Christopher J. Willis, a litigator with extensive experience in consumer financial services, has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner in the Atlanta office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. The addition of Mr. Willis continues the expansion of the firm’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Group at a transformative time in the financial services industry.

“Chris fills two vitally important roles for the firm: bolstering our thriving Consumer Financial Services practice at a time when clients’ needs are growing and augmenting our litigation capability in the Southeast,” Mr. Stewart said. “We are very pleased to have him as a partner.”

Mr. Willis’s practice is focused on complex litigation, including consumer financial services class actions, employment class and collective actions, complex business/contract litigation and arbitration, and securities litigation. He joins the firm from Rogers & Hardin LLP, in Atlanta.

“We are thrilled that Chris wants to join us, especially now, when the country seems primed for an explosion of consumer financial services litigation,” said Alan S. Kaplinsky, Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group. “His arrival coincides with the start of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We expect that one result of the Bureau’s activity will be an increase in litigation.” Jeremy T. Rosenblum, the Group’s Vice Chair, added: “We have worked with Chris over a period of years and know from personal experience what a gifted litigator he is.”

In the months preceding passage of Dodd-Frank, Ballard Spahr began expanding its Consumer Financial Services practice, with additions in several of its offices, including three in the nation’s capital. Adding Mr. Willis in the Atlanta office is another step in that expansion.

“Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group is nationally prominent,” Mr. Willis said. “I am fortunate to be able to practice with the lawyers in this Group at such an exciting time in this area of the law. I am also looking forward to supplementing Ballard Spahr’s litigation capacity in Atlanta and the Southeast.”

Mr. Willis, who frequently speaks and writes on topics related to his legal practice, is a member of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee and serves as a Master to The Lamar American Inn of Court, affiliated with Emory University School of Law. He serves on the Facilities Committee of Zoo Atlanta, which he represents on pro bono matters. Mr. Willis is a graduate of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and the University of Alabama, both in Birmingham.