Eminent Domain

Ballard Spahr lawyers advise and litigate across the country on behalf of property owners faced with condemnation as well as on behalf of public entities exercising the power of eminent domain. Our work includes all aspects of condemnation, including pre-taking planning, acquisitions in lieu of condemnation, regulatory and de facto takings, and trial, settlement, and appeals of just compensation and relocation benefits claims.

We are experienced in a broad spectrum of takings: highway improvements, airport expansion, open-space acquisitions, transit facilities, port development, and redevelopment projects. Our clients are owners of manufacturing facilities, commercial and residential development sites, shopping centers, office buildings, telecommunications facilities, power stations, and outdoor advertising signs. We also represent state agencies, municipalities, pipeline companies, and utilities in condemnations for public projects. Significantly, lawyers in the practice have worked in legal and administrative positions in government agencies with large real estate portfolios and the power of eminent domain, advising on planning, acquisitions, relocation benefits, and condemnation.


Condemnee/Owner Representations

Representative Shopping Center, Office, and Retail Matters

  • Ongoing consultation for national shopping center REITs on the potential consequences of condemnation and negotiations with condemning authorities for properties across the country.
  • Representing a national waste hauling company in sale in lieu of condemnation adjacent to the Philadelphia Port.
  • Representing an auto dealership in a complete taking by the Delaware Department of Transportation.

    Condemnor Representations


    • Defending the City of Sioux Falls, SD against a de facto taking claim in connection with a roadway project, in which the owner alleges a taking of his property 15(+) years ago.
    • Represented the City of Salem, NJ in a condemnation of an office building as well as multiple parcels for an affordable housing project.
    • Represented a local Utah municipality in a potential eminent domain case in an effort to prevent an adjacent county from constructing a public road over a mountain pass into the municipality.