Ballard Spahr LLP > Philadelphia, United States > Firm Profile

Ballard Spahr LLP
United States

Finance > Financial services regulation Tier 1

Noted for its experience in defending clients facing regulatory enforcement action from the CFPB and other agencies, Ballard Spahr LLP advises investment banks and private equity houses across a range of matters, with a growing caseload of crypto asset-related litigation. Payment systems and other fintechs also form a core part of the firm’s varied client base, which the practice advises on buy now, pay later, earned wage access and income sharing agreement products. Co-heading the team are Washington DC-based John Socknat, who assists clients in the run-up to compliance audits by state and federal regulators, and Daniel McKenna, a litigation specialist who takes on class actions and arbitration hearings in relation to mortgage, auto and credit card loans. John Culhane Jr. specializes in student loan regulations, with further expertise in mortgage loan and leasing plans. All lawyers are Philadelphia-based unless otherwise specified. Lisa Lanham left the firm in April 2024.

Practice head(s):

John Socknat; Daniel McKenna

Other key lawyers:

John Culhane, Jr.; Michael Guerrero


‘We have found their regulatory licensing to be above the level of competence and service that we have experienced in the past.’

‘Extremely personable in addition to having the expertise to streamline the regulatory licensing aspect of our business.’

Key clients

American Bankers Association

Consumer Bankers Association

Mortgage Bankers Association

Real Estate Services Providers Council, Inc

Benefit Street Partners

Avant, LLC

Strike Acceptance, Inc.

TAB Bank


Fifth Third Bank

South State Bank

Metropolitan Commercial Bank

First Electronic Bank

Community Federal Savings Bank

Bancorp Bank

Finance > Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal Tier 2

Ballard Spahr LLP offers a combination of public and municipal bankruptcy expertise, especially in connection with major Chapter 9 cases, municipal recovery and high yield municipal bonds to provide an all round practice within the restructuring world. The firm has been active in representing the City of Chester, Pennsylvania in its Chapter 9 bankruptcy and the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing. Philadelphia-based William Rhodes  is the practice leader of the firm’s Municipal Recovery Initiative, and regularly represents issuers, broker-dealers and investors in all areas of public finance, while Minneapolis-situated William Wassweiler represents financial institutions serving as corporate trustees financial institutions serving as corporate trustees involving municipal and corporate bonds, as well as corporate trustees. Situated in Wilmington, litigation partner Tobey Daluz focuses on corporate restructuring, workouts and general bankruptcy litigation, whereas Megan McCarthy is noted for her focus on public finance matters, and Delaware-based Laurel Roglen is a key name and is experienced in bankruptcy-related litigation.

Practice head(s):

Tobey Daluz; William Rhodes; Matthew Summers

Key clients

KBC Bank N.V.

AllianceBernstein L.P.

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

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

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Computershare Trust Company

Work highlights

  • Representing an indenture trustee in connection with covenant defaults and financial distress by owner/operators of hundreds of multi-family housing units in locations spread across multiple jurisdictions, including asset sales, bondholder presentations and negotiation of forbearance agreements.
  • Served as bond counsel to the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority (PEDFA) in the structuring and successful closing of an innovative new financing program in which proceeds of one or more taxable bond offerings by PEDFA are made available (through a special purpose entity) to participating Pennsylvania municipalities for deposit into their municipal pension funds in exchange for a pledge and assignment of their annual, Commonwealth-funded municipal pension aid subsidy payments.
  • Represented the institutional investors in a high yield offering of unrated bond anticipation notes issued by the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) to fund past due amounts owed to a critical power generation equipment provider.

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

With notable strengths in the Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania markets, the team at Ballard Spahr LLP assists a wide range of public and private companies with all aspects of their buy-and sell-side transactions and merger negotiations. In Philadelphia, practice co-head Brian Doerner is well versed in cross-border transactions. Co-head Barbara Rummel is based in Minneapolis and has developed a strong market reputation for her ability to advise on deals in the pharma and healthcare sectors. Rummel's Minneapolis colleague Maggie Tatton is noted for her private equity expertise and handles buyouts in industries such as food distribution and engineering. Phoenix-based Karen McConnell is noted for her in-depth understanding of corporate and securities law. Seasoned transactional attorney Gregory Seltzer has a focus on venture capital clients and growth companies and operates from the firm’s Philadelphia office. Michael Kuhn, a Minneapolis-based expert on strategic investments and capital raising transactions, is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Brian Doerner; Barbara Rummel

