Mark S. Stewart, a litigator who led strategic planning efforts for Ballard Spahr LLP during the most intensive period of growth in the 475-lawyer firm's history, has been elected to succeed longtime Chair Arthur Makadon when Mr. Makadon's term ends next year.

Mr. Makadon, 67, a nationally known trial attorney, has spent the bulk of his legal career at Ballard Spahr and was instrumental in developing the firm's premier litigation practice. He was elected Chair in July 2002 and has since guided the firm to record profitability and helped it weather the challenges of a global recession. "I could not be more delighted with Mark as my successor," Mr. Makadon said. "He is an extraordinary talent and a dear friend. We do not see the world alike, but he is far better suited than I to head the firm for the next decade and beyond. Meanwhile, I will return full time to what I think I do best: solving very serious problems for very serious clients. While the world has changed greatly in the last few years, these serious problems have become even more challenging, and I welcome the opportunity to devote all my energies to them free of the many responsibilities of the Chair."

Mr. Stewart, 54, began at Ballard Spahr as a summer associate in 1981 and has spent his entire career at the firm, serving in a number of leadership positions. He is a member of its elected Board and its Management Committee, and previously chaired the Hiring Committee and served as co-chair of the Diversity Committee. As Strategic Planning Partner since 2004, he has overseen the firm's acquisition of a prominent intellectual property boutique in Atlanta; the opening of offices in Atlanta, Bethesda, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles; and the recruitment of lateral partners in all 12 cities in which the firm has offices. As a litigator, he has successfully defended corporate and university clients in an array of commercial matters, including securities, antitrust, contract dispute, and product liability cases.

Mr. Stewart will work closely with Mr. Makadon over the next 14 months and will become Chair on July 1, 2011.

"This is an incredible honor, and I am grateful to my partners for their trust," Mr. Stewart said. "When I think about the talent at Ballard Spahr, its ongoing history of excellence and service, and the enormous contributions to that history by Peter Mattoon, David Cohen, and Arthur, humility is the prevailing emotion. Arthur is the reason I came to Ballard Spahr and has been my friend and mentor from my first day. It is a privilege to succeed him."

Mr. Stewart, of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from the University of Delaware and attended the London School of Economics. He served as law clerk to the Hon. Justice Sidney M. Schreiber of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He is a father of three and an avid runner who for 18 years served as director of the Philadelphia Distance Run, the premier half-marathon in the United States. His wife, Mary Gay Scanlon, is Executive Director of Ballard Spahr's Pro Bono Program.