John B. Langel has been named Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department, and William C. Rhodes will lead its Public Finance Department, firm Chair Mark S. Stewart announced today. The appointments were effective January 1.

As Litigation Chair, Mr. Langel will oversee Ballard Spahr’s largest practice group, with more than 200 attorneys in 13 offices nationwide. The firm is known for the strength of its litigation team, which represents clients in cases ranging from securities class actions to complex commercial litigation and contractual disputes and federal and state appeals. Mr. Langel succeeds William A. Slaughter, who will maintain his practice and remain General Counsel to the firm and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

As Public Finance Chair, Mr. Rhodes will be at the helm of a powerhouse practice that has participated in billions of dollars in financings over the past 60 years. Its more than 50 attorneys represent state and local governments and authorities, nonprofit organizations, and financial institutions in virtually every type of bond transaction. Mr. Rhodes succeeds Blake K. Wade, who will maintain his practice and become Managing Partner of the firm’s office in Salt Lake City.

“Litigation and public finance are two of our most well-regarded practices and I am confident that John and Bill will leverage their considerable leadership abilities to make them even stronger,” Mr. Stewart said. “Everyone here is grateful to Bill and Blake, whose wisdom and guidance have helped make us so successful. We are fortunate to have such depth of talent.”

Mr. Langel led Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group since its inception nearly 35 years ago and has built it into a formidable ally to clients as they navigate an increasingly complex array of workplace issues. David S. Fryman, a litigator known for his work in labor and employment matters, succeeds Mr. Langel as leader of the firm’s labor and employment practice.

Of his new role as Litigation Chair, Mr. Langel said: “Our clients face unprecedented challenges and it is more vital than ever that they remain agile, informed, and financially robust. Our job is to help them avoid and remove obstacles to their success and pave the way so that they can do business. With the help of a stellar team, I look forward to expanding our litigation capability nationwide.”

Mr. Rhodes was instrumental in forming the firm’s Municipal Recovery Initiative, which guides towns and cities through financial challenge.

“I am excited to lead the public finance practice in a firm that has remained committed to the municipal market, even during difficult conditions,” Mr. Rhodes said. “I plan to expand the depth and diversity of our public finance practice, as well as our national footprint, while maintaining the principles that have made ours one of the premier public finance practices in the country.”