chair Amy McClain sits in the Baltimore office, with complementary assistance from Mary Jo George and Molly Bryson in Washington DC, head of its housing finance and affordable housing teams, respectively. James Walston in Minneapolis focuses on real estate development. For hotel developments and distressed assets, Christopher Payne in Denver and Dominic De Simone in Philadelphia, are recommended.  

      Practice head(s):

      Amy McClain; Dominic De Simone; Mary Jo George; James Walston; Christopher Payne; Molly Bryson

      Key clients

      The Macerich Company

      Grand Canyon University

      New York City Housing Authority

      Pennrose Properties

      CGA Mortgage Capital

      2017 Limited Partnership

      Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation

      Landmark Properties

      Padre Canyon Resort, LC

      Work highlights

      • Advising The Macerich Company and its affiliates in transactions involving retail and mixed use projects throughout metropolitan Phoenix.
      • Represented Grand Canyon University in the successful completion of (i) a $500 million short-term note direct placement and (ii) a $1.2 billion public bond offering to refinance the remaining balance of a secured note issued in 2018 as part of the purchase of the University related to its transition back to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit status and to fund additional capital assets.

      Dispute resolution > Financial services litigation Tier 4

      Concentrating on consumer financial services and products, Ballard Spahr LLP has experience representing clients facing CFPB and other regulatory enforcement, as well as advising financial institutions on regulatory due diligence involving consumer finance service companies. The firm also has a focus on payment systems in the fintech sphere. Leading the consumer financial services practice are Daniel McKenna, John Socknat and Joel Tasca. McKenna, based in Philadelphia, is active in class actions, particularly under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as well as individual litigation regarding consumer finance products on behalf of banks, non-bank lenders, mortgage providers and third-party service providers. Socknat and Tasca are based in Washington DC and Las Vegas respectively. Thomas Burke, in Philadelphia, is another key name to note within the firm for investigations and enforcements by regulatory bodies.

      Practice head(s):

      Daniel McKenna; John Socknat; Joel Tasca

      Other key lawyers:

      Key clients

      Capital One


      Snap Finance

      Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA, or FedLoan)

      Progressive Finance

      Discover Financial Services

      Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.


      Colgate-Palmolive Company

      Community Loans of America, Inc.

      Metropolitan Commercial Bank

      Media, technology and telecoms > Media and entertainment: litigation Tier 4

      With a strong focus on First Amendment litigation, Ballard Spahr LLP is able to handle many of the increasing number of defamation suits being filed in the United States. The team also has a formidable track record in cases related to government transparency and access to public records, exemplified by the firm’s representation of 16 news organizations seeking access to videos related to the Capitol Riot. In Washington DC, practice head Charles Tobin focuses his practice on media defense, an area that includes prepublication content review, Freedom of Information Act requests and subpoena advice. Libel specialist Leita Walker operates from Minneapolis, and recently submitted written comments to the Minnesota Supreme Court in support of a rule change that would increase the use of cameras in courts. Also in DC, seasoned litigator Jay Ward Brown is highly experienced in fair use copyright and defamation matters; the DC-based lawyer also specializes in obtaining clearance for documentary films and TV series. Philadelphia-based lawyer Michael Berry is also a key name in the team.

      Practice head(s):

      Charles Tobin

      Other key lawyers:

      Leita Walker; Jay Ward Brown; Michael Berry; Chad Bowman; Matt Kelley; Thomas Sullivan; David Bodney; Mara Gassmann


      ‘Ballard is the best of the best — has quality up and down its roster of lawyers, and the experience and judgment to handle any issues that arise. We rely on Ballard heavily for all matters relating to media law.’

      ‘Jay Brown is our go-to guy for issues facing the company. He is excellent at everything, and also takes a practical approach to find solutions.

      ‘Chad Bowman is an exceptional litigator.’

      ‘Matt Kelley combines a passion for a free press with exceptional lawyering skills.’

      ‘Mara Gassman is an excellent litigator and a privilege to work with.’

      ‘Ballard Spahr is one of the very best media law defense firms in the country. The firm has a deep bench of talented attorneys. Ballard is on the short list of every general counsel for the biggest media cases, and deservedly so.’

      ‘Jay Brown, Chuck Tobin, Chad Bowman, Matt Kelley, Thomas Sullivan, Michael Berry, David Bodney and Mara Gassmann. All these attorneys are experts in the field and have a winning way with judges and clients alike.’

      ‘I have been working with Jay Brown as outside counsel for about seven years. In particular, he routinely advises on fair use, copyright and first amendment issues, along with privacy and defamation. I can honestly say he is one of the best (if not the best) outside counsel I have worked with.’

      Key clients

      A&E Television Networks

      ABC, Inc.


      Amber Heard


      The Associated Press

      Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN)

      CBS Broadcasting Inc.

