Michael Sklaroff, founder and former longtime Chair of Ballard Spahr’s nationally acclaimed Real Estate Department, will receive the Harris Ominsky Award from the Real Property Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association in recognition of his legal talent and achievements, contributions to the public interest, and integrity.

The award presentation will be featured at the Real Property Section’s Reception & Annual Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, 1901 John F. Kennedy Boulevard. Mr. Sklaroff will be honored along with Deborah McColloch, director of the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development, who will receive the Section’s Good Deed Award. The awards are the Section’s highest annual honors.

“There couldn’t be a more deserving recipient of the Ominsky Award than Michael. He was the driving force behind creating and growing one of the preeminent real estate practices in Philadelphia and, in fact, in the country,” said Bart Mellits, Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Real Estate Department, which Chambers USA described as a “national powerhouse.”

“His legal talent and accomplishments are only part of what makes Michael an exceptional lawyer and colleague who brings honor to the Philadelphia real estate bar. Having worked with him for many years, I can personally attest to Michael’s mentorship of many younger attorneys and his valued support of his contemporaries. He has not only helped those individuals thrive, but at the same time raised the quality of the real estate bar in Philadelphia.”

Mr. Sklaroff’s extraordinary career of more than 40 years in Philadelphia includes serving as founding Chairman of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Real Property Section. After founding Ballard Spahr’s Real Estate Department in the 1980s, he served as Department Chair for 25 years before transitioning leadership to Bart Mellits and focusing on supporting the firm’s practices and his work. Mr. Sklaroff has advised cultural and educational institutions, developers and governmental agencies in projects that help define the City, and has taken an active role in major real estate litigation. 

Mr. Sklaroff was deputy executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia. He chaired the Philadelphia Historical Commission for six years, following six years as a member of the Commission. He chairs and helped found the Development Workshop, Inc., a group of development professionals that advocates for development in the Philadelphia region. He is a fellow and trustee of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 

“I am honored in the recognition that I have made a positive contribution to my colleagues, my firm, my profession, and Philadelphia, the city that I love,” Mr. Sklaroff said. “Receiving the Harris Ominsky Award is a career highlight that I shall always cherish.”

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