Nathan Farris

Nathan Farris


Nathan Farris works on a range of real estate litigation and transactional matters including: eminent domain, zoning and land use, tax appeals, historic preservation law, leasing, acquisition and disposition, and local tax incentives.


Representative Matters

Eminent Domain

  • Represented owners of 144 acres adjacent to the Philadelphia International Airport in proceedings before the Delaware County Board of View.
  • Representing developer in partial condemnation for light rail expansion of a mixed-use property in downtown Phoenix
  • Representing PECO Energy Company in condemnation for a major new substation in Philadelphia’s University City.
  • Mediated favorable settlement for a major auto-auction company in connection with the taking of its facility entrance by the Utah Department of Transportation in Salt Lake City.

Zoning and Land Use

  • Obtained demolition and zoning permits for complex substation development along Schuylkill River waterfront.
  • Successfully defended a zoning permit for a 31-story tower in Philadelphia through multiple appeals.
  • Won motion to dismiss appeal of conditional use permit filed by objector against developer of a mixed-use project in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
  • Won an appeal from the Philadelphia Historical Commission to have a property stricken from the Philadelphia Historic Register.

Tax Appeals

  • Negotiated settlement of tax appeal for multi-family development that was significantly affected by COVID-19.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement of a School District appeal of a large build-to-suit industrial facility in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
  • Won tax appeal in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of hundreds of condominium owners challenging the method Philadelphia used to calculate their tax assessments.


  • Drafted lease amendments for a shopping center owner when one of its national retail tenants declared bankruptcy.
  • Conducted due diligence for an international industrial company’s real estate portfolio.

Professional Highlights

Pro Bono Experience

  • With the ACLU, negotiated pre-trial settlement on behalf of restaurant owner in challenging citation for violating sign ordinance. The City of Scranton, Pennsylvania reversed the citation and amended its sign ordinance to remove provision banning signs that “that an average reasonable person would find highly offensive to public decency."
  • Won an en banc appeal to Commonwealth Court for a home for cancer patients challenging its accommodation
  • Negotiated settlement of tax exemption appeal for Irish Cultural Center in Philadelphia
  • Advised food re-distribution organization through incorporation and tax-exemption applications

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Stephanos Bibas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2018 

Professional Activities

Bethesda Project Young Professionals Advisory Board, 2018-2020

Templeton Honors College Advisory Council, 2019-present

Speaking Engagements

"How to Win a Future Highest and Best Use Claim: Proving Reasonable Probability of Rezoning and Other Issues," Eminent Doman and Land Valuation Litigation Conference, ALI CLE, February 2024

"The PHA’s Use of Eminent Domain Power – Challenges and Solutions," Housing Development Law Institute 2022 Spring Conference

Guest lecturer, Eminent Domain, Real Estate Development Seminar, The Wharton School, Spring 2019


"What to Do When Main Street is Legal Again: Regional Land Value Taxation as an Urbanist Tool," University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 2016



University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2016)
Senior & Associate Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
Recipient of Milton C. Sharp Award for highest grade or best research in the area of urban renewal and land-use planning

Eastern University (B.A., summa cum laude, 2013)



New Jersey