Mark Stewart, a litigator who led strategic planning efforts for Ballard Spahr during the most comprehensive period of growth in the law firm’s 126-year history, becomes Chair of the firm today.

Mr. Stewart began his legal career as a summer associate at Ballard Spahr in 1981 and has held a variety of leadership positions at the firm. As Strategic Planning Partner since 2004, Mr. Stewart oversaw the opening of six offices—in Atlanta, Bethesda, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego—and the recruitment of lateral partners firm wide. Mr. Stewart also helped spearhead the firm’s addition of both Needle & Rosenberg, a prominent intellectual property firm in Atlanta, and La Bella & McNamara, a litigation boutique in San Diego.

Mr. Stewart’s practice focused on commercial litigation, including securities, antitrust, contract disputes, and product liability. He will manage and maintain his client relationships but will serve as full-time Chair at Ballard Spahr.

“We are a firm that has been purposeful in not sacrificing the ideals of partnership and client service for individual financial gain and acclaim,” Mr. Stewart said. “The honor of leading such an organization is high, but the responsibility to preserve our distinctive culture in the face of unprecedented change may be higher.”

Mr. Stewart succeeds longtime Chair Arthur Makadon, a nationally recognized litigator who will return full time to his active practice at the firm. Mr. Makadon, who became Chair in 2002, guided the firm to record profitability and helped it weather the challenges of a global recession.

“The last nine years have been gratifying in ways I could not have imagined, but I am more than ready to turn my attention full time to practicing law,” Mr. Makadon said. “I know that Mark is fully ready to lead the firm and I have no doubt that he will be a terrific Chair.”