Joanne Phillips

Special Counsel

Joanne Phillips has extensive experience in zoning and land use, real estate development, acquisitions and sales, leasing, eminent domain matters, easements and right-of-way issues, and real estate financing. She has represented business clients, cultural institutions, hospitals, and universities in real estate development and real estate finance.

In 2017, Joanne was elected to serve as Delaware County Controller and began her four-year term in January 2018. Her office oversees payroll, accounts payable, audits, retirement, and preparation of the County's financial reports. As Controller she also serves as board member and Secretary to the Delaware County Employees' Retirement System, and the County Jail Oversight Board. In 2020 she was named to the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board by the Delaware County Council. 

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, Board Member

The Counselors of Real Estate®, Delaware Valley Chapter, past Chair, 2015; awarded the CRE® credential in 2011; Chair of  Legal and Insurance Group, 2020

Government Finance Officers Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

Legal 500, Real Estate - Land Use/Zoning, 2022, 2024

Speaking Engagements

Joanne has lectured and published on the topics of real estate development, permitting, historic preservation, and zoning and land use. Speaking and writing engagements since returning to Ballard Spahr in 2010 include:

Presenter, "Zoning and Land Use," University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, 2019-2020

Moderator, "Philadelphia Zoning Code: 2017 Legislative Update," Ballard Spahr breakfast briefing, Philadelphia, June 29, 2017

Board Memberships & Community Service

Delaware County, Jail Oversight Board, Member

Secretary to the Delaware County Retirement Board

The PENJERDEL Council, Past Executive Member

Widener University School of Law, past member, Board of Overseers

Rose Tree Soccer Club, licensed coach and former Director



Widener University School of Law (J.D., summa cum laude, 1987)
Law Review Executive Board, Delaware Journal of Corporate Law; Member, Moot Court Honor Society; Member, Phi Delta Phi (legal honor fraternity)

Ursinus College (B.A. 1980, with departmental honors)
Presidential Scholar, 1976-1980