Christopher D. Bell

Tel 202.661.7604
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

Christopher D. Bell is Team Leader of Ballard Spahr's FHA and GSE Financing Team. He advises and represents real estate lenders, borrowers, and developers on transactional and regulatory issues, with a concentration on financing transactions involving government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, Chris practiced for more than 10 years at Fannie Mae. As the agency's Associate General Counsel of Housing and Community Development, he served as Fannie Mae's lead attorney for affordable housing transactions. His experience includes a variety complex real estate finance transactions, including those involving mortgage-backed securities, bond credit enhancement, mezzanine debt, senior housing, pool purchases, and secondary market construction loan participations and syndications.

In addition, Chris served as lead counsel for Fannie Mae's corporate charitable arm, the Office of Community Investment and Engagement, where he provided legal counsel regarding grant documentation, intellectual property rights, procurement, audit, and compliance matters.

Chris has years of experience with form loan documents and loan product enhancement review and design.

Additionally, Chris has represented clients, both as in-house corporate counsel and as outside counsel, in the full range of real estate matters, including sales, acquisitions, foreclosures, zoning, land use, development cooperation agreements, retail and office leasing, bond purchase agreements, easement agreements, development conditions, and proffers.

Chris is a member of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Professional Activities

Harvard Alumni Real Estate Board

American Bar Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named to Lawyers of Color Nation's Best List, 2019

The Legal 500 US, real estate and construction - real estate, 2016-2017

Speaking Engagements

Moderator/Speaker, "Cultivating a Culture of Inclusion in Divisive Times," Mortgage Banker Association's Summit on Diversity and Inclusion, Washington, D.C., November 28, 2018

Moderator, "Innovation by Generation: Housing Trends Across Age Groups and Income," Ballard Spahr's 2017 National Housing Symposium, Washington, D.C., November 9, 2018

Co-Chair, Ballard Spahr's 2017 National Housing Symposium, Washington, D.C., November 3, 2017

Co-Moderator, "The Changing Market in Affordable Housing Finance," Ballard Spahr's Western Housing Conference, Phoenix, March 10, 2017

Co-Chair, Ballard Spahr's 2016 National Housing Symposium, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2016 

Moderator, "Demographic Trends in Multifamily Housing: Past, Present, and Future," Ballard Spahr's 2016 National Housing Symposium, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2016  

Moderator, "Spotlight Interview with Charlie Werhane, Enterprise Community Investment," Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference (BMAC), Washington D.C., October 20, 2016

Panelist, "Multifamily Housing – Getting Deals Done in Uncertain Times," 2013 Advanced Real Property Institute of the Maryland State Bar Association, October 2013

Board Memberships

Chair, Board of Trustees, University of the District of Columbia, 2017-present

Board of Directors, El Centro Rosemount, 2007-2012; Vice Chair, 2009-2010

University of Texas School of Law (J.D.)
Associate Editor, Texas Environmental Law Journal

Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (M.P.A)

The University of Texas at Austin (B.A.)

District of Columbia