Press Release

Thirteen Ballard Spahr Attorneys Elected to the Firm Partnership

June 30, 2021

New Partners 2021

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Thirteen Ballard Spahr lawyers have been admitted to the firm partnership, effective July 1, 2021, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. The new partners are based in the firm’s Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City offices, and their practices span Ballard Spahr’s legal departments.

“Our new partners are consummate professionals with top-flight legal acumen and sound business knowledge, a combination of attributes that has enabled them to build indispensable partnerships that help the firm’s clients succeed,” Mr. Stewart said. “Their elevation to our partnership is well-deserved, and we are proud to welcome them.”

Ballard Spahr’s new partners are:

Jason M. Cover, Business and Transactions, Philadelphia

Mr. Cover focuses on federal and state consumer lending and payments laws, including those that apply to installment loans, vehicle-secured loans, lines of credit, unsecured loans, credit cards, point of sale finance and timeshare/vacation finance. He counsels providers of consumer financial services, including banks, licensed lenders and Fintech providers, on regulatory compliance matters and government supervisory and enforcement matters.

Grant H. Dowd, Finance, Los Angeles

Mr. Dowd concentrates on real estate finance and investment transactions. He represents investment banks, commercial banks, and other institutional lenders, as well as borrowers, in a broad range of transactions, including the origination of balance sheet, joint venture, CMBS, acquisition, bridge, construction, revolving, leasehold, and mezzanine loans; project finance; note sales; and loan participations and syndications.

Michael D. Fabius, Litigation, Philadelphia

Mr. Fabius is Co-Leader of the firm's Gaming Team. He is an administrative law attorney with particular experience advising clients in the highly-regulated gaming and racing industries, and in litigation before administrative agencies. He actively advises numerous casino and online operators, manufacturers, suppliers, investors, lenders, and other companies serving the gaming industry on gaming licensing, compliance, and transactions. In addition, Mr. Fabius has extensive experience as lead regulatory counsel advising clients on compliance for large, multi-jurisdictional transactions requiring notices and approvals from several independent regulatory agencies.

David M. Gest, Real Estate, Philadelphia

Mr. Gest has a wide-ranging real estate practice focused on zoning and land use matters. He has experience working with city planners, architects, landscape architects, and environmental and historic preservation consultants on major development projects. Mr. Gest also has worked with an array of city agencies and community groups throughout the zoning and historic preservation review processes, such as appearances before the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Philadelphia Historical Commission, and the Civic Design Review Committee.

Kaitlin M. Gurney, Litigation, Philadelphia

Ms. Gurney is an experienced litigator who focuses on media law and white collar criminal defense. She defends media and entertainment companies, as well as universities and other entities, in lawsuits alleging defamation and other publication-related claims. She also advises newsrooms on publication-related risks, and serves as their advocate in securing access to public records and court proceedings. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered the New Jersey statehouse. She also worked at The Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer.

David A. Haworth, Litigation, New Jersey

Mr. Haworth focuses on environmental, real estate, and products liability/toxic tort litigation and counseling. His significant environmental litigation experience includes prosecuting and defending remediation and natural resource damage claims in New Jersey and nationally under CERCLA/Superfund and other statutes and common law on behalf of groups and individual clients. David also has over two decades of experience litigating general commercial, construction, franchise and consumer fraud matters.

Jonas Jarvholm, PhD, Intellectual Property, Atlanta

Dr. Jarvholm is a member of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical, and Mechanical Technologies (including Medical Device and Ornamental Design) practice teams in the firm's Patents Group. He drafts and prosecutes patent applications and prepares patentability and non-infringement opinions, both domestically and internationally, covering chemical, mechanical, design, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, and medical technologies. He also has experience with Post Grant Review proceedings. He is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Steven P. Mehr, Real Estate, Salt Lake City

Mr. Mehr has a national, broad-based real estate practice, with a focus on the development, leasing and financing of commercial, retail, industrial and resort properties. He concentrates on acquisitions, dispositions, construction, zoning and entitlements. Mr. Mehr also has experience guiding developers in structuring joint ventures and developing industrial, multifamily, residential, and commercial projects, including resort development, planned communities, condominiums, timeshares, private residence clubs, golf courses, and condominium hotels. He maintains an active real estate finance practice, representing borrowers and institutional lenders, investment banks, and portfolio lenders in the loan origination and restructurings for all asset classes. He also advises private equity funds in transactions, capital markets, securities law and regulation, and startup investments involving seed funding and angel investment.

Judy Mok, Business and Transactions, New York

Ms. Mok has extensive experience negotiating complex payments transactions for some of the world's largest retailers, financial institutions and businesses. Her practice is in the payments space, with a focus on strategic partnership arrangements. In particular, she has significant experience negotiating and drafting co-branded and private-label credit card agreements, payment network agreements, merchant agreements, servicing agreements, processing agreements, and portfolio purchase and sale agreements. Ms. Mok is also the Leader of the firm’s Asian American Business Resource Group.

Lea A. Phillips, Litigation, Phoenix

Ms. Phillips focuses on serving the renewable energy, manufacturing, and waste/recycling industries. She regularly provides legal counsel on project development, obtains and defends challenges to environmental and land use permits; negotiates the environmental terms of acquisitions and divestitures; and designs and assesses environmental compliance policies.

Laura Seidel, Finance, Atlanta

Laura Seidel is a Co-Team Leader of the Insurance Company and Institutional Investments Team and represents leading clients nationwide in the areas of secured lending and commercial real estate. Ms. Seidel has significant experience in structuring, negotiating, and closing loan transactions secured by assets and all types of commercial real estate, including office, retail, industrial, warehouse, multifamily, assisted living, and hotel properties. In addition, Ms. Seidel handles real estate leasing matters and represents clients in the acquisition and disposition of property. She also represents services of commercial mortgage loans involving, particularly, loan defeasances, restructurings and workouts.

John Smolen, Finance, Baltimore

Mr. Smolen co-leads the firm’s P3/Infrastructure Practice Group. He counsels public entities, private concessionaires/contractors, and financing parties in large, complex design-build and public-private partnership (P3/PPP) civil and social infrastructure projects across the country. He has played a leading role in the project development, procurement, negotiation, financing, and administration of several alternative projects deliveries in the transportation, transit, social infrastructure, and maritime/riverine port spaces. He has represented lenders, as well as developer consortia, in several horizontal and vertical infrastructure projects, from statutory drafting, through pre-procurement, deal structuring, procurement, and negotiation, to post-selection commercial and financial close, with additional experience in implementation and administration.

Kahlil C. Williams, Litigation, Philadelphia

Mr. Williams represents clients in government and internal investigations, securities litigation and corporate governance disputes, actions arising from federal and state election laws, and other litigation matters. Mr. Williams leads the firm’s Black Lawyers Group, and serves as a Co-Leader of the Firm’s Racial Justice and Equality Initiative and the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) group, where he advises companies on emerging ESG issues.

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