Press Release

Infrastructure Transactions Lawyer John Smolen Joins Ballard Spahr

August 12, 2019

John P. Smolen—who has helped advance many of the largest and most complex design-build and public-private partnership (P3) infrastructure projects in the nation—has joined Ballard Spahr's P3/Infrastructure Group in the firm's national Finance Department, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. He will be Of Counsel in the firm's Baltimore office.

Mr. Smolen is known for his skill with alternative transportation mega-project delivery. He played a leading role in the legal team advising on the procurement, negotiation, and financing of Maryland's $2 billion Purple Line Light Rail, that state's first P3 transit project. Other recent work includes the Missouri River Terminal project—anticipated to be the first non-landlord/tenant inland port P3 in the country—and the Scribner-West Point Design-Build Project, Nebraska's first foray into innovative project delivery.

"Moving extremely large, multi-faceted public projects from concept to completion requires a combination of foresight, great lawyering, and a deep and nuanced understanding of government and the private sector," said Steve T. Park, who leads Ballard Spahr's P3/Infrastructure Group. "John has a record of success with the type of projects we handle. He's a terrific addition."

In addition to his experience with transportation, transit system, and port developments, Mr. Smolen has useful experience in renewable energy and industrial EPC contracting, as well as design-build and related alternative project delivery approaches. Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Smolen served for more than a decade as an aviator and flight instructor in the U.S. Navy.

The P3/Infrastructure Group at Ballard Spahr is nationally recognized for its work on P3 projects ranging from transportation systems and energy facilities to military and student housing. Attorneys in the group have represented federal, state, and local governments and private sector developers, investors, and lenders in pre-procurement activities, project development, regulatory compliance, legislative support, community relations, tax issues, and the monetization of public assets.

"My new colleagues in the P3/Infrastructure Group have a great reputation in the public-private partnerships space," Mr. Smolen said. "I'm excited to join a national team with the breadth, depth, and stature to take on major projects that drive business and improve the quality of life for so many people."

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