Eminent Domain

For over 40 years, Ballard Spahr lawyers have advised and litigated on behalf of property owners faced with condemnation as well as public entities exercising the power of Eminent Domain. Our work includes all aspects of condemnation, including pre-taking planning, acquisitions in lieu of condemnation, regulatory and de facto takings, and trial, settlement, and appeals of just compensation and relocation benefits claims.

We are experienced in a broad spectrum of takings: highway improvements, airport expansion, open-space acquisitions, transit facilities, port development and redevelopment projects. Our clients are owners of manufacturing facilities, commercial and residential development sites, shopping centers, office buildings, telecommunications facilities, power stations and outdoor advertising signs. We also represent state agencies, municipalities, pipeline companies and utilities in condemnations for public projects. Significantly, lawyers in the practice have worked in legal and administrative positions in government agencies with large real estate portfolios and the power of eminent domain, advising on planning, acquisitions, relocation benefits and condemnation.


Condemnee Representations

Transportation Centers and Other Special Use Properties

  • Represented owners of a significant parcel of land adjacent to the Philadelphia International Airport in proceedings before the Delaware County Board of View.
  • Shepherded an amendment to the Eminent Domain Code through the Pennsylvania General Assembly on behalf of a land conservancy non-profit.
  • Handled a pipeline condemnation where the condemned property was part of a larger parcel already slated for condemnation by the Philadelphia International Airport.

Representative Shopping Center, Office, and Retail Matters

  • Representing a major mixed-use developer in connection with a partial taking of an office/retail/hotel parcel for light rail expansion by the City of Phoenix.
  • Advised clients across the country concerning condemnation and related force majeure provisions in commercial documents in wake of COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Represented national clothing retail tenant in connection with eminent domain action filed by UDOT of shopping center in Utah County, Utah.

Condemnor Representations


  • Represented City of Salem, NJ in condemnation of office building as well as multiple parcels for an affordable housing project.
  • Represented local Utah municipality in potential Eminent Domain case in effort to avoid adjacent county from constructing public road over mountain pass into municipality
  • Represented Whitpain Township, PA in condemnation of residential subdivision for green space.