Keli Colby—a real estate attorney with more than 25 years' experience, including 15 years in-house at a prominent real estate investment trust (REIT)—has joined Ballard Spahr in the firm's Washington, D.C., office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Ms. Colby has worked on a variety of major real estate projects and transactions both as in-house and outside counsel in the D.C. metropolitan area and nationally. She joins Ballard Spahr from Boston Properties, Inc., a publicly traded, national REIT, where she worked for 15 years as Vice President and Counsel in the company's D.C. office.

At Boston Properties, Ms. Colby handled legal matters pertaining to all aspects of the company's business, including property acquisitions and sales, development, structuring of complex mixed- use projects, joint ventures, finance transactions, leasing, construction, property management, and supervision of bankruptcy cases and other litigation. Ms. Colby also selected and supervised outside counsel, and advised and collaborated with senior executives and other business personnel on transactions, business objectives, and management and operational issues.

She led the legal effort for some of the company’s D.C. region most significant projects and transactions in recent years, involving millions of square feet of space in the District as well as surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia. Her work involved the spectrum of property types, including mixed-use, office, retail, residential, parking, and recreational space. Among dozens of projects, Ms. Colby's work included development of the mixed-use projects at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave./The Avenue in Washington, D.C.; Wisconsin Place in Chevy Chase, Maryland; and acquisition of a joint venture interest in a portfolio of office buildings at Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia (and the ultimate purchase of the entire asset); and sale of the trophy office building at 500 8th Street, NW, in D.C.

"Keli's in-house experience provides her with an invaluable perspective in understanding and being able to respond to the demands of today's market, where clients are increasingly focused on value-added legal services," said Bart I. Mellits, Chair of Ballard Spahr's Real Estate Department. "She is an accomplished lawyer and business executive who can analyze and address challenges through the lens of the client's business team."

Earlier in her career, Ms. Colby worked at Washington-area law firms, where she represented real estate owners, investors, developers, lenders, and borrowers in a wide range of matters in the D.C. market and nationally. These included acquisitions and dispositions, development, and joint ventures, as well as financings encompassing construction, permanent, securitized, and mezzanine loans. She served as counsel for Fannie Mae financings of national real estate portfolios using various products, including bond credit enhancement of tax-exempt bonds, structured adjustable-rate mortgage loans, and revolving credit facilities.

Ms. Colby's addition as of counsel in the firm's Washington office adds further depth to a strong lineup of attorneys there who are regional and national leaders in real estate finance, housing, construction, mixed-use development, leasing, and land use. The D.C. metro region is an active market for Ballard Spahr's real estate practice, and Ms. Colby's addition fits with the firm's strategic growth in the region and of its national real estate platform.

"Keli has an incredible skill set and deep experience, especially in joint ventures and complex development transactions," said Roger D. Winston, a partner in Ballard Spahr's Washington office and leader of the firm's Mixed-Use and Condominiums practice. "The unique and critically important insights and perspective she brings from her many years as in-house counsel will greatly benefit clients in a dynamic but challenging business climate."

Ballard Spahr's Real Estate Department, with more than 100 attorneys in offices nationwide, is recognized for excellence in D.C. and nationally by such services as Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business and U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers, which selected Ballard Spahr as its 2016 Law Firm of the Year for Real Estate.

"Ballard Spahr is known for its outstanding real estate practice, both in the D.C. area and across the country, and I am excited to join this winning team," Ms. Colby said. "The firm has the talent, adaptability, and resources to provide clients what they need in today's market—the best team to handle projects and transactions with maximum effectiveness, creativity, practicality, and value."