Philadelphia's Ballard Spahr merges with Manhattan litigation boutique Stillman & Friedman

By Jon Campisi | Jul 2, 2013

Philadelphia-based law firm Ballard Spahr has joined forces with Stillman & Friedman,

P.C., a Manhattan litigation practice considered to be one of the most successful white-collar criminal defense firms in the region.

Ballard Spahr announced on July 1 that the new partnership in New York, which has been dubbed Ballard Spahr Stillman & Friedman LLP, would mark Ballard Spahr’s 14th U.S. location.

The firm traces its roots back to 1885 when it was founded by lawyers Ellis Ames Ballard and Boyd Lee Spahr in Philadelphia.

In the merger, Stillman & Friedman’s 14 attorneys, who have represented the likes of public figures, politicians and Fortune 500 companies and executives in a magnitude of high-profile cases, will join a firm that currently employees 500 lawyers nationwide.

Stillman & Friedman was founded in New York City in 1977 by attorneys Charles A. Stillman and Julian W. Friedman.

“We took a long view on entering the New York market, a thoughtful approach that would complement our strengths, preserve our values as a firm, and dovetail with our strategy to enhance our litigation platform and our geographic reach,” Ballard Spahr Chair Mark Stewart said about the merger in a statement. “We are invigorated by the possibilities ahead, not just for litigation but for the expansion of all of our practices – real estate, business and finance, intellectual property, and public finance.”

Stewart said his firm was especially excited about the prospect of bringing together the New York firm’s founders, Stillman and Friedman, who Stewart called “among the best in the business” and “genuinely fine people.”

The partnership, Ballard Spahr contends, would create a firm that would likely be recognized as a national leader in white-collar defense and complex civil litigation.

Attorneys at both firms currently have ample experience in securities enforcement and litigation, professional liability and appellate issues.

“We built our reputation on a single principle: to provide to both the largest corporations and our individual clients a total dedication to the highest-quality lawyering and vigorous advocacy, while never losing sight of the human dimension and the practical consequences of the litigation process,” Stillman said in his own statement. “I know that Ballard Spahr shares that vision as well as our commitment to outstanding service. This partnership is an excellent fit for both firms and one I know will benefit clients across the board.”

John Langel, who chairs Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department, said in a statement that the firm is home to a “strong and successful litigation practice,” and that the new additions from Stillman & Friedman would bring an “added depth to the team.”

The merger represents the latest Ballard Spahr partnership in recent time.

Just last week, the firm brought aboard five new lawyers from Featherstone Petrie DeSisto LLP to its office in Denver, Colorado.

Two years ago, a team of white-collar and commercial litigators from La Bella & McNamara joined Ballard Spahr’s 13th office in San Diego, Calif.

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