      Politico LLC

      Dow Jones

      Fox Television Stations, LLC

      Gannett Co., Inc.

      Gray Television

      Pro Publica

      NBCUniversal, Inc.


      National Public Radio (NPR)

      The New York Times Co.

      Scripps Media, Inc.

      Sinclair Broadcasting Group

      Southern Poverty Law Center

      Tegna, Inc.


      The Washington Post

      Real estate > Real estate finance Tier 4

      Ballard Spahr LLP ‘delivers an excellent blend of thorough knowledge of the law with commercial business savviness’, led by a sizeable national group of real estate and real estate finance experts, which includes Siobhan O’Donnell in Los Angeles; Thomas Hauser and Amy McClain in Baltimore together with Dominic De Simone in Philadelphia. The team is active on structuring, negotiating, documenting, closing, and servicing a broad range of real estate finance transactions, and routinely represent REITs and developers as borrowers in single- and multi-property loan transactions as well as in joint venture and preferred equity transactions. The firm has also expanded its work in the distressed assets and opportunities space.

      Practice head(s):

      Dominic De Simone; Amy McClain; Siobhan O’Donnell; Thomas Hauser


      ‘Ballard Spahr delivers an excellent blend of thorough knowledge of the law with commercial business savvy.’


      Key clients

      Colliers Mortgage LLC

      Combined Properties, Inc.

      CGA Mortgage Capital

      Work highlights

      • Advised Colliers Mortgage on a multifamily project located in Duluth, MN.
      • Representing Combined Properties in the sale of three commercial shopping centers located in Southern California, and the purchase of a multifamily property located in Virginia, utilizing a 1031 like-kind exchange.
      • Acted for the lender, CGA Mortgage Capital in the construction financing for a new biotech research facility located in Pasadena, California.

      Antitrust > Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 5

      Ballard Spahr LLP frequently acts in high-stake matters in the pharma, agricultural, retail and financial sectors. The firm is well versed in monopolization and conspiracy claims, and also has experience handling allegations of tying and no poach agreements. Practice head Leslie John specializes in pharmaceutical and healthcare antitrust litigation and counsels on antitrust compliance particularly in relation to mergers and acquisitions. Jason Leckerman chairs the firm’s litigation department and acts on both sides of antitrust and competition matters. Stephen Kastenberg has extensive experience in representing private and Fortune 100 multinational companies in litigation involving collusive dealing, price discrimination and more. Other key attorneys include monopolization and conspiracy case expert Edward Rogers and New York based James Mitchell, who focuses on both criminal and civil litigation. Jay Fastow is no longer at the firm. All lawyers are in Pennsylvania unless otherwise stated.

      Practice head(s):

      Leslie John

      Other key lawyers:


      ‘Obviously very knowledgeable. Excellent communicators which can summarize key issues and decision points excellently. Proactive in terms of staying on top of developing issues and requests for critical information. Trusted business partners.’

      ‘Everyone on the civil litigation team is incredibly responsive. They are always willing to take a call to discuss a matter in detail.’

      ‘They love the work they do and truly seem to enjoy working through legal issues from a variety of perspectives. They are knowledgeable (or work to become knowledgeable) no matter what the issue.’

      ‘Jason Leckerman and Leslie John are outstanding partners in the civil litigation/class action defense practice. They are responsive, diligent, personable, and professional in every way. Both are very well-versed in the subject matter and highly efficient.’ 

      ‘I work with outside counsel across the country, and the Ballard Spahr team is among the best in the civil litigation and class action defense practice. They are responsive, diligent, and attentive to detail in ways that few firms are. In addition, they are highly knowledgeable in subject matter areas. The law firm places an emphasis on diversity and collaborates very well with in-house lawyers. The firm also has arranged to coordinate continuing legal education seminars for in-house lawyers that are among the very best that I have attended.’

      Key clients

      GlaxoSmithKline LLC

      American Board of Internal Medicine

      Princeton University

      QuEST Global-NA, Inc.

      MarketPlace PHL

      Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance

      Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Biotech


      CSL Behring, LLC

      Partnership for Safe Medicines

      Wawa, Inc.

      Corteva Agriscience, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

      Mountaire Farms

      Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

      City of Richmond

      Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

      Fairfax County Water Authority

      Commissioners of Public Works of the City of Charleston

      South Carolina Public Service Authority

      Mastercard International Incorporated

      Eisai Inc.

      Peter Ghavami

      Kemp & Assoc., Inc.

