Lawyer Image

Stephen Joseph Harmelin

Partner, Retired
Primary Office
1500 Market St., Suite 3500E
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Direct(215) 575-7060
Fax(215) 575-7200


Madeline Natal
Direct(215) 575-7091

Stephen Harmelin is an attorney with over 50 years of experience in corporate law, securities, and financial transactions who also represents various governmental and non-profit entities. He lectures on law firm management, corporate, and other business financial transactions.

Steve is engaged in various civic and charitable activities. In 2003, he received a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the Director of the FBI for his work with its agents to recover an original Bill of Rights manuscript which was missing for 138 years. He was Founder of the Philadelphia Constitution Foundation whose projects included developing the exhibition in 1987 of an original Magna Carta in Philadelphia as well as providing assistance in 1992 to the drafters of the Russian Republic’s Constitution. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Philadelphia College of Physicians and subsequently to its Board of Trustees. He has served for the past ten years on the Board of The Barnes Foundation which houses one of the world's largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern paintings. Following approval by the Court, he worked tirelessly to bring the Collection to its new home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. He is on the Board of the Atlantic Legal Foundation and is Chairman of the Thomas Skelton Harrison Foundation. He is also a Trustee and General Counsel to the National Constitution Center, a $200 million project that opened in Independence National Historical Park on July 4, 2003.

In 2005 Steve received the Replansky Award given by the Philadelphia Bar Association Corporate Law Committee to the attorney whose professional and civic accomplishments distinguished him and reflected “superior legal talent and professionalism.” He has been consistently chosen by a survey of his fellow lawyers to be listed in the publication, The Best Lawyers in America.

Representative Experience

  • In 2007 and 2008 he served as the Receiver ad litem appointed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to recover damages for investors in a $250 million hedge fund fraud. The $170 million recovery was the CFTC’s largest in history.
  • Served as Chairman of the Board of a New York Stock Exchange-listed company, Publicker Industries, Inc.
  • Served on the Board of numerous privately-held companies, including one year in which he served as an executive and Chairman of Confab Inc., one of the Philadelphia area's largest employers.
  • Served from 1989 to 2002 by appointment of the Governor as a Commissioner on the Board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. This Authority developed and operates the $500 million Convention Center opened in Philadelphia in 1993.
  • Served in 1992 by unanimous vote of the Pennsylvania Democratic and Republican Senate and House leadership as General Counsel to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. This Commission had the responsibility for redistricting the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania following the 1990 Census.
  • Appointed in 2001 to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Task Force on the selection of lead counsel in class action lawsuits.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Fellow, American Bar Association
  • Council Member, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
  • Board Member, The Barnes Foundation
  • Board Member, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
  • Board Member, Atlantic Legal Foundation
  • Chairman, Thomas Skelton Harrison Foundation
  • Board Member & General Counsel, National Constitution Center
  • Fellow, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 2007
  • Founder, Philadelphia Constitution Foundation, 2000
  • White House Aide, 1964–1965
  • Special Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney, 1970
  • Treasurer, Re-election campaign committees of Senator Arlen Specter
  • General Counsel, Pennsylvania Reapportionment Commission, 1991

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Corporate Law, 2006–2019
  • Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004–2015
  • Philadelphia Bar Association Corporate Law Committee, Replansky Award, 2005
  • Received a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the Director of the FBI, 2003

Further information on methodologies is available via these links.

Print to PDFPDFEmail PageEmailPrint HTMLPrint
Search Tips

Our Web site's search function employs a variety of techniques to help you make the most of your queries. In this tips section we use square brackets [ ] to signal queries, so [antitrust and litigation] is one query, while [antitrust] and [litigation] are two.

  • Exact phrases: Eliminate unnecessary search results by surrounding your search phrase with quotation marks. Placing ["project finance"] in quotes will return specific results and discard additional results that simply have the words "project" and "finance" peppered on a page.
  • Wildcard symbol: If you're not exactly sure how a piece of information you want is phrased, use the following symbol (*) as a word root expander. A search for [child*] will find not only "child," but also results with words like "children" and "childhood."

Alternate Biographies





  • LL.B., Harvard Law School, 1964
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 1960

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1964