Desmond D. Connall, Jr.

Tel 202.661.7642
Fax 410.528.5650
Tel 202.661.7642
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

Desmond D. Connall, Jr. is a partner in Ballard Spahr's Washington, D.C. and Baltimore offices, and heads the Leasing Team in the firm's Real Estate Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in leasing, purchase and sale and development matters, and is particularly experienced in office, industrial, and retail leasing transactions. Des has worked on many of the most significant real estate projects in the Washington, D.C. region on behalf of anchor tenants, landlords, and developers. He also serves as the firm's leasing counsel.

Representative Matters

During more than three decades in practice, Des has worked on many noteworthy transactions, including representation of:

  • Harris Teeter, Inc., in leases and acquisitions for new locations in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, including many stores in some of the most complex mixed-use developments in Washington
  • The CoStar Group in leases for offices throughout the United States over the last 17 years, including the purchase, sale, and leaseback of the company's headquarters in Washington, D.C.—transactions that won Deal of the Year honors from the Washington Business Journal in two consecutive years (2011 and 2012)
  • The trustee for bondholders in numerous transactions related to the Farms of New Kent development in New Kent County, Virginia, including a deed in lieu of foreclosure and the sale of residential building lots to homebuilders.
  • A movie theater chain in leases for theaters throughout the country
  • A large shopping center owner for approximately 15 years in retail leases in centers throughout northern Virginia
  • A developer in the purchase of property in northern Virginia for a mixed-use project including residential and retail space
  • Represents Telus, an international telecommunications company, in U.S. real estate transactions
  • AmeriDream in the development of a low-income affordable housing project in Washington, D.C.
  • Represents ELV Associates, Inc., in office lease transactions in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
  • The Associated General Contractors of America in a joint venture development of a northern Virginia office building
  • A developer in a single lease of three office buildings in Rockville, Maryland, to a technology company
  • The purchaser of a 360-acre farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland
  • The master lessee of the shopping areas at Baltimore/Washington International Airport in retail lease transactions, including a complex lease with Silver Diner involving the closure and relocation of its restaurant
  • An office building owner in a 500,000-square-foot lease in Washington, D.C.
  • The purchaser in the acquisition of hydro-electric facilities in Virginia
  • The landlord in a headquarters lease with Pepco as the tenant

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

The District of Columbia Bar

Maryland State Bar Association

International Council of Shopping Centers

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, real estate law, 2019-2021

Fellow, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers 

AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Community Activities

Des has served as team captain for numerous charity bike rides that have raised more than $200,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Susan G. Komen Foundation. He also is a Champion for Life blood donor.


The Promise of One Award, Susan G. Komen Maryland, 2016

Board Memberships

Advisory Board Member, Georgetown University Law Center Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute

Member, Board of Directors, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Maryland Chapter 

Former Member, Board of Trustees, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maryland Chapter

Former Member, Marriott Library Advisory Board, University of Utah

Speaking Engagements

Des Connall is active in the International Council of Shopping Centers, has spoken at the ICSC Law Conference, and has presented numerous seminars on topics related to office and retail leasing to various real estate companies and other groups. He has been frequently cited as a source in articles appearing in the Commercial Lease Law Insider and related publications.

Panelist, "What, Me Worry? Ethics in Negotiations and Lease Disputes," ICSC Law Conference, San Diego, CA, October 25, 2019

Moderator and organizer, "Keeping up with the Jetsons—A Panel Discussion of Autonomous Vehicles and Real Estate Development," Breakfast With Ballard, Washington, D.C., November 8, 2017

Facilitator and planner, "Multi-Jurisdictional Ethics Issues for Retail Attorneys," ICSC Law Conference, San Antonio, TX, October 2017

Session leader, "Swinging Without a Net: Ethics for a Multi-Jurisdictional Practice," Georgetown Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute, Washington, D.C., April 2017

Roundtable leader, "How Green Will We Get—Cost Considerations for Tenants and Landlords," ICSC Law Conference, Washington, D.C., October 2016

Panelist, "Brokers Say (or Don't Say) the Darndest Things: Non-Business Issues in Office/Retail LOIs," Georgetown Advanced Commercial leasing Institute, Washington, D.C., April 2016

Roundtable leader, "Legal Opinions in Real Estate Financing Transactions: The Practical Approach," ICSC Law Conference, Phoenix, October 2015

Faculty Member, "Legal Priorities in Acquisitions and Dispositions," 2015 ICSC University of Shopping Centers East, Philadelphia, March 2015

Speaker, "Office Leases—Letter of Intent Issues for the Tenant," Offices of Cushman & Wakefield, Washington, D.C., February 2015

Speaker, "Office Leases—Letter of Intent Issues for the Tenant," Offices of DTZ, Washington, D.C., January 2015

Roundtable leader, "Pros & Cons of Recording a Memo of Lease," ICSC Law Conference, Orlando, October 2014

Speaker, "Office Leases—Letter of Intent Issues for the Tenant," Offices of JLL, Washington, D.C., July 2013

Speaker, "Discussion of Issues in Office Leasing," Offices of Cassidy & Pinkard, Washington, D.C., September 2001

Seminar leader, "Tax Escalation Clauses in Leases," ICSC Law Conference, October 25, 1997

Speaker and organizer, "Commercial Office Leases in the 1990s: The Tenant's View," David & Hagner Seminar, Washington, D.C., June 1994


Co-author, "Work Letter Landmines," Legal-Ease column BOMA Magazine, November/December 2015

Co-author, "Making the Most of Lease Abstracts," Legal-Ease column BOMA Magazine, September/October 2015

Co-author, "The Do's and Don'ts of Navigating 'Green' Requirements and Commitments," Legal-Ease column for BOMA Magazine, May/June 2015

Co-author, "Commercial Leasing: 5 Hot Button Issues," Legal-Ease column BOMA Magazine, September/October 2014

Co-author, "Top 10 Issues for Existing Mixed-Use Project," Legal-Ease column for BOMA Magazine, July/August 2014

Co-author, "Seven Tax Aspects of Tenant Improvements," Legal-Ease column for BOMA Magazine, May/June 2014

"A History of the Arizona Ground Water Management Act," Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 1982, No. Two, 313

Stanford Law School (J.D. 1981)

Princeton University (A.B. 1976, with distinction)

District of Columbia