Other key lawyers:


‘Ballard Spahr’s M&A team is very responsive and has been a tremendous resource to our company. ’

Key clients

Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC

DuPont de Nemours, Inc

Real estate > Land use/zoning Tier 2

Ballard Spahr LLP’s zoning and land use team covers a wide range of permits and approvals for real estate development projects, advising on matters ranging from subdivisions and zoning variances to environmental permitting, takings, and historical preservation issues. The department also handles complex appellate advocacy and defense of land use approvals. Amy McClain co-heads the team from Baltimore and focuses on affordable housing transactions, while co-head Matthew McClure is based in Philadelphia and emphasizes land use, zoning, and historic preservation matters. In Salt Lake City, Steven Mehr focuses on acquisitions, dispositions, construction, zoning and entitlements of commercial, retail, industrial and resort properties. In Baltimore, Jon Laria recently advised on redevelopments and new mixed-use developments. Based in Philadelphia, Joanne Phillips and Devon Beverly are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Amy McClain; Matthew McClure

Other key lawyers:


‘The team has a diverse set of expertise and is strong in all categories.’

‘The individuals are dedicated to their clients and protecting their assets.’

Key clients

Midwood Investment & Development

EQT Exeter

3838 Market Street

The Rodin Group

Pearl Properties

Brevet Capital Management

Temple University

Landmark Properties

Hilco Redevelopment Partners

Saint Joseph’s University

LMXD and M Squared

Parkway Corporation


Padre Canyon Resort, LC

Magleby Development

Powder Mountain Ski Resort

Larry H. Miller

The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority

The Chicago TREND Corporation

MCB Real Estate

Work highlights

Real estate > Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 2

In Baltimore, Ballard Spahr LLP is a go-to firm for specialist Maryland corporation law knowledge, where it excels in advising its clients on both public and private Maryland REITs and their related tax, corporate, securities, and bankruptcy issues. The team continues to hold close relationships with REIT clients while also serving as corporate counsel. Practice head Douglas Fox is well-versed in counselling REITs, mutual funds, and other investment companies in capital raising transactions, corporate governance, and M&A. Co-head senior counsel Charles Moran is an expert in representing REITs, life sciences and healthcare clients in complex corporate transactions. Thomas Bashore is key to the team and focuses on entity formation and organization, corporation law and public offerings. All aforementioned lawyers are based in Baltimore.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Fox; Charles Moran

Other key lawyers:


‘We have been working with the Ballard Spahr REIT team – principally Douglas Fox – for many years. The team is incredibly experienced and expert on all things Maryland REITs, but is also very practical and counsel us and our clients in a very business oriented way.’

‘Douglas Fox has been a trusted partner and counsel to us for many years. In addition to providing his and his teams expertise on Maryland REITs, Doug is practical, responsive and an absolute delight to work with. From what I can tell clients trust his opinion and love to work with him.’

‘Highly knowledgeable about Maryland law. ’

‘Thomas Bashore is efficient and very responsive. He is very easy to work with and provides excellent customer service. ’

Key clients

Healthpeak Properties, Inc.

Kilroy Realty Corporation

SL Green Realty Corp.

LTC Properties, Inc.

Veris Residential, Inc.

Spirit Realty Capital, Inc.

Agree Realty Corporation

Black Creek Industrial REIT IV, Inc.

Four Corners Property Trust, Inc.

RPT Realty

City Office REIT, Inc.

Broadstone Net Lease, Inc.

Equity Commonwealth

Granite Point Mortgage Trust, Inc.

Ares Management

Apollo Net Lease


Realty Income

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

Automotive-related mandates form a significant proportion of Ballard Spahr LLP‘s workflow for its overarching product liability and mass torts group, which is led out of New Jersey by Neal Walters. As well as handling work in the aftermath of litigation, including motions and at trial, the firm is also a popular choice at a pre-emptive stage, regularly working with clients from a counseling perspective to ensure effective guardrails are established to better avoid litigation. Walters is at the forefront of the most significant product liability defense work handled by the firm, and has achieved scores of successes for clients at the motions stage, as well as handling jury trials through to verdict. Drawing upon recent experience in-house at an autonomous vehicle technology developer, New Jersey-based Casey Watkins is central to the firm’s success, from a litigation and regulatory perspective, on behalf of emerging clients in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Neal Walters

Other key lawyers:

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

Key clients

Subaru Corporation of Japan and Subaru of America

Shock Doctor, Inc.

