SAN DIEGO (April 28, 2015) – The Honorable Peter W. Bowie, former Chief Judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of California, has joined Ballard Spahr’s nationally renowned bankruptcy practice as of counsel in the firm’s San Diego office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Judge Bowie recently retired after a 27-year career on the bench. Before joining the court, he spent 14 years in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California, the last six as Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Judge Bowie has presided over a range of cases and his experience brings even greater depth to Ballard Spahr’s bankruptcy practice. He is recognized for his skills as a mediator, and over the last year of his judgeship successfully resolved several vigorously contested, large fee application disputes. His practice will include conducting mediation settlement conferences and developing a mediation practice at the firm.

“Judge Bowie is a trusted and respected friend, and he personifies in every respect the outstanding qualifications we expect of lawyers joining the firm and our office here in San Diego,” said Christopher Celentino, Managing Partner for Ballard Spahr’s San Diego office. “He has a reputation for being thoughtful, articulate, scholarly, and practical, and brings the unique perspective of a former judge that clients will find invaluable.”

Outside the courtroom, Judge Bowie is an acclaimed thought leader in the area of legal ethics and professional responsibility. He served on the Review Department of the State Board Court concerned with attorney discipline, and in 1995 was appointed by U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Codes of Conduct Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

He is known for the insight he brings to his work with the Federal Judicial Center—the education and research agency for the federal courts—where he has prepared judicial ethics presentations for 18 years, and serves on the faculty for orientation of new bankruptcy judges. He currently serves as chair of the Judicial Advisory Committee of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, where he advises on judge and lawyer ethics.

Judge Bowie joins the firm’s Litigation Department and its Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery Group. Ballard Spahr’s bankruptcy and finance practice expanded into San Diego last year, with the arrival of partners Mr. Celentino and Mikel Bistrow. In addition to bankruptcy and insolvency, lawyers in the office handle real and personal property finance, white collar defense, regulatory enforcement, complex litigation, and intellectual property matters.

"We are thrilled to have a jurist of Judge Bowie's distinction and experience as a judge and a mediator join the firm," said Vincent J. Marriott III, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery Group. "His judicial insight will be beneficial in providing strategic direction on client matters, and his presence will enhance our practice both on the West Coast and nationally."

Ballard Spahr is home to a nationwide bankruptcy practice. Lawyers in the practice handle all aspects of insolvency, including restructuring, workouts, refinancing of debt, creditor-debtor litigation, reorganizations, and liquidations both in and outside of bankruptcy. The firm has been ranked by The Deal as a “top bankruptcy firm” for several years.

“I gave thoughtful consideration to where I wanted to practice law in my post-retirement years,” said Judge Bowie. “My longtime friendships with Chris and Mikel, and the values and reputation of the firm, made Ballard Spahr the obvious choice. I look forward to helping the firm build on the enormous success of its bankruptcy practice.”

About Ballard Spahr

Ballard Spahr LLP, a national law firm with more than 500 lawyers in 14 offices in the United States, provides a range of services in litigation, business and finance, real estate, intellectual property, and public finance. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, life sciences and technology companies, health systems, investors and developers, government agencies and sponsored enterprises, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations. The firm combines a national scope of practice with strong regional market knowledge. For more information, please visit