Ballard Spahr announced that Christopher D. Bell, a real estate attorney whose broad transactional experience includes more than 10 years at Fannie Mae, has joined the firm as a partner in the Washington, D.C., office.

Mr. Bell has practiced in the D.C. area for nearly 20 years. His addition augments Ballard Spahr’s growing Washington-based real estate practice, which has played key roles in major projects in the region and throughout the country. Mr. Bell will be a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department and its Housing Group, which represents many of the country’s leading housing lenders, borrowers, and investors.

Mr. Bell had practiced at Fannie Mae since 2004. As the agency’s Associate General Counsel of Housing and Community Development, he was Fannie Mae’s lead attorney for affordable housing transactions and for secondary market construction loan participations and syndications. He provided counsel on Fannie Mae charter and regulatory matters, as well as on complex real estate finance transactions, including those involving mortgage-backed securities, bond credit enhancement, mezzanine debt, senior housing, and pool purchases. He assisted in revisions to Fannie Mae form loan documents and the Delegated Underwriting and Servicing Guide, and with product enhancement review and design. In addition, Mr. Bell served as lead counsel for Fannie Mae’s corporate charitable arm, the Office of Community Investment and Engagement, where he advised on grant documentation issues, intellectual property rights, procurement, audit, and compliance matters.

Mr. Bell is active in civic and professional affairs in the D.C. metropolitan area. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia, and has served as a Trustee since 2011. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, Mr. Bell holds a master’s degree in public administration, with an emphasis on housing and community development, from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Ballard Spahr’s housing practice is one of the largest in the country, with more than 70 attorneys in offices throughout the United States. It provides innovative and practical advice in the development and financing of housing and community development projects nationwide. Housing Group attorneys counsel lenders, borrowers, and other clients on all aspects of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financing products for multifamily housing projects and seniors facilities, and on related compliance and servicing issues.