Sottoriva SPA

Lubert Adler and 2400 Market, Inc.

Energy > Renewable/alternative power Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP‘s PPP projects, energy and project financing practices collaborate on a range of matters in the renewable energy sector, acting for project developers and sponsors, investors, and lenders with interests in the space. Its advice on infrastructure and PPP projects is of particular note, and the team is represented across a number of the firm’s US offices. In Philadelphia, Patrick Gillard is a key figure with a strong utility finance practice and experience negotiating public and private debt financings. He is one of four co-heads of the practice, with Randall Towers and Steve Park alongside in Philadelphia, and John Smolen in Baltimore. Bruce Johnson in Las Vegas is a contact to note for real estate and commercial finance, while Minneapolis-based Raymond Faricy and Katie Leesman in Washington DC are further key figures in the firm’s renewable energy offering.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Gillard; Randall Towers; Steve Park; John Smolen

Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

Finance > Fintech Tier 3

With a strong track record in representing financial institutions and technology providers on government investigations and enforcement proceedings, Ballard Spahr LLP is particularly proficient in financial services compliance. The practice is also well-equipped to handle the development, commercialization, and maintenance of lending programs and mobile applications. Minnesota-based Ronald Vaske often advises banks on BaaS programs, while in Pennsylvania, Peter Jaslow handles entity formation and structuring as well as capital raising. In Washington DC, Michael Gordon is vastly knowledgeable in consumer financial services law. Working out of California, Michael Guerrero is well-versed in consumer credit programs, while New York’s Marjorie Peerce is another key team member. Lisa Lanham left the firm in April 2024.

Practice head(s):

Ronald Vaske; Michael Guerrero; Marjorie Peerce; Peter Jaslow

Other key lawyers:

Michael Gordon; John Socknat; Rinaldo Martinez


‘The Fintech team is exceptionally client focused. They understand the issues, but most importantly always counsel with the client’s bottom line in mind.’

‘The regulatory/license tracking tool they provide is a blessing for in-house counsel because it allows everyone in the organization to track progress real time. ‘

‘A very diverse team of female and minority lawyers. They are highly collaborative and work with clients to come up with pragmatic solutions to problems.’

Key clients

Bancorp Bank

Salt Blockchain

Lending Club


Social Finance, Inc

Fifth Third Bank

First PREMIER Bank

South State Bank

TAB Bank

First Electronic Bank

Community Federal Savings Bank

Merrick Bank

Metropolitan Commercial Bank


Avanat LLC

Productfy LLC

Marlin Mortgage Capital LLC

Sailfish Servicing LLC

Yellowstone Capital Partners

Avant LLC


Corsair Capital

Figure Technologies

Salt Blockchain

Nth Round

Finance > Project finance

The projects team at Ballard Spahr LLP ‘brings outstanding insights into the nuances and intricacies of extremely complex contracts such as public private partnerships’, acting as lenders, developers and particularly government agencies on major transport developments that include toll roads, bridges, interchanges, and railway lines and stations, as well as university campus utility ventures, breakwater facility expansions, and inner-city redevelopments – amongst others. On the energy front, the team predominantly focus on providing financing, regulatory and commercial advice to energy players and investors engaging with energy transition assets, while also boasting a substantial capital markets offering. The ‘truly incredible’ John Smolen and Steve Park co-head the practice from Baltimore and Philadelphia respectively, with the duo highly praised for their ‘immense amount of experience from other projects’ and ability to counsel from a variety of perspectives. Philadelphia duo Patrick Gillard  and Randall Towers are the other two practice leads who focus on project finance transactions in the energy space, often representing lenders, borrowers and underwriters on a range of debt instruments. Donna Brady operates out of Los Angeles and largely concentrates on transport and social infrastructure and is routinely sought out by state agencies and toll operators for toll technology procurements. New York’s William Estes and Washington DC’s John Wheatley bring further design-build and P3 experience to the fore and frequently collaborate together on major transport constructions. Bruce Johnson sits in the Las Vegas office and is well regarded for his adeptness in tax equity financing.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Gillard; Randall Towers; Steve Park; John Smolen