      Teva Pharmaceuticals

      Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 5

      The Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr LLP is home to partners with extensive experience in securities litigation, who frequently advise companies and their officers and directors on everything, from derivative actions and regulatory or internal investigations to special committee representations and shareholder class actions. Practice leader David Axelrod (who is ‘an up-and-coming national legal star’) is the standout partner, having a long-standing reputation as a first-chair trial lawyer for the defense in government-facing litigation involving the SEC and DOJ. He is currently representing the former CFO of First Energy in a case arising from allegations that the company paid bribes for political influence. Norman Goldberger, who co-leads the firm’s municipal securities regulation and enforcement team, experienced regulatory litigator John Grugan and Timothy Katsiff (who ‘has terrific judgment, is extremely knowledgeable, and responds promptly’) are also pivotal figures in the practice. Goldberger assisted Wrap Technologies with securities fraud litigation in California, and shareholder derivative litigation.

      Practice head(s):

      David Axelrod


      ‘The team has a good pulse on the federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Their advice is practical and also takes into account commercial considerations.’

      ‘Tim Katsiff is an outstanding lawyer. He has terrific judgment, is extremely knowledgeable, and responds promptly.’

      ‘Provides outstanding tactical advice across all sectors, excellent judgment, and provides outstanding defense to its clients’

      ‘David Axelrod is an up-and-coming national legal star in the United States in the areas of securities litigation, civil litigation, media and entertainment, and government investigations (SEC, FINRA, DOJ). He provides outstanding advice and deploys supreme tactical judgment to defend and represent his clients’ most important interests.’

      Key clients

      James Pearson

      Twitter Inc.

      Joseph Bamford

      Wrap Technologies

      Ampio Pharmaceuticals

      Conduent Incorporated

      Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

      Ballard Spahr LLP’s white-collar defense/internal investigations team acts for a range of public entities and corporations, including multinationals, on government and regulatory investigations, and internal investigations, with particular experience in antitrust cases.

      The firm: Ballard Spahr LLP, an AmLaw 100 law firm with 15 U.S. offices, serves clients in more than 50 practice areas. The firm’s mission: to provide nothing less than excellence in every legal representation.

      Main areas of practice
      Business and transactions: Business and Transactions Department attorneys design strategies, share insights, and assist clients in realizing their goals in a wide array of sectors. The firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions lawyers structure, negotiate, and close transactions, and its Securities attorneys advise on capital-raising activities and compliance with public reporting and proxy obligations. Consumer Financial Services lawyers advise on regulatory matters, assist in the design and documentation of credit products, and represent clients in class action and regulatory enforcement proceedings. Privacy and Data Security attorneys identify potential vulnerabilities and create protective compliance policies and procedures. Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation lawyers design and implement benefits packages that comply with applicable regulatory requirements. Dealmakers turn to the firm’s Private Equity attorneys for knowledge of the unique issues and complexities inherent in designing and effectuating those often-complex transactions. Tax lawyers help clients minimize their tax burden and maximize the benefits of tax credits, deductions, and exemptions.

      Intellectual property: The Intellectual Property Department counsels clients on developing, commercializing, enforcing, and defending their intellectual property assets. The firm provides a full range of services, including assisting with IP procurement and licensing, protection of patent, trademark, and copyright portfolios, and developing strong brands. It brings protective actions for clients’ property in the United States and globally. The team has the experience, resources, and versatility to handle the most complex IP issues. IP litigators try complex, high-stakes cases involving cutting-edge technologies for clients across industries in jurisdictions nationwide and before the Patent and Trademark Trial and Appeal Boards.

      Litigation: Commercial litigators handle disputes involving breach of contract and UCC-related matters; antitrust/unfair competition; business torts; breach of fiduciary duty; fraud; securities laws; class actions; corporate governance; real estate litigation/transactions; construction claims; lending/finance agreements; contracts for business sales or acquisitions; privacy and data security; trade secrets and other IP matters; wealth management issues; and product liability, insurance, professional liability, and civil rights claims. Labor and Employment attorneys handle discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, and issues involving FMLA, ERISA, and wage-and-hour matters. White Collar attorneys conduct internal investigations, represent clients facing government enforcement, and handle matters involving FCA, AML/BSA, and FCPA issues. Environmental attorneys represent clients in administrative, civil, and criminal proceedings and advise on national and regional compliance, permitting, rulemaking, develop­ment, and contamination matters—focusing on climate change and sustainability. Bankruptcy attorneys handle corporate restructurings, municipal insolvencies, Chapter 11 creditor/debtor matters, distressed real estate, and M&A. Government Relations attorneys help clients effectively interact with government entities and advise on regulatory, administrative, and legislative matters. Media and Entertainment Law attorneys counsel and litigate on behalf of content providers across media platforms. Securities and Chancery attorneys advise on securities and corporate governance claims. Ballard Spahr is one of the few national law firms with an established Chancery Court practice.

