Bart I. Mellits, who represents clients nationwide in real estate leasing, acquisition, development, and financing transactions, became Chair of Ballard Spahr’s acclaimed Real Estate Department on January 1, 2013, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.
As Chair, Mr. Mellits will lead a department of 110 lawyers in 11 of the firm’s 13 offices. Ballard Spahr is known for the depth, breadth, and excellence of its Real Estate Department nationwide. The practice is described as a “national powerhouse” by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and ranks in the highest tier nationally in U.S. News & World Report.
Mr. Mellits is noted for his broad commercial transactional practice, including the development and leasing of biotech parks, university research facilities, and medical office buildings; warehouse and distribution facilities; regional shopping centers; and hotels and office buildings. He has held a variety of leadership positions at the firm, serving as Vice Chair of the Real Estate Department and a member of the firm’s Elected and Expanded Boards.
Mr. Mellits succeeds Michael Sklaroff, who established the department at Ballard Spahr 25 years ago and has successfully guided it through ever-changing market conditions. Mr. Sklaroff is a widely respected leader in the Philadelphia region’s real estate community, and is the force behind the development of scores of landmark buildings throughout the region, including the Philadelphia Orchestra’s home at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. He will continue his active practice in real estate development, land use, and eminent domain.
Said Mr. Mellits: "Our Real Estate Department owes its success to a deep bench of talented attorneys and also to a strategic vision that fostered agility through changing economic conditions. I am fortunate to be succeeding to the leadership of this vibrant, diversified practice, which Michael built from the ground up. I am deeply grateful to him and eager to continue his legacy of targeted growth, collegiality, and client service."
"When I look at the countless contributions Michael has made to the firm's success, three stand out," Mr. Stewart said. "One is the masterful way in which he built our real estate practice into one of the most prominent in the nation, the second is his constant search for ways to make the firm and the department better, and the third is his wisdom in selecting Bart Mellits as his successor."
"It has been a great privilege—and my honor—to have stood at the helm of this department," said Mr. Sklaroff. "The practice has grown, adapted, and flourished over the years. The talented young people we hired as associates are assuming leadership positions at the firm, as it should be. Bart is an extraordinary example of those leaders, a man of talent and vision. The department is in good hands."