Marcel S. Pratt—who led the Philadelphia Law Department as City Solicitor—has rejoined Ballard Spahr as Managing Partner of the firm’s Philadelphia office and a partner in its Litigation Department, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.
Appointed at age 33 in 2018, Mr. Pratt was the youngest person ever to hold the City’s top legal post. In that role, he served as general counsel to the Mayor, City Council, and all City departments, commissions, and agencies. He also oversaw an operation of 330 lawyers and staff, one of the largest municipal law practices in the country. Before becoming City Solicitor, Mr. Pratt led the City’s 70-lawyer in-house litigation practice and served as lead counsel in high-stakes litigation.
Mr. Pratt’s practice includes complex commercial litigation, antitrust and competition law, products liability, internal and government investigations, class actions, and First Amendment law. He also will be a member of the firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Group, which advises clients on navigating disclosures involving sustainability, workforce composition, labor standards, board and management diversity, pay equity, and political activity.
During his previous tenure at the Firm, Mr. Pratt litigated several high-exposure matters involving claims of monopolization, price discrimination, and other forms of anticompetitive conduct. He also advised private and public companies on the antitrust issues arising in mergers and acquisitions, including obtaining pre-merger clearance from the federal government.
“As a litigation partner and Office Managing Partner, Marcel will have a number of roles: advising clients in high-stakes litigation; overseeing the operations and business of our largest office; and helping us to fulfill our commitment to be a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable firm,” said Mr. Stewart. “Marcel’s long list of litigation wins and his extensive track record of successful leadership make him the ideal person to take on this role.”
Ballard Spahr’s Philadelphia office is home to more than 200 attorneys representing clients in litigation, business and transactions, finance, real estate, and intellectual property. Mr. Pratt will play a lead role in the office’s hiring and promotions, diversity and inclusion work, and civic engagement. He also will advise on business development and strategic planning.
“Returning to Ballard is like coming home. This is the firm where I grew up as a lawyer,” said Mr. Pratt. “It’s also a firm with exceptionally skilled and dedicated lawyers who have established deep roots in the Philadelphia community. I’m looking forward to serving clients alongside my Ballard colleagues in Philadelphia and across the country.”