Press Release

Ballard Spahr Names 11 Attorneys to Firm Partnership

June 28, 2018

Eleven attorneys have been elected to the firm's partnership effective July 1, 2018, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. 

The new partners are drawn from seven of the firm's 15 offices—Baltimore, Delaware, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Their practices encompass business and finance, litigation, and real estate. 

"Our new partners reflect the firm's strong position across a range of practices and industries," Mr. Stewart said. "Our partnership is committed to providing opportunities for lawyers of this caliber, who are dedicated to excellence, client service, and the values that distinguish Ballard Spahr."

Ballard Spahr's new partners are:

Chrissey L. Barba, Philadelphia

Ms. Barba is a member of the Business and Finance Department. She focuses on commercial lending with an emphasis on loan workouts. She represents lenders and creditors in all stages of loan documentation, debt restructuring, enforcement, and related litigation.

Ms. Barba also represents clients in federal and state litigation, including the defense of lender liability claims and prosecution of commercial foreclosures, replevin actions, Uniform Commercial Code proceedings, receivership actions, confessions of judgment, execution and sale of real and personal property, and actions involving discovery and recovery of assets in federal, state, and bankruptcy courts. Her bankruptcy work includes representing creditors and trustees in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 proceedings.

Alicia B. Clark, Denver

Ms. Clark is a co-Leader of the Real Estate Department's Insurance Company and Institutional Investments Team. She practices general real estate law, with a focus on financing, leasing, acquisitions, and dispositions. She has significant experience representing lenders and borrowers in acquisition loans, permanent financing, and bridge loans.

Ms. Clark advises lenders, servicers, and investors in workouts and foreclosures and regularly represents institutional owners in the commercial leasing of industrial, office, and retail properties, as well as industrial tenants in leasing activities across the country.

John Devine, Philadelphia

Mr. Devine is a member of the firm's Business and Finance Department and its Health Care, Life Sciences and Technology, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Private Equity Groups. He has significant experience in middle-market strategic transactions in the health care sector and in guiding clients through challenges and opportunities arising from a changing regulatory landscape. 

Outside the health care sector, he has represented clients nationally and internationally in private equity transactions, venture capital investments, debt and equity financings, and commercial licensing transactions. Before joining Ballard Spahr, Mr. Devine was the Chief Legal Officer for PharmaCo Ventures, a pharmaceutical services company.

John J. Engel, Baltimore

Mr. Engel—a member of the firm's Real Estate Department—represents lenders, originators, and placement agents in structuring, negotiating, and documenting commercial real estate financings, including conventional financings, structured lease-backed financings, multifamily housing financings, preferred equity lending transactions, and construction financings.

He counsels lenders and servicers in assumptions, modifications, defeasances, foreclosures, and workouts. In addition, John represents property owners, developers, and tenants in the acquisition and disposition, development, and leasing of commercial property.

Leslie C. Heilman, Delaware

Ms. Heilman is a litigator whose practice centers on commercial restructuring and bankruptcy. She represents creditor committees, debtors, commercial landlords, and creditors in business reorganizations and liquidation cases in Delaware and nationally.

She is experienced in bankruptcy-related litigation, including claims administration, avoidance actions, and other adversary proceedings. In addition, Ms. Heilman has served as trustee counsel, providing Delaware opinions in connection with tender option bond financings.

Peter Jaslow, Philadelphia

Mr. Jaslow, a member of the Business and Finance Department, represents companies in public and private offerings and other capital-raising transactions, merger and acquisition transactions, and a variety of other commercial technology transactions. He also advises clients on securities matters, including corporate governance, disclosure, and compliance matters.

Mr. Jaslow's practice focuses primarily on the life science, technology, and retail industries, including transactions and strategies involving virtual currency, mobile applications, and cloud-based technology. He has negotiated and prepared agreements involving licensing, software and application development, SaaS and cloud services, distribution and manufacturing, and other commercial activities.

Benjamin A. Kelley, Baltimore

As a member of the firm's Real Estate Department and co-Leader of the Insurance Company and Institutional Investments Team, Mr. Kelley represents lenders and borrowers in commercial real estate and finance transactions, including construction/rehabilitation, acquisition, refinance, bridge, and mezzanine loans; forward commitments; structured credit tenant financings; and assumptions, modifications and defeasances. He counsels lenders making agency loans (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), as well as life insurance companies, banks, financial advisers, broker/dealers, and other lending institutions on matters involving affordable housing, seniors housing, student housing, workforce housing, manufactured housing, office buildings, retail centers, industrial sites/warehouses, aviation facilities, and mixed-use projects.

Mr. Kelley represents developers and property owners in the acquisition, disposition, development, and leasing of commercial real estate projects. He also has extensive experience closing multi-property, multi-jurisdiction, portfolio transactions.

James Kim, New York

Mr. Kim is a noted consumer financial services regulatory attorney who focuses on cutting-edge issues, including financial technology (Fintech), data aggregation, mobile financial services, credit and prepaid cards, and marketplace lending. Mr. Kim assists clients with product design and development, regulatory due diligence, and examinations and investigations with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Trade Commission, and various state agencies.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Mr. Kim was a senior enforcement attorney at the CFPB, where he was lead counsel in the bureau’s first enforcement actions involving mobile payments and was a member of an interdepartmental credit card/prepaid card/emerging payments issue team.

Joshua T. Natzel, Minneapolis

Mr. Natzel advises on employee benefit and executive compensation matters, working with clients in the design, creation, and administration of ESOPs and other retirement plans, health and welfare benefit plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.

Mr. Natzel helps clients across industries navigate the complexities of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, HIPAA, and other related employee benefit laws.

Dameon M. Rivers, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Rivers concentrates his practice on construction and permanent finance transactions involving market rate housing, affordable housing, charter schools, and senior housing facilities.

Mr. Rivers represents clients on both conventional and agency loan executions. His clients include commercial banks, community development financial institutions, and other commercial lenders.

Elizabeth A. Sloan, Delaware

Ms. Sloan is an experienced Delaware Chancery Court litigator who represents clients in breach of fiduciary duty claims, shareholder and corporate governance disputes, and other corporate and commercial litigation issues. She advises clients in the chemical, technology, e-commerce, intellectual property, and consumer financial services industries.

Ms. Sloan represents clients in both state and federal courts and also handles appeals to the Delaware Supreme Court. In addition to her work on corporate and commercial matters, she has experience handling valuation cases and cybersecurity matters.

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