Press Release

Prominent M&A/Private Equity Team Joins Ballard Spahr

November 29, 2021

A group of Private Equity/M&A attorneys led by Jeffrey A. Fickes—who represents companies and investors in the United States and abroad in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and other strategic transactions—joins Ballard Spahr today, firm Chair Mark Stewart has announced. The Cleveland-based attorneys will remain resident in Ohio and work remotely from the firm’s Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and New York offices.

Mr. Fickes has become a partner and co-leader of Ballard Spahr’s Private Equity Group. He is joined by Of Counsel Christopher J. DePizzo. The team will be members of the firm’s Business and Transactions Department and its Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions, Life Sciences, Cannabis, Manufacturing, and Emerging Companies and Venture Capital Groups.

“What drew Ballard to this team—and them to us—is shared expertise, shared values, and the opportunity to collaborate on continued growth, particularly in middle-market transactions in the manufacturing, technology, finance, energy, and life sciences sectors,” said Peter V. Michaud, chair of Ballard Spahr’s Business and Transactions Department. “Our Midwestern transactional team is busy and growing, so this will add to our capability, and we have the platform to support the additional needs of their clients.”

Mr. Fickes has served as lead counsel on scores of domestic and international mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, and strategic transactions, including spin-offs, split-offs, and LBOs, with transaction values generally ranging from $50 million to $300 million.

He advises on private equity, venture capital, recapitalization, and other debt and equity financings, as well as corporate governance and organizational matters. He also represents clients in raising capital, including acquisition financing, senior/mezzanine debt and equity financings, recapitalizations, and both early-stage and growth capital.

“Ballard offers depth in a number of practices that are critical to the needs of my clients. Joining the firm will allow me to expand what I’m able to offer them, particularly in product liability, real estate, finance, and IP,” Mr. Fickes said. “I’m also excited to collaborate with a growing group of young M&A and private equity partners and to build out our geographic footprint between the East Coast and Midwest.”

Mr. DePizzo focuses on mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate reorganizations, and corporate law. He represents private equity firms and other investors in LBOs, investments, dispositions, and portfolio management.

Their arrival is the latest move in Ballard Spahr’s strategic expansion of its M&A and private equity footprint, both in the Midwest and across its U.S. offices. This year, the firm added four new partners or of counsel to its Business and Transactions Department—John J. Eagan, Ricardo N. Jackman, Ryan J. Udell, and Brian D. Short, co-leader of the firm’s Securities and Capital Markets Group.

Ballard Spahr’s transactional team was recently recognized as a stand-out in both public and private deals by BTI Consulting Group, which praised the firm’s skill in transformative deals, difficult transactions, and deals attracting regulatory scrutiny. The firm’s M&A team was ranked in the highest tier nationally by U.S. News-Best Lawyers.

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