Ballard Spahr, LLP issued the following announcement on Jan. 28.
National law firm Ballard Spahr has expanded its public finance capability into the Midwest with the arrival of Benjamin W. Johnson—an attorney known for his work with municipal bond financing—to its office in Minneapolis, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced.
Mr. Johnson joins the firm—which is ranked in the nation's top 10 for bond counsel—as a partner. He concentrates on revenue bond work for local units of government such as cities, counties, and school districts. He also serves underwriters and banks. He provides advice on revenue bonds, general obligation bonds, tax increment issues, and other public finance matters. His forte is complex conduit revenue bond financing involving charter schools, nonprofits, senior living facilities, affordable housing developments, and health care centers. He joins the firm from Barnes & Thornburg, where he was co-chair of the Charter School and School Innovation practice.
"Ben's experience with complex project finance makes him a valuable resource for clients, particularly those in the education and health care sectors," Mr. Stewart said. "Ballard is known throughout the country for its strength in public finance, and adding a partner of Ben’s caliber in Minneapolis gives us even greater depth and reach."
Ballard Spahr opened its Minneapolis office—the firm's largest outside of Philadelphia—as part of its 2018 merger with Lindquist & Vennum. Mr. Johnson is the first Public Finance partner to be resident there. His move to Ballard Spahr follows the arrival of prominent First Amendment litigator Leita Walker, who joined the firm's Minneapolis office on January 2.
Ballard Spahr has participated in the issuance of tax-exempt obligations in every U.S. state and territory—more than $1 trillion in all. Its nearly 50 public finance attorneys represent state and local governments and authorities, nonprofit organizations, investment banks, and banking institutions in virtually every type of bond transaction. For 60 years, Ballard Spahr has been listed as a nationally recognized bond counsel firm in The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace.
In addition to expanding its public finance capability in Minneapolis, Ballard Spahr recently has added lawyers to its Public Finance Department in New York, Denver, and Washington, D.C.
"We are delighted that Ben is bringing his considerable skill and reputation for strategic problem-solving to Ballard Spahr," said Emilie Ninan, chair of the Public Finance Department. "Our department emphasizes legal excellence, client value, and collaboration, so Ben is an excellent fit for us. He will play a key part in our service to clients in the Midwest and throughout the country."
Lawyers in Ballard Spahr's Minneapolis office serve clients in areas including business and finance, litigation, real estate, and intellectual property. The office is particularly well-known for its work in middle-market mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals, and other financing transactions.
"Becoming part of such a well-established public finance group will help me offer clients more services and increased value," Mr. Johnson said. "I'm pleased to join Ballard Spahr and continue to grow my practice."
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