‘The Ballard Spahr team brings outstanding insights into the nuances and intricacies of extremely complex contracts such as public private partnerships and are able to communicate those to owners in manners that facilitate executive decision making. They not only understand the needs and perspectives of their client, but also are able to communicate the view point of the development entity/private sector such that “non starters” are taken off the table early and the owner has a true perspective of what is likely to occur.’

‘The individuals at Ballard Spahr were always accessible and able to fit within the tight availability constraints of the executive team. John Smollen and Steve Park were truly incredible partners. They always made themselves available for important discussions and made sure we received their work product quickly – especially when faced with nearly impossible timeframes. John and Steve came with an immense amount of experience from other projects (both on the developer and owner side) that was second to none.’

‘Steve Park and John Wheatley have been knowledgeable, quick, and accurate.’

‘The team has developed a strong understanding of its clients and peer advisors which allows it to effectively integrate into a project team.’

‘John Smollen and John Wheatley are excellent collaborators and strive to leverage the broader knowledge of multi-disciplinary teams.’

Key clients

Constellation Energy Generation LLC

Exelon Corporation

McDonald’s Corporation

University of Florida

Green Development, LLC

Virginia Department of Transportation

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Nebraska Department of Transportation

Georgia Department of Transportation

University of Florida

Port of Nome, Alaska

University of Idaho


Indiana Department of Transportation

Colorado School of Mines

Labor and employment > Labor-management relations Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP ‘offers a strong traditional labor practice‘ which includes areas such as union negotiations and representing clients before labor relations boards. On the non-contentious side, the group is present at every phase of the negotiation process. The broader group is largely sector agnostic, but most notably is active in the public sector, with unique knowledge of state laws, but is also comfortable operating in federal courts throughout the country. Leading the team is Denise Keyser in New Jersey, who, along with versatile labor and employment lawyer Shannon D. Farmer in Philadelphia, is described by one client as ‘practical with their advice‘. Brian Pedrow in Philadelphia is a key practitioner for the group’s litigious matters.

Practice head(s):

Denise M. Keyser

Other key lawyers:


‘Ballard offers a strong traditional labor practice. The labor team is collaborative and responsive. The team has experience with clients in the same industry and therefore serves as a strategic partner as issues arise.’

‘We have worked extensively with Meredith Dante and to a lesser extent with Shannon Farmer. Both partners are extremely personable. They are practical with their advice and take the time to explain their recommendations so the best business decision can be made.’

Key clients

City of Philadelphia

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Temple University

Temple University Health System

American Red Cross

Geisinger Health System

Johns Hopkins University

Media, technology and telecoms > Media and entertainment: litigation Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP is a First Amendment powerhouse that is frequently called upon to represent creative clients, as well as individuals and organizations from the publishing industry. The team has taken part in widely publicized disputes, such as the defense of those accused of defamation by former President Trump, or the settled appeal of the Heard v Depp case. In Washington DC, team head Charles Tobin has argued extensively for his media clients in libel and privacy lawsuits in state, federal, and appellate courts. Team founder David Bodney conducts his practice from Arizona, covering a range of issues with potentially constitutional ramifications. In New York, Thomas Sullivan assists those accused of disseminating defamatory information and pursues document access and freedom information claims. Based in Minnesota, Leita Walker is an expert First Amendment litigator who has been acting for Netflix to defend a defamation suit arising out of the documentary ‘Making a Murderer’.  

Practice head(s):

Charles D. Tobin


‘Ballard is among the very best firms in the country in this practice area, deftly handling even the most difficult cases.’

‘Chuck Tobin, Chad Bowman, Leita Walker, Matthew Kelley, Jay Brown, and Michael Berry are some of the practice’s most talented partners.’ 

‘They care about journalism and media freedom with a passion.’

‘They know the subject and are always conscious of what is really important.’


