Firm Profile > Ballard Spahr LLP > Philadelphia , United States

Ballard Spahr LLP
1735 MARKET STREET, 51ST FLOOR
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103-7599
United States

M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 1

Ballard Spahr LLP acts for both buyers and sellers, ranging from small, privately held companies to multinational public companies, in deals spanning the middle- and lower-middle markets; and the practice has deal experience in sectors such as life sciences, technology, aerospace, manufacturing and telecoms. Other industry areas of expertise include gaming, consumer products, retail, healthcare, financial services, waste management and energy. Active clients are Vynamic, Organa Brands and PVH. The firm's M&A attorneys also regularly work alongside its tax, securities, executive compensation, employee benefits, IP and environmental law colleagues. The M&A practice group has worked on a broad variety of M&A transactions, including public and private mergers, stock acquisitions and divestitures, and asset purchases and sales. Karen McConnell in Phoenix and Minneapolis' Robert Tunheim co-chair the private equity group. New York's retail and fashion group practice leader David Landau led advice to PVH on the acquisition of Geoffrey Beene, a men’s clothing brand; Michele Rowland in Denver acted for Organa Brands, which comprises cannabis industry brands, in the sale of its National Concessions Group operations to Slang Worldwide, a newly formed special purpose Canadian company; and co-practice leader of the emerging growth and venture capital group Gregory Seltzer assisted Dan Calista, the sole owner of the membership interest of Vynamic, a healthcare industry management consulting firm, with the sale of the membership interest to Riverwalk Healthcare, a newly formed subsidiary of UDG Healthcare US Holdings. Also highly regarded are co-practice life sciences and technology group leader Brian DoernerDavid Rudd in Salt Lake City, whose clients include private equity fund buyers and sellers as well as strategic buyers and sellers; Damon Barry leads the firm’s sports practice in Denver. Amit Kakkar is a notable associate. Named individuals are in Philadelphia unless otherwise stated.

Next Generation Partners

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal Tier 1

The Ballard Spahr LLP practice specializes in bonded debt, and benefits from the firm’s expertise in local and labor tax. Vincent Marriott, based in Philadelphia, leads a team that is experienced Chapter 9, acting for indenture trustees, credit enhancers and borrowers. Public finance specialist William Rhodes, also in Philadelphia, is head of the firm’s municipal recovery initiative. The department represented the National Federation of Municipal Analysts in the preparation and submission of an amicus curia brief at the First Circuit. The matter relates to a ruling at the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico against the holders and insurers of special revenue bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority; associate Chantelle McClamb was heavily involved in this case. In another highlight, the practice is representing Wells Fargo, as indenture trustee, in the default and bankruptcy of a multi-hospital health system in California that has multiple series of municipal bonds outstanding. Adding strength to the national finance and bankruptcy bench are William Wassweiler, who joined the team in Minneapolis after the firm merged with legacy firm Lindquist & Vennum LLP; and David Fernandez, who arrived in the New York office from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

Land use/zoning Tier 2

Noted in particular for its work in Philadelphia and Baltimore, Ballard Spahr LLP assists clients with permits and approvals for real estate development projects, including environmental permitting and historical preservation issues. Of note, the team provides ongoing advice to the Philadelphia Phillies regarding modifications made to Citizens Bank Park, which recently included an interactive baseball-featured entertainment center and a hardened security perimeter intended to protect from potential terrorist attacks. Additionally, Philadelphia-based practice head Matthew McClure acted for Nature Lands in obtaining land use approvals for 1,500 acres of preservation and conservation areas in Pennsylvania, and successfully defended the client in opposing litigation. In Philadelphia the firm is acting for Southern Land in its $300m development of a mixed-use high-rise project on a one-acre site on Rittenhouse Square. In Salt Lake City, Thomas Bennett is assisting SRDV with the development of the St. Regis Deer Valley Hotel at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.

