John G. Kerkorian, a commercial litigator who represents leading Arizona businesses and national financial institutions, will become Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr’s Phoenix office effective July 1, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced.

Mr. Kerkorian succeeds Stephen M. Savage, who was a co-founder of the Phoenix office and has served as its Managing Partner since it opened in August 2006. Mr. Savage will continue his practice focusing on business planning and corporate, commercial, and real estate transactions.

“Steve has been instrumental in attracting top attorneys in the region to Ballard,” said Mr. Stewart. “He and John have worked together for many years and share a deep understanding of the local market and how our national presence can benefit the firm’s local clients. We are fortunate to have continuity in management as John moves into the leadership role.”

Mr. Kerkorian represents businesses in complex civil litigation at both the trial and appellate court levels, with an emphasis on corporate business litigation and consumer class action defense. He is a member of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security Group, which assists clients with compliance, investigations and litigation, as well as pre-litigation planning. He also regularly handles employment-related disputes involving restrictive covenants, trade secrets, harassment, and discrimination.

Mr. Kerkorian is a member of Ballard Spahr’s Elected Board, and is a trustee of the Arizona Science Center. He has been with the firm since 2007, and participated in the growth of the Phoenix office.

“After being the Managing Partner of the Phoenix office for nine years, I am looking forward to turning over the reins to John and focusing on client matters and specific firm projects,” said Mr. Savage. “John and I have similar views on law firm management and culture, so I’m very confident about the future direction of the office.”