Rick Ballard
Rick Ballard ()

Frederic L. (Rick) Ballard Jr., who helped transform his great-grandfather’s law office into the national, 500-lawyer firm that Ballard Spahr is today, died May 11 at age 72.

Ballard graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, joining Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia as an associate in 1966. Seven years later, he became a partner at the firm, which was founded in the late 1800s by his great-grandfather, Ellis Ames Ballard.

He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1978 to open the firm’s first office outside of Philadelphia, according to a release.

Ballard served as managing partner of the Washington office from 1978 to 1995, and as chair of the public finance department from 1995 to 2000 and of the financial planning and management department from 2000 to 2006.

At the time of his death, Ballard, who still maintained an active practice, was head of the firm’s tax group and exempt organizations group.

Ballard was one of the few people to receive both the National Association of Bond Lawyers’ Bernard P. Friel Medal for Service in Public Finance and Frederick O. Kiel Distinguished Service Award, a release said.

He represented government agencies, investment banks, nonprofits and other borrowers of tax-exempt bonds and played a key role in the bond financings of some of the nation’s largest public buildings, including the Denver International Airport and the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Ballard was the author of “ABCs of Arbitrage: Tax Rules for Investment of Bond Proceeds by Municipalities,” a reference work published in 1978 and used by public officials, municipal bond attorneys and investment bankers, a release said.

Ballard was the former vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Section on State and Local Governmental Law, the former director of the American College of Bond Counsel and the former chair of the American College of Tax Counsel.

He was also dedicated to community service, especially in support of women’s issues; he and his wife received the first Visionary Award from the Washington Area Women’s Foundation in 2013 for their service to the organization, a release said.

Ballard is survived by his wife, Marion Ballard; daughter, Annie Ballard; his stepsons, William and Robert Dunning; his sisters, Sophie Ballard Bilezikian, Ernesta Ballard and Alice Ballard; and two grandchildren.

A service to celebrate Ballard’s life will be planned for late May or June. Memorial donations in his name can be made to the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, 1331 H St., NW, Suite 1000, Washington, D.C., and Samaritan Inns, Development Office, 2523 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. •