Product liability, mass tort and class actions: automotive/transport - defense Tier 2

With extensive experience in class actions, Ballard Spahr LLP has ‘deep knowledge’ of the automotive industry and ‘takes a pragmatic approach to litigation’. In New Jersey, ‘highly responsive’ practice head Neal Walters and Roberto Rivera-Soto are representing longstanding client Kia Motors in a class action alleging consumer fraud and breach of warranty based on brake defects; Walters is also defending Subaru against allegations that several of its vehicle models suffer from engine rod defects. In other work, the team is acting for automotive seat manufacturer Johnson Controls in two lawsuits claiming the plaintiffs sustained enhanced injuries in motor vehicle accidents as a result of certain seat defects. New Jersey-based associate Casey Watkins, who has ‘excellent legal skills’ is also recommended. John Kearney retired in December 2017.

Civil litigation/class actions: plaintiff Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP's antitrust team 'is simply exceptional'. In Philadelphia, Edward Rogers 'has great communication skills and is efficient with his time and his clients'. In New York, Jay Fastow 'is excellent in the field of litigation' and 'a great guide through complicated issues'. Stephen Kastenberg recently led advice to GlaxoSmithKline regarding two related class actions claiming substantial damages arsing from an alleged conspiracy with Biovail to bring sham patent litigation against generics manufacturers and to enter into reverse-payment agreements. Rogers and Fastow teamed up with Jason Leckerman to represent 19 municipalities and water authorities in their claims against chemical companies and select individuals on the grounds of an alleged conspiracy to inflate the price of aluminum sulfate. Leslie John leads the practice and is also a key name to note. Named individuals are based in Philadelphia unless otherwise stated.

E-discovery Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP's Philadelphia-based group is well equipped to provide litigation support to clients in the form of, among other things, data collection, extraction, review, production and preservation. It is also often called upon to advise on litigation hold, back-up and retention policies. The team is led by industry veteran Philip Yannella, whose past mandates include serving as e-discovery counsel to Nasdaq in the litigation surrounding Facebook's initial public offering. The group advised and represented PNC Bank on all phases of electronic discovery in multi-district litigation relating to overdraft fees. On the advisory side, it assisted New York University with the development of an internal legal hold standard operating procedure, and advised American Credit Acceptance on the development of a full suite of litigation hold, record retention, data privacy and security policies and procedures. It also serves on the e-discovery and data management counsel panel for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP handles project acquisitions, construction agreements, and project development and financing arrangements for project developers and sponsors, tax equity investors, bank lenders and governmental entities. Philadelphia-based Patrick Gillard heads the practice group. Raymond Faricy joined the Minneapolis office as a result of the firm's merger with Lindquist & Vennum PLLP.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 3

Ballard Spahr LLP advises public and private REITs on complex corporate, securities, tax, real estate, and bankruptcy law issues. HCP is a longstanding REIT client that invests primarily in real estate serving the US healthcare industry; the team recently advised HCP, as borrower, on a new $2bn unsecured revolving credit facility and a $750m at-the-market equity offering. Charles Moran and Douglas Fox, and Craig Ganz in Phoenix, are experienced advisers. Thomas Bashore II is a notable of counsel. The attorneys recommended are in Baltimore unless otherwise stated.

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

Ballard Spahr LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable and practical’ benefits practice saw considerable growth in 2018 following a merger with Lindquist & Vennum PLLP, which brought to the team Minneapolis-based Joshua Natzel and Robert Hartman. ‘Excellent advisor’ and practice head Brian Pinheiro has ‘thorough knowledge of the benefits field and is pleasure to work with’; he and Diane Thompson regularly handle matters involving executive compensation, including 409A and 280G compliance, health and welfare benefit plans and qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. In addition, the team advises Capital Health on C-suite deferred compensation agreements, and assists Wawa Inc with its ESOP and employee health benefit arrangements. Further, Pinheiro and counsel Edward Leeds are providing ERISA fiduciary advice to CSL Behring. Additional clients include American Pension Services, NRG Energy and Union Pacific. Named lawyers are based in Philadelphia unless otherwise stated.

