Ballard Spahr adds to Minneapolis public finance presence

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Ballard Spahr LLP added public finance attorney Rebecca Lawrence to its Minneapolis office this week, the firm announced.

Lawrence, who joined the Philadelphia-based firm as a senior counsel, has more than 15 years of experience serving as in-house counsel, responsible for municipal securities regulation, compliance, and enforcement matters for broker dealers and as municipal advisor.

“It’s uncommon to find someone with Rebecca’s experience, so we are thrilled,” Emilie Ninan, co-chair of the firm’s finance department, said in a statement. “Her experience is going to help us provide the highest level of service to more clients.”

Lawrence began her legal career at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in 2001 after graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School. She more recently held general counsel positions for public finance, sales and trading at Piper Sandler and RBC.

Lawrence’s roles have involved providing counsel to clients on public finance and fixed-income products with a focus on the regulation of municipal securities underwriters and municipal advisers. At Piper, she served as in-house counsel, responsible for all aspects of municipal securities regulation and compliance, as well as oversight of fixed income trading and markets.

“It’s uncommon to find someone with Rebecca’s experience, so we are thrilled,” Emilie Ninan, co-chair of the Ballard Spahr's finance department, said in a statement announcing Rebecca Lawrence's hiring.

“Rebecca has been well known and respected by Ballard Spahr lawyers for many years. Our clients will benefit from her broad regulatory and enforcement experience in the fixed-income products markets, and we are thrilled to have her join us,” Teri Guaraccia, a partner at the firm in its Baltimore office and president-elect of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, said in a statement.

Lawrence joins Benjamin Johnson in the Minneapolis office. Johnson joined the firm as a partner early last year, establishing an on-the-ground Twin Cities public finance presence for the firm. He is a generalist with experience in general obligation, revenue and tax-increment financings who does work as both bond counsel and underwriters’ counsel for local government, schools, senior living facilities and on affordable housing transactions.

The firm has 68 public finance attorneys among its overall legal team of 650. The public finance attorneys are located in 11 of the firm’s 15 offices. Of the 68, 30 are partners. The firm ranked ninth among bond counsel nationally for the first quarter, working on deals valued at $2.41 billion, according to Refinitiv.

The firm’s Minneapolis presence was established after its merger with Lindquist & Vennum LLP, which was announced in 2017 and closed in early 2018. The merger extended Ballard's physical presence to Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and expanded its Denver office.

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