Key clients



Amber Heard


The Associated Press

Cable News Network

CBS Broadcasting

Dow Jones

Fox Television Stations



The New York Times

The Washington Post

Work highlights

  • Represented a coalition of national news organizations seeking access to court records relating to the ongoing investigations and prosecutions of former President Donald Trump.
  • Won a summary judgment for Netflix in a defamation suit arising out of the documentary “Making a Murderer.”
  • Obtained a dismissal of a false light claim brought by a sitting Pennsylvania state court judge based on an article that referred to her as “QAnon-Linked.”

Real estate Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP fields a multidisciplinary practice with experience handling a wide scope of development, structuring, condominium, and mixed-use properties, along with a considerable pipeline of single-family residential property work. Alongside their real estate finance group, the practice is also particularly experienced in the hospitality sector, evidenced by its resort, hospitality and timeshare group. The firm is also distinct in its affordable housing niche, where the team regularly works with private and governmental bodies, including the New York City Housing Authority and Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development, on affordable housing and social infrastructure developments and maintenance matters. The department is headed by Baltimore-based chair Amy McClain, with Dominic De Simone leading the private equity, loan servicing, and distressed real estate teams from Philadelphia. Joining them from Washington DC are Mary Jo George, head of housing finance, Katherine Noonan, leader on development and transactions, and Molly Bryson, affordable housing and community development group head. Denver-based Christopher Payne heads the resort, hospitality and timeshare group. Experienced on mergers, acquisitions and retail bankruptcies, Michael Ostermeyer is noted for his expertise advising on corporate portfolios and public real estate projects from the firm’s Phoenix office.

Practice head(s):

Amy McClain; Dominic J. De Simone; Mary Jo George; Katherine Noonan; Christopher Payne; Molly Bryson

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Larry H. Miller

New York City Housing Authority

CGA Mortgage Capital

Landmark Properties

Parkway Corporation

Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development

Temple University

The Macerich Company

Project for Pride in Living, Inc.

The Chicago TREND Corporation

Dispute resolution > Financial services litigation Tier 4

Ballard Spahr LLP’s consumer financial services practice offers representation and counseling for matters including class actions, regulatory enforcement matters put forward by the CFPB, and compliance. The group is also active in emerging areas such as the fintech space. Co-leading the team are Daniel McKenna and John Socknat. McKenna, based in Philadelphia, specializes in consumer financial services, privacy and data security, and mortgage banking, offering extensive trial experience representing clients in class actions relating to statutes such as the TCPA, FCRA, and UDAAP. Other key names to note in the firm are Thomas Burke, based in Philadelphia, Joel Tasca, based between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and John Grugan, based in Pennsylvania.

Practice head(s):

Daniel McKenna; John Socknat

Other key lawyers:


‘The lead partners of the financial services litigation practice group are exceptional.’

‘We have been incredibly happy with the work they have performed.’

‘Absolutely exceptional.’

‘The team has fairly extensive experience in all aspects of financial services litigation.’

‘The team is very responsive and willing to do cases of all sizes.’

‘We have had a very positive experience.’

Key clients

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency


Capital One

Discover Bank

Progressive Finance

Mariner Finance



Goldman Sachs

Colgate Palmolive

Truist Bank


Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 4

While the employee benefits and executive compensation team at Ballard Spahr LLP advises clients in a wide range of industries, the firm particularly excels in the healthcare, hospitality, and pharmaceutical sectors. Some notable clients include American Red Cross, Main Line Health and Temple University Health System. The practice is led by Brian Pinheiro in Philadelphia; he has a track record of work on matters ranging from 401(k) plans to employee stock ownership plans, to ERISA fiduciary advice, among a vast range of other services. Supporting Pinheiro on many cases, Edward Leeds is also based in the Philadelphia office. Leeds assists clients in providing health benefit programs, pharmacy benefit design, and retirement plans. In Washington DC, Finn Pressly provides counsel on various issues, including domestic partner benefits, retiree health plans, and wellness plans.

Practice head(s):

Brian Pinheiro

Other key lawyers:


‘Ballard Spahr is a trusted advisor on all legal matters regarding employee benefits. The team has deep technical expertise, especially relating to ERISA, ACA, and all federal regulations regarding employee benefit programs. Their service and expertise are second to none. ’

‘Edward Leeds is easy to work with. He will bring other experts in as needed and always does an outstanding job. He always provides a balanced perspective on all matters. ’

‘The team works with us to understand our business so they can better advise us holistically instead of just answering the discrete issue. They also provide practical solutions and advice – not just the legal answer.’

