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Ballard Spahr names new Minneapolis leaders

Peter Michaud

Peter Michaud

One year after Lindquist & Vennum merged with Ballard Spahr, two of the new partners are stepping into new roles in the Minneapolis office.

As of Jan. 1, Peter Michaud, the previous managing partner for Minneapolis, is serving as chair of the firm’s business and finance department, Ballard Spahr announced Wednesday. Michaud will remain based in Minneapolis as one of two Ballard Spahr department heads not based in Philadelphia, overseeing the work of more than 180 attorneys nationwide.

Stepping into the managing partner role for Minneapolis is litigation partner Karla Vehrs, who will oversee more than 100 attorneys in multiple practices.

“We are fortunate to have gained in the merger attorneys who are eager and prepared to assume leadership positions at the firm,” said Mark Stewart, Ballard Spahr firm chair, in the press release. “Peter played a critical role in our integration efforts. … He is assuming leadership of a department that has grown substantially over the last year, and we have the utmost confidence in the strategic guidance Peter will provide.”

Michaud praised Vehrs for her work at Ballard Spahr and out in the community in a press release.

Karla Vehrs

Karla Vehrs

“Karla is a talented litigator who understands how important it is to maximize the opportunities that our merger offers for clients and lawyers in Minneapolis and firm-wide,” he said. “She will be a terrific representative for the firm in the Minneapolis business community and through her pro bono and volunteer work.”

Ballard Spahr’s Minneapolis office is the firm’s second largest, behind Philadelphia. In total, the firm has 15 offices around the country with more than 650 attorneys in various practice areas.

On Thursday, Stewart announced that First Amendment litigator Leita Walker has joined Ballard Spahr’s Media and Entertainment Law Group as a partner in Minneapolis.

Walker defends news organizations against libel and defamation actions and represents them in matters involving media access, open records, and press freedom. She also advises clients on the protection of consumer information and compliance with regulations governing social media, e-commerce, and mobile marketing.

“Leita expands our practice depth in the Midwest and adds to the strong foundation from which we will continue to grow our presence in this market,” Stewart said. “In addition to her considerable experience in First Amendment litigation, she will assist our corporate clients in addressing the opportunities and risks associated with digital marketing, social networking, and advertising.”

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