Paul E. Harner, who has served as lead counsel in some of the nation’s most significant restructurings, has joined Ballard Spahr to lead the firm’s restructuring practice in New York, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. Mr. Harner joins the firm from the New York office of Latham & Watkins, where he was a partner.

Mr. Harner—who will be resident in Ballard Spahr’s offices in New York and Baltimore—represents clients in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court workouts, and litigation. He has played a leading role in landmark national and international corporate restructurings, including Chapter 11 cases involving American Airlines, Six Flags Entertainment, Nextel International, National Century Financial Enterprises, Kmart Corporation, USG Corporation, R.H. Macy & Co., and Federated Department Stores.

“Everyone at Ballard who met Paul was struck by his character, class, and affability. When you combine these traits with his outstanding know-how, we can't imagine anything but great success," Mr. Stewart said. "Paul's joining us says a lot about the strength of our bankruptcy practice. The important new dimension he brings to the group only makes it better."

Mr. Harner has a national practice and experience handling “bet-the-company” matters in a range of industries, including financial services, entertainment, manufacturing, aviation, and real estate. He advises on distressed mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions. He also counsels boards of directors and management in fraudulent conveyance, illegal dividends, preferential transfer, fiduciary duty, and corporate governance issues and has represented companies in formation, spinoffs, secured financings, and recapitalizations.

“Paul is generally recognized as one of the finest company-side restructuring lawyers in the country,” said Vincent J. Marriott III, leader of Ballard Spahr’s bankruptcy practice. “He has participated in many of the largest and most complex Chapter 11 cases of the last 25 years, and his arrival at Ballard Spahr will greatly enhance our capabilities in that space. Paul also strengthens our capabilities in the representation of other participants in distressed situations, including official committees, noteholder groups, and secured lenders. We are delighted to welcome Paul to the firm.”

Mr. Harner writes and lectures nationally on topics involving corporate insolvency, workouts, and bankruptcy. Turnarounds & Workouts has ranked him among the 12 “Outstanding Bankruptcy Lawyers” in the United States numerous times and he has been named a leader in the field by Chambers USA for more than a decade.

“I have known Vince for years and have enormous respect for him and for his colleagues at Ballard. They handle sophisticated matters for clients across the country and are recognized leaders in the area,” Mr. Harner said. “I look forward to adding my experience and helping to build an enhanced practice at the firm.”