‘Finn Pressly is able to explain complex concepts in plain language. He never just gives the pure legal answer. Rather, he appreciates that my job is to help the business balance various risks so helps me think through the various options available and the associated risks to get to a practical solution that is actually workable in our specific environment. Most attorneys only want to provide the pure legal answer. But Finn is a true partner and resource.’

Key clients

Main Line Health, Inc.

Temple University/Temple University Health System

Republic Services, Inc.

American Red Cross

Inspira Health Network

Wawa, Inc.

CSL Behring LLC

Ricoh USA, Inc.

Union Pacific Corporation

Real estate > Real estate finance Tier 4

The real estate finance group at Ballard Spahr LLP assists with real estate transactions including mezzanine, construction, and mortgage loans all over the US. Distressed real estate and loan restructurings and enforcement are another key pillar of the practice as well as its private credit and equity real estate practice. Dominic De SimoneSiobhan O’Donnell, and Thomas Hauser all co-lead the group from Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Baltimore respectively. Finance expert De Simone handles transaction structuring and restructuring as well as distressed real estate matters. He is also well-versed in balance-sheet and CMBS loan originations and construction loans. O’Donnell is a commercial real estate finance expert and often represents investment banks and commercial banks, Hauser handles complex real estate transactions, while in Philadelphia, Tina Makoulian is experienced in office, retail, and industrial leasing issues.

Practice head(s):

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

Other key lawyers:

Dominic De Simone; Amy McClain; Siobhan O’Donnell; Thomas Hauser; Rania Galan; Alicia Clark


‘The team’s ability to blend legal expertise with business acumen is second to none.’

Key clients

Colliers Mortgage LLC

Combined Properties, Inc.

CGA Mortgage Capital


Southern Land Company

Antitrust > Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 5

With notable strength in the pharma, agricultural, and chemical industries, Ballard Spahr LLP stands out for its particular expertise in monopolization and conspiracy litigations and class actions. The team is led by Leslie John, who also co-leads the firm’s false advertising litigation group; John represents clients in the pharma and healthcare industries on the full range of antitrust litigation, including before federal and state courts and antitrust agencies. Other key individuals include Jason Leckerman, who chairs the firm’s litigation department and assists private and public companies with the antitrust aspects of mergers, and Stephen Kastenberg, recommended for class actions. In New York, James Mitchell focuses on antitrust issues in the securities space, handling a broad range of criminal and civil litigation. Unless otherwise stated, all mentioned lawyers are based in Pennsylvania.

Practice head(s):

Leslie John


‘Leslie John has been sensitive to the interaction between business needs and antitrust risk, helping us to navigate decisions informed by antitrust risks without shutting down options.’


Key clients

The Associated Press

American Board of Internal Medicine

Princeton University

GlaxoSmithKline LLC

Partnership for Safe Medicines

Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Biotech

MarketPlace PHL

Corteva Agriscience, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Neuronetics Inc.

Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance

Wawa, Inc.

CSL Behring, LLC

Mountaire Farms

SC Gaming LLC


Mastercard International Incorporated

Eisai Inc.

Kemp & Assoc., Inc.

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 5

Ballard Spahr LLP has extensive experience advising on a breadth of white-collar offenses, including financial fraud, tax offenses, public corruption, and commodities fraud. The team is led by Henry E. Hockeimer, who is recommended for matters relating to securities fraud and litigation. Peter Hardy focuses on money laundering allegations and compliance requirements. Noted for his experience with handling disputes before the SEC and DOJ, David Axelrod frequently represents broker-dealers, cryptocurrency issuers, and investment advisors. Located in New York, Marjorie Peerce and Michael Robotti are also key members of the team. Peerce has experience with various regulatory and criminal investigations, including bribery, cryptocurrency trading, and hacking. Robotti is noted for his skills with navigating complex litigation; he has experience with FCPA violations, money laundering, and corporate misconduct. Unless otherwise stated, the lawyers mentioned are based in Philidelphia.  

Practice head(s):

Henry E. Hockeimer

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hardy; David Axelrod; Emilia McKee Vassallo; Marjorie Peerce; Michael Robotti; Celia Cohen


‘Great lawyers and great people.’

