Partner Movement Balances Out at Ballard Spahr

Partner Movement Balances Out at Ballard Spahr

Ballard Spahr's Atlanta office has gained one lateral partner and lost another. Steve Park, who handles corporate securities and financing matters, joined the firm from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough while Ethan Cohen, a business litigator, has decamped for Holland & Knight.

Park spent more than nine years at Nelson Mullins before moving to Ballard Spahr. "Ballard Spahr is an exceptionally good fit for me. The firm has a national platform, an exceptionally strong banking practice, a group dedicated to EB-5 work, and a growing presence in the Southeast," said Park in an announcement.

He handles commercial lending transactions, public and private securities offerings, and other corporate and M&A matters, with a specialty in transactions pertaining to the EB-5 visa investment program, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program. An EB-5 visa affords qualifying foreign investors and their families permanent green cards. In exchange, the visa-seeker must invest $500,000 in a project that creates 10 or more jobs in a rural or blighted urban area. In nonblighted urban areas, the investment must be $1 million.

Created by Congress in 1990, the program has evolved from an avenue for immigrants to open a small U.S. business, such as a convenience store or dry cleaners, to a way for U.S. companies to raise capital from foreign investors. Park represents regional centers, which raise and invest capital from immigrants, project developers and other sponsors in EB-5 securities offerings.

Ethan cohen

Park is fluent in Korean and has worked on loan transactions involving Korean borrowers. Ballard Spahr has a Korea practice led by Han Choi, the managing partner of its Atlanta office.

"He adds further depth to our corporate practice in the Southeast, a strategic goal for the firm, and his strengths align with ours," said the firm's chairman, Mark Stewart, in an announcement.

The Philadelphia-based firm has 46 lawyers in Atlanta, according to its website.

Cohen, 44, said the decision go from Ballard Spahr to Holland & Knight "evolved organically" from his relationships with lawyers he knew there, including J. Allen Maines, the Atlanta office's executive managing partner, Terry Davis, who had worked with him at Schiff Hardin several years ago, and Tracy Nichols in the Miami office.

He represents financial services companies, such as banks, investment advisers, broker-dealers and multifamily offices in disputes, often on fiduciary matters. (Multi­family offices handle investments and other financial matters for ultra-high net worth clients.) He also advises on regulatory enforcement and compliance matters initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other government agencies.

"Ballard's a great place. Leaving was purely amicable," said Cohen, who spent almost four years there. He saw potential for "shared opportunities" at Holland & Knight, he said, with other partners with financial services clients.

When he's not working, Cohen is an amateur cyclist who competes on the Wahoo Fitness masters racing team.



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