      Finance: The firm’s Finance Department focuses on specific industry sectors, project types, and deal structures. The Public Finance practice is among the finest in the country, participating in the issuance of more than $1 trillion in tax-exempt obligations in every U.S. state and territory, and has been nationally recognized by The Bond Buyer since 1958. The P3/Energy /Project Finance Group is a leader in representing government participants and private sector developers, investors, and lenders in innovative public-private partnerships. They handle the development, acquisition, and financing of energy assets, helping clients meet regulatory compliance considerations. They counsel clients on regulatory issues, financing options, transactional considerations, and litigation avoidance strategies necessary for capital-heavy projects. The Real Estate Finance Group represents lenders, special servicers, private equity firms, REITs, life insurance companies, CMBS lenders, and borrowers in loan transactions and distressed real estate deals. The Housing Finance attorneys represent housing authorities, underwriters, investors, and lenders in some of the nation’s largest affordable housing transactions, as well as GSE and HUD financing and tax credit transactions. The Commercial Finance Group represents clients with lending, borrowing, and arranging of capital through varied deal structures and project types.

      Real estate: The Real Estate Department serves a diverse client base nationwide. The Development and Transactions Group offers comprehensive services in development, zoning and land use, tax structuring, construction, leasing, condomini­ums, mixed-use projects, and condemnation. The Resort, Hospitality, and Timeshare Group advises on complex projects across a range of industry investment, including project financing, ground-up construction, hotel development, management and repositioning, mixed-use, and first-to-market timeshare products. The Housing Group represents housing authorities, under­writers, developers, and lenders in some of the nation’s largest affordable housing transactions, as well as GSE and HUD financing, LIHTC, RAD, and tax credit transactions.

      Chairman: Mark Stewart
      Number of partners: 220

      Chair of the Firm Mark Stewart
      Business and Transactions, Department Chair Peter V. Michaud
      Intellectual Property, Department Chair Lynn E. Rzonca
      Litigation, Department Chair Jason A. Leckerman
      Finance, Department Co-Chair Dominic J. De Simone
      Finance, Department Co-Chair Emilie R. Ninan
      Real Estate, Department Chair Amy M. McClain
      Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer Amy T. Shepherd
      David Axelrod photo David AxelrodPartner and Practice Leader the Securities Enforcement and Corporate Governance Litigation Group
      Michael Berry photo Michael BerryPartner
      John Culhane photo John Culhane
      Dominic De Simone photo Dominic De SimonePartner and Co-Chair of the Finance Department
      Brian Doerner photo Brian DoernerPartner and Practice Co-Leader of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group
      Shannon Farmer photo Shannon FarmerPartner
      Mark Furletti photo Mark FurlettiPartner
      David Gest photo David GestPartner
      Patrick Gillard photo Patrick GillardPartner, Leader of Energy Group, Co-Leader of Project Finance Group
      Norman Goldberger photo Norman GoldbergerPartner
      John Grugan photo John GruganPartner
      Kaitlin Gurney photo Kaitlin GurneyPartner
      Peter Jaslow photo Peter JaslowPartner and Practice Co-Leader of the firm’s Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency Group
      Leslie John photo Leslie JohnPartner, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Antitrust and Competition Group, and Co-Leader…
      Alan Kaplinsky photo Alan KaplinskySenior Counsel and former longtime Practice Leader of the firm’s Consumer Financial…
      Stephen Kastenberg photo Stephen KastenbergPartner
      Brian Kearney photo Brian KearneyAssociate
      Jason Leckerman photo Jason LeckermanPartner and Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department
      Edward Leeds photo Edward LeedsCounsel
      Tina Makoulian photo Tina MakoulianPartner
      Vincent Marriott photo Vincent MarriottPartner and Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery…
      Matthew McClure photo Matthew McClurePartner and Team Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Zoning and Land Use Team
      Daniel McKenna photo Daniel McKennaPartner and Practice Co-Leader of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Group
      Bart Mellits photo Bart MellitsPartner 
      Steve Park photo Steve ParkPartner and co-leader of the firm’s P3/Infrastructure Group
      Brian Pedrow photo Brian PedrowPartner
      Joanne Phillips photo Joanne PhillipsSpecial Counsel
      Brian Pinheiro photo Brian PinheiroPartner and Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation…
      Raymond Quaglia photo Raymond QuagliaPartner
      William Rhodes photo William RhodesPartner, Leader of Education Industry Group, Leader of Municipal Recovery Initiative
      Alan Ritterband photo Alan RitterbandPartner
      Edward Rogers photo Edward RogersPartner and Leader of the Eminent Domain and Loss Recovery Teams
      Jeremy Rosenblum photo Jeremy Rosenblum
      Greg Seltzer photo Greg SeltzerPartner
      Gregory Seltzer photo Gregory SeltzerPartner
      Dara Smith photo Dara SmithAssociate
      John Socknat photo John SocknatPartner, Co-Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Mortgage Banking Group and Managing Partner…
      Ronald Vaske photo Ronald VaskePartner and Leader of Fintech and Payments Team
      Philip Yannella photo Philip YannellaPartner