‘They have incredible devotion to their clients. They also have great creativity.’


Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 5

The securities litigation practice in Ballard Spahr LLP‘s Philadelphia office ‘delivers practical and concise advice’. Highly-respected trial lawyer David Axelrod leads the practice and Norman Goldberger co-leads the firm’s municipal securities regulation and enforcement team. Axelrod’s recent highlights include acting for pharmaceutical company Teva in a case alleging the company engaged in price fixing, and the team also recently negotiated a deferred prosecution that allowed the company to continue as a going concern in the US. John Grugan left the team in March 2024, while Timothy Katsiff departed in April 2024.

Practice head(s):

David Axelrod


Other key lawyers:


‘Strong practitioners who are responsive and deliver practical and concise advice.’

Key clients

James Pearson

Twitter Inc.

Joseph Bamford

Prestamos CDFI LLC

Ampio Pharmaceuticals

Conduent Incorporated


The New York Times and James Bennet


Paul Spivak

Sandoz AG

Work highlights

The firm: Ballard Spahr LLP, an AmLaw 100 law firm with 15 US 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 US 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: Peter V. Michaud
Number of partners: 220

Department Name Email Telephone
Chair of the Firm Peter V. Michaud
Business and Transactions, Department Chair Nathan E. Seiler
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
Photo Name Position Profile
David Axelrod photo David Axelrod Partner and Practice Leader the Securities Enforcement and Corporate Governance Litigation Group
Michael Berry photo Michael Berry Partner
John Culhane photo John Culhane
Dominic De Simone photo Dominic De Simone Partner and Co-Chair of the Finance Department
Brian Doerner photo Brian Doerner Partner and Practice Co-Leader of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group
Shannon Farmer photo Shannon Farmer Partner
Mark Furletti photo Mark Furletti Partner
David Gest photo David Gest Partner
Patrick Gillard photo Patrick Gillard Partner, Leader of Energy Group, Co-Leader of Project Finance Group
Norman Goldberger photo Norman Goldberger Partner
Kaitlin Gurney photo Kaitlin Gurney Partner
Peter Jaslow photo Peter Jaslow Partner and Practice Co-Leader of the firm’s Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency Group
Leslie John photo Leslie John Partner, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Antitrust and Competition Group, and Co-Leader…
Alan Kaplinsky photo Alan Kaplinsky Senior Counsel and former longtime Practice Leader of the firm’s Consumer Financial…
Stephen Kastenberg photo Stephen Kastenberg Partner
Timothy Katsiff photo Timothy Katsiff Partner
Brian Kearney photo Brian Kearney Associate
Jason Leckerman photo Jason Leckerman Partner and Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department
Edward Leeds photo Edward Leeds Counsel
Tina Makoulian photo Tina Makoulian Partner
Vincent Marriott photo Vincent Marriott Partner and Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery…
Matthew McClure photo Matthew McClure Partner and Team Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Zoning and Land Use Team
Daniel McKenna photo Daniel McKenna Partner and Practice Co-Leader of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Group
Bart Mellits photo Bart Mellits Partner 
Steve Park photo Steve Park Partner and co-leader of the firm’s P3/Infrastructure Group
Brian Pedrow photo Brian Pedrow Partner
Joanne Phillips photo Joanne Phillips Special Counsel
Brian Pinheiro photo Brian Pinheiro Partner and Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation…
Raymond Quaglia photo Raymond Quaglia Partner
William Rhodes photo William Rhodes Partner, Leader of Education Industry Group, Leader of Municipal Recovery Initiative
Alan Ritterband photo Alan Ritterband Partner
Edward Rogers photo Edward Rogers Partner and Leader of the Eminent Domain and Loss Recovery Teams
Jeremy Rosenblum photo Jeremy Rosenblum
Gregory Seltzer photo Gregory Seltzer Partner
Greg Seltzer photo Greg Seltzer Partner
Dara Smith photo Dara Smith Associate
John Socknat photo John Socknat Partner, Co-Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Mortgage Banking Group and Managing Partner…
Ronald Vaske photo Ronald Vaske Partner and Leader of Fintech and Payments Team
Philip Yannella photo Philip Yannella Partner