Ballard Spahr has formed a Commercial Real Estate Recovery Group that will combine the firm’s distressed real estate capabilities with a strategic focus on emerging lending and investment opportunities in the rapidly changing commercial real estate and finance markets.

The new group represents an expansion of Ballard Spahr’s highly successful Distressed Real Estate Initiative, which was launched in 2008 to help clients throughout the country plan, adapt and prosper in a challenging economic environment. Since then, the firm’s attorneys have handled hundreds of distressed real estate loan workouts, restructurings and enforcement actions across the nation, including matters in such hard-hit markets as Nevada and Arizona.

The Commercial Real Estate Recovery Group merges Ballard’s distressed real estate capabilities with the firm’s established skills in real estate finance, capital markets, complex investment and joint ventures, real estate development and taxation. Members of the group will advise clients in a full range of financing and investment matters, including senior and mezzanine loan transactions, CMBS lending programs, single asset and portfolio investment opportunities, rescue capital transactions, and legacy asset and distressed loan transactions.

“Because of our national platform, our lawyers experienced the economic downturn early and launched the Distressed Real Estate Initiative,” said Michael Sklaroff, Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Real Estate Department. “Once again, we are moving forward to marshal our forces to serve clients in the changing real estate economy.”

Members of the Commercial Real Estate Recovery Group will be resident in Ballard Spahr offices throughout the country. The practice will be led by partners David A. Barksdale in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Dominic J. De Simone in Philadelphia, Jeffrey S. Pitcher in Phoenix, and Kelly M. Wrenn in Washington, D.C. Mr. Barksdale and Mr. De Simone also led the firm’s Distressed Real Estate Initiative.