Mark R. Gaylord

Tel 801.531.3070
Fax 801.321.9070
Salt Lake City

Mark R. Gaylord is the Managing Partner of the Salt Lake City office, where he also leads Ballard Spahr’s litigation practice. He focuses on complex civil litigation, at both the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts throughout the United States, with an emphasis on corporate business litigation, land use and development disputes, and construction matters.

Mark also handles complex matters in a variety of other areas, including environmental matters, creditor and bankruptcy matters, and business governance disputes. He represents private and public companies in business disputes as well as real estate developers and municipalities relating to land use decisions.

Mark has represented clients before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits as well as before the Utah Public Service Commission. In addition to judicial and administrative proceedings, Mark has substantial experience resolving disputes through mediation and arbitration.

Representative Matters

  • Represents real estate developer of high-end residential property in Utah resort town relating to dispute with homeowner association arising from alleged failure and/or defective construction of infrastructure roadways and retaining walls in multimillion-dollar development with ski-in and ski-out facilities
  • Represents national banking institution in fair debt collection claims and bankruptcy matters involving individuals and corporate bankruptcies
  • Successfully represented law firm in $50 million malpractice action relating to multimillion-dollar merger and acquisition transaction involving Arizona development company that financed transaction with Lincoln Savings & Loan Association
  • Represents real estate developer of 105-acre parcel in Arizona relating to various development issues, including construction and lien dispute with general contractors and subcontractors hired to install infrastructure on both residential and commercial sites; business partner dispute; and general corporate governance issues
  • Represents major Utah manufacturer of dietary supplements and personal care products in variety of business disputes with current and former independent distributors arising from their noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements
  • Successfully represented individual attorneys in connection with ethics complaints filed by clients and/or counsel with the Utah State Bar
  • Represented client in dispute with international independent distributor and former agent of company involving product liability, misappropriation of business opportunity and trade secrets, and breach of contract claims; also represented client during phase in which shareholders directed company to place the company on market for sale of their entire interest for approximately a half-billion dollars and continues to represent client in variety of corporate governance disputes and general business practices
  • Successfully represented Arizona resident in federal jury trial to determine the existence of business partnership and respective ownership percentage; continue to represent client in connection with damages based on partners' breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of business opportunities
  • Counsel to national telecommunications company providing services to the deaf relating to demands for production of documents and/or information arising from criminal acts of participants using the telecommunications system
  • Successfully represented national telecommunications company in condemnation action to secure last remaining portion of interstate communications transmission line spanning the country to provide redundant telecommunication lines for national security
  • Successfully represented Utah municipality in suits involving conflicts over authority of municipality to grant development rights and whether such conduct constitutes an unlawful taking, inverse condemnation, and/or trespass
  • Successfully represented lender/investor in multimillion-dollar foreclosure action of 1500-acre parcel located on eastern edge of Jordanelle Reservoir in Heber County, Utah, resulting in sale of entire project at substantial profit
  • Successfully represented senior employee in termination of employment and establishment of competing recycling company that has become leader in western United States; continue to represent client in connection with various business disputes
  • Represented a national cable provider in action before the Utah Public Service Commission relating to the certain rights to pole attachment within the public right-of-ways adjacent to residential communities throughout Utah
  • Successfully represented client in constitutional dispute with Utah State Auditor over the establishment of the Utah Funds of Funds, a legislatively created quasi-public corporation created under the Utah Venture Capital Enhancement Act to provide a financial mechanism to allow investors to contribute capital to promote venture capital investment in Utah businesses
  • Represented three rural cooperative electric companies in a multiparty lawsuit involving a 400-megawatt power plan leverage lease transaction in which the parties asserted a multitude of claims, crossclaims, and counterclaims including claims of tortuous interference, aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, equitable subordination, and fraudulent conveyance
  • Successfully represented general contractor/engineer in a $550 million design build tailings impoundment project, which ended in the elimination of all claims of the owner against the client and the recovery by the client of a majority of its claims

Pro Bono Experience

Since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Mark has represented amateur athletes competing on a national and international level in a variety of disputes including the right to participate in protected competitions, sexual harassment, and doping cases. He has also represented clients involved in property disputes, adoptions, and physical abuse cases.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

Utah Bar Association

Salt Lake County Bar Association, Executive Committee

Utah Trial Lawyers Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named "Litigator of the Week" by The AmLaw Litigation Daily, June 2017

Chambers USA, litigation: general commercial law (Utah), 2011-2020

The Legal 500 US, finance – municipal bankruptcy, 2014-2016

Utah Business Magazine's "Utah Legal Elite" (based on peer reviews), business litigation, 2005-2007, civil litigation, 2015-2017


Co-author, "DOE Changes Student Borrower Defense Rules," Ballard Spahr Alert, September 19, 2019

"Secretary of the Interior v. California and Federal 'Consistency Provision' of the Coastal Zone Management Act, Like It or Not?" 7 J. Energy Law & Policy, 337, 1986

Speaking Engagements

Moderator, "Key Takeaways from the 2018 ACC State of Cybersecurity Report: An In-House Perspective," ACC Mountain West Lunch and Learn, Salt Lake City, August 2, 2018

Moderator, "A Roundtable of Best Practices: Attorney/Client Privilege for In-house Counsel: What Applies and What Doesn't," Association of Corporate Counsel, July 9, 2008

Community Activities

Active participant in and member of the National Ability Center, a nonprofit organization that provides athletic opportunities to disabled children and adults

Active participant and member of the Utah Arts Festival, a nonprofit organization that has hosted the annual Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City for the past 30 years

Board Memberships

National Ability Center, Board Member, 2004-present; President, 2007-2009
Utah Arts Festival, Board Member, 2005-present; Vice Chair, 2008-2009
University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Board of Trustees, 2006-present

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law (J.D. 1987)
Editor-in-chief, Journal of Contemporary Law

Lewis and Clark College (B.S. 1982)


U.S. District Court for the District of Utah

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court