Debbie Klis
Debbie Klis

Debbie A. Klis

Tel 202.661.7661
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

Debbie A. Klis has a broad financial practice focused on an array of business, securities, and tax issues. She is known for her work with investment management companies, including the formation and operation of EB-5 immigration investment funds and regional centers, hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds, land syndications, and international master-feeder structures.

Ms. Klis represents real estate developers and public and private companies seeking capital under the EB-5 program to fund their projects. She assists principals and developers with the formation of regional centers or by joining with an existing EB-5 approved regional center through a rental model or arm's length investment. She handles all legal aspects of the preparation and filing of Regional Center designation and Regional Center amendment applications, including project business plans, exemplar applications, I-526 templates, securities offering documents, loan documents, including procuring bridge loan and bridge equity, and corporate documents for compliance with the EB-5 program requirements. Ms. Klis consults and advises clients on the EB-5 program as an alternative source of funding for their real estate development or company funding needs.

Ms. Klis also has significant experience with financial products, including derivatives and global equity offerings representing placement agents, issuers, broker-dealers, investment banks and multinational financial institutions, funds, investment advisers, investment companies, and banks. She also advises equity sponsors, their portfolio companies, and registered and unregistered funds on issues involving the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Adviser Act, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and the Commodity Futures Act. She has extensive experience with private securities offerings, including PIPEs, and investment-grade debt offerings.

Utilizing her LL.M. in tax, Ms. Klis is able to identify potential tax issues and available federal and state tax credits, including New Markets Tax Credits, and works with members of the firm's Tax Group to advise her clients.

Professional Activities

California Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association, Securities and Tax Division

American Bar Association, Broker-Dealer Subcommittee and Investment Adviser Subcommittee

Recognition & Accomplishments

Top 15 Corporate Attorneys, EB5 Investors Magazine, May 2016

Community Service Award, Beth Sholom 68th Annual Honoree Celebration, December 6, 2014

Named to The Daily Record's list of Maryland's Top 100 Women in 2013, for achievement of professional success and for leadership, community service, and mentoring


 Co-author, "H.R. 601 Extends EB-5 Program and Provides $15.25B of Disaster Relief Funds," Ballard Spahr alert, September 13, 2017

Co-author, "SEC Expands Popular JOBS Act Benefit to All Companies Filing Registration Statements," Ballard Spahr alert, July 7, 2017

Author, "Fund Formation Checklist for a Private Equity Fund," LexisNexis, May 5, 2017

Co-author, "Comprehensive Government Funding Bill Released; EB-5 Program Intact Through September," Ballard Spahr alert, May 1, 2017 

Author, "Bigger Investments Proposed for EB-5 Projects; Investors Scramble to Beat Deadline," Ballard Spahr alert, March 28, 2017

Co-author, "China's Stringent New Rules on Yuan Transfers Could Hinder EB-5 Fundraising," Ballard Spahr alert, January 5, 2017

Author, "Private Equity Investments in Real Estate – A Primer on the Menu of Structures Available," LexisNexis: Private Equity, December 16, 2016

Co-author, "EB-5 Program Gets Temporary Extension; USCIS Issues New EB-5 Policy Manual," Ballard Spahr alert, December 12, 2016

Author, "Real Estate Financing from the Crowd," Probate and Property, Vol. 30, No. 6, a publication of the Real Property, Trust Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association, November/December 2016 

Co-author, "Significant Increases to EB-5 Program Filing Fees Begin December 23, 2016," Ballard Spahr alert, November 8, 2016

Co-author, "EB-5 Program Extended by Continuing Resolution to December 9 Without Changes," Ballard Spahr alert, October 7, 2016

Author, "Alternative Financing for Commercial Real Estate," Probate & Property, a publication of the Real Property, Trust Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association, March/April 2016

Author, "SEC Approves FINRA Portal Rules, Forms for Crowdfunding Under Title III," Ballard Spahr alert, February 9, 2016

"From Lady Liberty to Startup Capital – Crowdfunding Today," The Legal Intelligencer, December 15, 2015

Co-author, "EB-5 Regional Center Program Gets Short-Term Extension from Congress," Ballard Spahr EB-5 alert, October 1, 2015

Author, "Overview of the Bipartisan EB-5 Reauthorization Bill: The American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act," Ballard Spahr EB-5 alert, June 9, 2015

Author, "EB-5 Program Reforms Proposed," Ballard Spahr EB-5 alert, March 20, 2014

Co-author, "SEC Acts To Eliminate Prohibition on General Solicitation and Expand 'Bad Actor' Disqualifications," Wall Street Lawyer, August 2013

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Klis is a frequent speaker on such topics as the U.S. Immigrant Investor Program known as EB-5, crowdfunding, raising angel money and venture capital, and writing business plans.

