Prominent corporate and tax attorney John L. Ruppert and distinguished transactional and finance attorney Michele J. Rowland have joined the Denver office of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP as partners, augmenting the firm's national corporate practice and elevating the profile of all its Western offices, Ballard Chairman Arthur Makadon announced today.

"This is one of the most advantageous opportunities to come our way," Mr. Makadon said of Ballard's acquisition of Mr. Ruppert, a former Ballard partner, and Ms. Rowland. "Difficult economic times often present tremendous opportunities if one is positioned to take advantage of them. We are fortunate to be able to do so."

Roger P. Thomasch, managing partner of Ballard's Denver office, described the acquisition as a "unique opportunity to add superb lawyers who are a perfect fit. One well-recognized publication described our firm as 'outstanding lawyers at the top of their game.' That description also fits these folks, and we are delighted."

Mr. Ruppert is very pleased to be returning to Ballard. "These are particularly challenging times for lawyers, law firms, and our clients," he said. "But it also is an ideal time for us to capitalize on opportunities and build for the future, something Arthur, Roger, and the rest of the Ballard leadership are keenly aware of. We believe the firm's growth strategy is on target, and we are excited to be a part of it."

Ms. Rowland echoed Mr. Ruppert's enthusiasm. "I'm thrilled for the opportunity to join Ballard and look forward to serving my clients as a member of Ballard's national corporate team."

About the Attorneys

John L. Ruppert, a former partner at Ballard Spahr, focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, corporate and commercial finance, reorganizations, recapitalizations, business combinations, restructurings, private equity, and executive compensation, as well as the federal income tax matters relating to these transactions. He represents private equity funds in fund formation and capital raises and in acquisitions and dispositions of portfolio companies. Mr. Ruppert regularly advises boards of directors and senior management in connection with structuring deals and related tax, financing, and executive compensation arrangements. Mr. Ruppert is a graduate of New York University School of Law (LL.M. 1979), where he was student editor of the Tax Law Review; the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (J.D. 1978), where he was Editor in Chief of the University of Denver College of Law Review; and Northwestern University (B.A. 1975).

Michele J. Rowland concentrates her practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and corporate finance. She represents large- and middle-market companies, private equity funds, entrepreneurs, and portfolio companies involved in a broad range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, equity financings, private placements, senior and subordinated debt financings, corporate restructurings and workouts, entity formation, fund formation, and general corporate matters. Her experience covers a wide range of industries, including communications, professional services, consumer products, real estate, electrical contracting, media and publishing, hotel and gaming, and employment staffing. Ms. Rowland is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School (J.D. 1999) and the University of Iowa (B.A. 1995).