Stephen Opler, a private equity and transactional lawyer, has joined Ballard Spahr’s Atlanta office. He previously worked for a BigLaw capital markets group, an investment bank, a Canadian private equity firm, and a community bank.

Mr. Opler spent nearly four years in the corporate, securities, and tax group at Carlton Fields, but outgrew the firm’s regional focus. Since starting at Ballard Spahr, a firm with 13 offices in 12 states and Washington, D.C., Mr. Opler has been enjoying its national reach.

“It became clear that the predominance of my practice was not in Atlanta, so having that national footprint was crucial,” he said. “But I've moved around quite a bit in the past 10 years, and wanted the next place to be the last place. I wanted to be picky about where I went.”

He found a comfortable home in Ballard Spahr’s Atlanta office, where he is the only transactional partner. The Southeast, Mr. Opler said, is a great place to build an upstart mergers and acquisitions practice.

“Stephen will provide a strong presence in the Southeast for our national M&A practice, with a special focus on private equity,” firm Chair Mark Stewart said. “He possesses the legal acumen and first-hand business knowledge that clients look for and that we view as the foundation of a first-rate M&A and private equity practice in the Southeast.”