Mae Prestera—an executive with more than 20 years of experience in financial analysis and reporting, legal pricing and project management, and budget development and oversight—has joined Ballard Spahr as Chief Financial Officer, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. Ms. Prestera, a certified public accountant, will oversee the firm’s finance and accounting operations nationwide.

Ms. Prestera joined Ballard Spahr in 1997 as Controller and left in 2005 to start and manage a family-owned consulting business. She returned to the firm as a consultant in 2010 and has played a critical role in building the firm's financial capabilities, including the development and implementation of the tools the firm uses to analyze pricing options and practice profitability.

“Mae truly understands the firm, where we are going, and how to help us get there,” said Mark Langdon, Ballard Spahr’s Executive Director. “She combines deep financial accounting and reporting expertise with the proven ability to develop processes and technologies that allow us to use financial information as a road map to meet client service goals and drive profitability.”

Ms. Prestera recognizes that evolving client needs and expectations in an increasingly competitive legal services market have challenged law firm financial professionals to provide value in new and creative ways, enabled by new skill sets, processes, and technology tools.

“The CFO role has moved beyond simply managing accounting operations and providing standard financial and management reporting. The finance department is acting more and more as a partner to help lawyers satisfy client needs for increased efficiency, greater transparency, and more flexibility,” Ms. Prestera said. “Ballard strives above all to provide excellent client service. I'm thrilled to rejoin the firm's leadership team with a focus on continuing to find new ways to provide greater value to our clients and improve performance.”

Over the past decade, Ballard Spahr has consistently been recognized by legal industry publications as a top firm for women lawyers and The American Lawyer ranks it fourth in the nation for its percentage of female equity partners. That inclusion extends to business professionals. In addition to Ms. Prestera as CFO, women professionals lead a number of other critical firm functions, including information systems and technology, marketing and business development, pricing and legal project management, and firm-wide office operations and facilities.