Outsourcing Tier 4

Ballard Spahr LLP has particular expertise in advising distressed corporates on strategic outsourcing matters in the context of corporate restructuring; it also has noted expertise in the renegotiation of outsourcing agreements. Key figures in the team include Washington DC-based Christopher D. Ford, who joined from Morrison & Foerster LLP, and counsel David H. Medlar, who joined the New York office from Morrison & Foerster LLP. The practice group is especially active in the logistics, payment processing and financial services industries. Recent highlights included the team representing an aviation company in negotiations regarding the outsourcing and standardization of its payment stream, and assisting a healthcare and pharmaceutical company with the restructuring of its global accounting outsourcing relationship.

Real estate Tier 4

Ballard Spahr LLP merged with Lindquist & Vennum PLLP in January 2018, a deal which added seven attorneys to the firm's real estate team, which advises on development, land use, tax structuring, construction, leasing, condominiums, mixed-use projects and condemnation. The firm also represents borrowers and lenders in relation to private equity, REITs and CMBS. Clients include developers, hotel brands, management companies, housing authorities, underwriters and investors. Mark Pollak in Baltimore recently advised Sagamore Development on its $6.9bn, 260-acre Port Covington redevelopment project. Philadelphia-based Tina Makoulian represented The Chemours Company on the $100m development and construction of a 330,000 square foot office, research and lab facility on the University of Delaware's science, technology and advanced research campus in Newark. Another highlight included acting for SRDV on the $300m development of the St Regis Deer Valley Hotel in Utah; this included advising on negotiations with unit purchasers, zoning and entitlements, property tax appeals and hotel management. Practice chair Bart Mellits and Alan Ritterband, both based in Philadelphia, are also recommended. The new joiners from Lindquist included three partners in Minneapolis: Laura Krenz, James Walston and Debra Page. Jeffrey Page also joined the firm as partner in New York from Reed Smith LLP. David Barksdale departed for Loeb & Loeb LLP.

Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 5

Ballard Spahr LLP's 'overall team performance is exceptional', according to one source, who particularly notes Philadelphia's Edward Rogers for his 'excellent client communication skills and outstanding efficiency with his client's time'. In recent highlights, Stephen Kastenberg secured a major win for GlaxoSmithKline in two related class action suits arising from an alleged conspiracy to file sham patent litigation and enter into 'reverse payment' agreements to suppress the entry to market of generic competition. Leslie John is currently representing Niagara Bottling in a false advertising claim brought by a seller of bulk spring water and a nationwide class of sellers. He also acted for SIGMA Corporation in 19 individual class actions centered on price-fixing and monopolization allegations. Also notable is New York's Jay Fastow, who 'is clearly an antitrust expert'.

Financial services regulation Tier 6

With practitioners situated throughout the country, including in the Midwest following its merger with Minnesota-based Lindquist & Venuum, Ballard Spahr LLP has the critical mass and depth of expertise to provide a 'very knowledgeable and responsive service' to clients across the gamut of issues affecting their consumer finance businesses. The team is 'regularly and meaningfully engaged in rule-making and legislative proposals and has contacts within the agencies to be able to clarify matters when needed'. Recently the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers (and one of 11 lawyers within the team accepted as a member of the ACCFSL), Philadelphia-based team head Alan Kaplinsky has tremendous credibility in the industry and is regularly engaged by industry bodies, including the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), to provide comment letters on behalf of their members to the CFPB. A leading authority on the use of arbitration provisions in consumer financial services contracts, Kaplinsky had a pivotal role in repealing the final Arbitration Rule, which prohibited the use of class action waivers in arbitration agreements thereby conferring considerable financial benefits on the industry by avoiding a potential floodgate of class action claims. The firm has also forged a strong reputation in the fintech space, particularly with regard to marketplace lending. Based out of the firm's Philadelphia office, John Culhane provides 'solutions-oriented advice', particularly as it relates to student lending law. Other recommended practitioners include Washington DC-based mortgage banking specialists Richard Andreano and John Socknat; Philadelphia-based Mark Furlettti, who heads the firm's Telephone Consumer Protection Act team; and Washington DC-based payments expert Christopher Ford, who joined in August 2018 from Morrison & Foerster LLP. Scott Pearson left to join Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

Next Generation Partners

Project finance

The energy and project finance team at Ballard Spahr LLP is instructed by lenders and sponsors in project finance mandates, where renewable energy projects are a particular area of expertise. Thomas Hoffmann in Washington DC and Patrick Gillard in Philadelphia jointly head the team, which includes Dirk Michels in Los Angeles and Minneapolis-based Raymond Faricy. Darin Lowder joined Foley & Lardner LLP in 2019.