Moderator, "2017: Year of the REIT," The China Investor's 2017 Beijing Global Private Equity Opportunities Forum, Beijing, May 19-20, 2017 

Speaker, "Will the EB-5 Regional Center Program End?", Washington, D.C., April 21, 2017

Speaker, "EB-5 Financing as an Alternative Source of Capital for Housing," U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C., February 1, 2017

Panelist, "Construction Financing: Utilizing Tax Credits, Tax Increment Financing, EB-5 Visa Program and Crowdfunding Websites," Strafford CLE webinar, November 15, 2016

Speaker, "Trends in Real Estate Finance: PACE, TIFs, and Crowdfunding,2016 Advanced Real Property Institute, Maryland State Bar, Columbia, Maryland, September 27, 2016

Speaker, "Trouble at the I-829," 2016 New York EB-5 & Investment Immigration Convention, New York, July 18, 2016

Speaker, "Crowdfunding 101 – The Role of Intermediaries and Regulators," Ballard Spahr webinar, May 3, 2016

Panelist, "Traditional and New Financing Opportunities for Affordable Housing," Best of the West in Affordable Housing Development and Financing Conference, San Francisco, March 18, 2016

Speaker, "Demystifying EB-5 Funding and Crowdfunding in Real Estate Project Finance," EB-5 Breakfast Seminar, Los Angeles, March 17, 2016 

Speaker, "A Primer – EB-5 Financing as an Alternative Source of Capital," Maryland Association of Realtors Immigrant Investor Visa Webinar, February 23, 2016

Speaker, "Crowdfunding 101 – The Nuts and Bolts of Conducting a Crowdfunded Offering," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 16, 2016

Speaker, "Crowdfunding 101: What You Need to Know Now," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 1, 2015

Speaker, "How the U.S. EB-5 Program Provides Alternative Source of Funding for Real Estate Projects,"Maryland State Bar Association, Inc.: 2015 Advanced Real Property Institute, Columbia, Md., October 13, 2015

Speaker, "Latest Foreign Import: EB-5 Financing,"Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting,San Francisco, October 7, 2015

Panelist, "EB-5 and Capital Access Resources," Council of Development Finance Agencies, Harrisburg, Pa.,June 11, 2015

Panelist, "Law School for the Public: Crowd Funding," Montgomery County Public Television, March 10, 2015

Panelist, "Mixed-Use and Economic Development Financing Structures and Options. Leveraging Construction and Mezzanine Loans, Preferred Equity, Tax Increment and EB-5 Financing, Tax Credit Funds," Strafford webinar, December 10, 2014

Panelist, "Debt and Equity Strategies for the Future," Beyond the Horizon: Housing and Community Development Strategies for the Future, 2014 National Housing Symposium,Washington, D.C., November 13, 2014

Panelist, "EB-5 Capital: Intro to Innovative Financing," Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington, 33rd Annual Fall Commercial Real Estate Finance Seminar & Networking Breakfast, Washington, D.C., October 21, 2014

Speaker, "SmartCondo 2.0: Current Issues, Trends, and Opportunities for Condominium and Mixed-Use Developments," Ballard Spahr Mixed-Use Development and Condominiums Symposium, Bethesda, October 9, 2014

Moderator, "EB-5 Program Funds," Bisnow, 2nd Annual DC Private Equity Real Estate Summit, Washington, D.C., July 29, 2014

Speaker, "Demystifying EB-5 Program Funds in Real Estate Development Finance," Ballard Spahr presentation on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, Philadelphia, June 24, 2014

Panelist, "Finance/EB-5," Ballard Spahr | CSG Advisors Fourth Annual Western Housing Conference, "Best of the West in Affordable Housing Development and Financing," San Francisco, March 28, 2014

Panelist, "EB-5: Bringing Foreign Investors to U.S. Markets," Mortgage Bankers Association, 31st Annual Regional Conference of Mortgage Bankers Associations, Atlantic City, March 10, 2014

Panelist, "EB-5 Financing Program," Arizona Housing Alliance Academy – Developers Topics – Hot Topics in Affordable Rental Housing Finance, Phoenix, January 23, 2014

Panelist, "SEC Acts To Eliminate Prohibition on General Solicitation and Expand Bad Actor Disqualifications," Thomson Reuters live webcast, December 17, 2013

Panelist, "How To Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign," Maryland Women's Business Center, October 22, 2013

Panelist, "Exploring the Advantages of EB-5 Program Financing," Ballard Spahr seminar, October 24, 2013

Panelist, "How To Use EB-5 Financing in a Credit-Restricted Market," Mortgage Bankers Association of New York, Inc., New York, September 10, 2013

Speaker, "Power Roundtable: Crowdfunding for Business," 2013 Women's Power Conference, Bethesda, August 29, 2013

Speaker, "Exploring Alternative Real Estate Financing Opportunities through EB-5," Ballard Spahr Real Estate seminar, Bethesda, June 4, 2013

Speaker, "Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act: A Primer for Corporate Counsel," Thomson Reuters webcast, March 19, 2013

Community Activities

President and Director, Women Ambassadors for Business, Inc.

Judge,State of Maryland's StartRight! Women's Business Plan Competition, 2010-2014

Chair, Social Action Committee of Beth Sholom Congregation

Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M. 1995, taxation)

Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D. 1994)
Member, Law Review

Santa Clara University (B.S. 1990)


District of Columbia


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California