David Alan Richards

David Richards

Title: Author, Senior Counsel
Company: Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Location: Stamford, Connecticut, United States

David Richards, Author and Senior Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership as a lawyer and author.

Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1945, Mr. Richards was the oldest of three children. When he was 12, his father, a World War II veteran, moved the family to San Bernardino, California, to be near his job at Norton Air Force Base. Mr. Richards was admitted to Yale University in 1963, and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in American Studies. In his junior year at Yale, he was asked to join Skull and Bones, one of Yale’s elite secret societies, which boasted members such as John Kerry and George W. Bush. This and other secret societies would go on to be the focus of Mr. Richards’ latest book, “Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale’s Secret Societies.”

Mr. Richards graduated, having won the most prizes in his class, and was the recipient of a Keasbey Fellowship to Oxford and Cambridge. He studied at Selwyn College, where he worked with Norman Stone, a future Regius Professor of History appointee, and in 1969, he earned a Bachelor of Arts, first-class, in modern history. Here, Mr. Richards first learned of the histories of the British Raj and World War I, which later developed into his passion for the history and works of Rudyard Kipling. In 2007, he published “Rudyard Kipling: The Books I Leave Behind,” and in 2010, he published “Rudyard Kipling: A Bibliography.” In addition, he is a member of the Kipling Society, serving as vice president since 2005.

Mr. Richards went on to earn a Master of Arts from Cambridge, and returned to Yale Law School, earning a JD in 1972. After his admission to the New York bar in 1973, he worked first as an associate, then became a partner at Coudert Brothers in 1981. In 1983, he became partner and head of the real estate group at Sidley & Austin, and in 2001, he became a partner at McCarter & English. Since 2013, he has worked as senior counsel for Steptoe & Johnson LLP. His expertise in real estate law led him to represent Tiffany’s in the sale of their air rights to Donald Trump for Trump Tower, and he worked to negotiate the conveyance of the Highline tourist attraction in New York City for more than a decade. In 2003, he published “The Commercial Office Lease Handbook,” an authoritative exploration of the various clauses, articles, pitfalls, and successes of standard form lease agreements.

In addition to his achievements as an author and lawyer, Mr. Richards boasts memberships to many prestigious organizations. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a former antiquarian of the Russell Trust Association, and chair of the house committee of The Grolier Club. He has served as chair of the Yale Library Association since 2014, is a member of the New York City Yale Club, and is a member of the Century Association. In addition, Mr. Richards was the youngest chair ever of the Anglo-American Real Property Institute, which is limited to the top 50 lawyers in the United States and the top 50 lawyers in the United Kingdom. Mr. Richards advises aspiring lawyers to be prepared to work hard, and study the industry they work with—he knows firsthand that continuing legal education is paramount to success.

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