Chairman: Mark Stewart
Number of partners: 262

 Firm Overview: Ballard Spahr is a national firm with 15 offices. Attorneys provide counseling and advocacy 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: Attorneys in the Business and Transactions Department design strategies, share insights, and assist clients in realizing their goals in a wide array of sectors. The firm’s M&A lawyers structure, negotiate, and close transactions, and its securities attorneys advise on capital-raising activities and compliance with public reporting and proxy obligations. Our Consumer Financial Services Group advises on regulatory matters, assists in the design and documentation of credit products, and represents 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 meet compliance requirements as well as business goals. 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.

Intellectual Property: We counsel clients on developing, commercializing, enforcing, and defending their intellectual property assets. We provide a full range of services, including assisting with patent procurement and licensing, protection of patent, trademark, and copyright portfolios, and developing strong brands. We bring protective actions for clients’ property in the United States and globally. Our team of more than 50 attorneys and professionals has the experience, resources, and versatility to handle the most complex IP issues. Our 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: Litigation is the firm’s largest department, with more than 260 attorneys in 15 offices nationwide. Commercial litigators handle disputes involving breach of contract and UCC-related matters; unfair competition; business torts; breach of fiduciary duty; fraud; antitrust and securities laws; class actions; corporate governance; real estate litigation and transactions; construction claims; lending and 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 and 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, with a focus on climate change and sustainability. Bankruptcy attorneys handle corporate restructurings, municipal insolvencies, Chapter 11 creditor and 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. The firm’s Media and Entertainment attorneys counsel and litigate on behalf of content providers across media platforms.

Finance: Our Finance Department comprises attorneys skilled in public finance, real estate finance, P3/Infrastructure deals, commercial finance, energy project finance, and housing finance. Its public finance prac­tice is among the finest in the country, having participated in the issuance of more than $1 trillion in tax-exempt obligations in every U.S. state and territory. The group has been nationally recognized by The Bond Buyer since 1958 and was named US News & World Report’s ‘2017 Public Finance Law Firm of the Year.’ The Real Estate Finance Group represents lenders, special servicers, private equity firms, REITs, life insurance companies, CMBS lenders, and borrowers in an array of loan transactions and distressed real estate deals. Housing 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 Energy and Project Finance Group handles the development, acquisition, and financing of energy assets—from traditional to cutting-edge, renewable resources—and helps clients meet regulatory compliance considerations.

Real Estate: With almost 130 lawyers nationwide, our real estate attorneys serve a diverse client base from coast to coast. The Development and Complex 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, investors, and lenders in some of the nation’s largest affordable housing transactions, as well as GSE and HUD financing and tax credit transactions.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chair of the Firm Mark S. Stewart
Business and Transactions, Department Chair Peter V. Michaud
Intellectual Property, Department Chair Lynn E. Rzonca
Litigation, Department Chair Geoffrey A. Kahn
Finance, Department Co-Chair Dominic J. De Simone
Finance, Department Co-Chair Emilie R. Ninan
Real Estate, Department Chair Bart I. Mellits
Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer Amy T. Shepherd
Photo Name Position Profile
 Brian Doerner  photo Brian Doerner
 Mark Furletti  photo Mark Furletti
 Patrick Gillard  photo Patrick Gillard
 Amit Kakkar  photo Amit Kakkar
 Alan Kaplinsky  photo Alan Kaplinsky
 Tina Makoulian  photo Tina Makoulian
 Vincent Marriott photo Vincent Marriott
 Matthew McClure  photo Matthew McClure
 Bart Mellits  photo Bart Mellits
 William Rhodes  photo William Rhodes
 Alan Ritterband  photo Alan Ritterband
 Greg Seltzer  photo Greg Seltzer
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