City of Philadelphia

Office of the City Solicitor

 Economic Development & Investments Unit


James P. Leonard

Chief Deputy City Solicitor


Assistant: Barbara LePera


Fax: 215-683-5069


Divisional Deputy City Solicitor

Real Estate and Economic Development  


Assistant: Marilyn Reid


Fax: 215-683-5069


Christopher R. DiFusco, Divisional Deputy City Solicitor

Pensions and Investments


Assistant: Marilyn Reid


Fax: 215-683-5069


James P. Leonard serves as Chief Deputy City Solicitor to the Economic Development and Investments Unit of the City of Philadelphia Law Department.  He supervises much of the City's real estate transactional practice, along with a variety of economic development initiatives.  He serves as the City Solicitor's designee on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.  He oversees representation of the City's Board of Pensions and Retirement, which includes day to day counseling on benefits and investment matters, and he serves as the City Solicitor's designee on the Pension Board Investment Committee, which manages a $4.7 billion fund and the City's deferred compensation plan.  Mr. Leonard also supervises all public information requests under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, as well as matters relating to open meetings under the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.  He served as Chief of Staff to the City Solicitor from 2005 through 2007.


Previously, Mr. Leonard was in private practice with a focus on real estate transactions.  He attended Villanova University (B.A., summa cum laude, 1996), and Villanova University School of Law (J.D., summa cum laude, 1999).


The Real Estate and Economic Development Division, represents the City in all transactional matters related to office, facilities and land leasing and licensing, land use and development projects, surplus property disposition, transportation right of way acquisition, capital and economic development grant funding agreements, and all matters related to the recording of documents in the Department of Records.  The Division acts as general counsel to the Department of Public Property, Commerce Department, Art Commission, City Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation and the Records Department.


The Pensions and Investments Division, under Divisional Deputy City Solicitor Christopher R. DiFusco, is responsible for the counsel and representation of the $4.7 billion City pension fund.  The division provides legal advice to the Board of Pensions and Retirement on all benefit and investment issues.  This includes the creation and review of contracts, regulatory and tax issues, federal, state and local statutory matters, and management of the City's deferred compensation plan.   Attorneys in this division also represent the board before the Court of Common Pleas and Commonwealth Court on statutory appeals. 


The Pensions and Investments Division is also responsible for responding to requests under the Commonwealth's Right to Know Act and provides training to City officials on complying with the law.  Division attorneys also handle matters related to the state "Sunshine" (Open Meetings) law.


Real Estate & Economic

Development Division 

Investment Division

Divisional Deputy City Solicitor

Christopher R. DiFusco

Divisional Deputy City Solicitor

Lawrence K. Copeland

Senior Attorney

Ellen Berkowitz

Deputy City Solicitor

Terry Garfinkel

Deputy CitySolicitor

Katherine Mastrobuoni

Assistant City Solicitor

Brian Shovlin

Deputy City Solicitor

 Jo Rosenberger Altman

Assistant City Solicitor

Laurie Reilly

Assistant City Solicitor

Benjamin Mishkin

Assistant City Solicitor

Allyson Davis

Assistant City Solicitor



Chair, Corporate and Tax Group

Commercial Law Unit

Commercial Litigation

Regulatory Affairs Unit

Tax Unit

Special Corporate Counsel 

Property Assessment