Lee S. Richards III is a founding partner of Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP. He concentrates in white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement defense, regulatory proceedings, representation of corporate boards, internal investigations and complex commercial litigations. He has extensive trial experience and regularly represents investment banks, hedge funds, public companies, investment advisers, corporate officers and directors and other professionals in investigations and proceedings by the DOJ, SEC, FINRA and other governmental entities and SROs. He also represents companies and senior executives in commercial litigations, class action and derivative cases, and arbitrations relating to a variety of disputes.
In addition, Mr. Richards advises companies and directors on governance issues and has served as SEC Special Compliance Counsel, Receiver and Trustee in the liquidation of five securities firms, including Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, Westgate Capital Management, LLC, and three major insider trading cases. He was also appointed as the Independent Examiner in United States v. Computer Associates International, Inc.
Mr. Richards served for more than 10 years as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Fordham Law School. He is President Emeritus of the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court, and a former member of the American Inns of Court Board of Trustees. Mr. Richards is currently serving as a member of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the Appellate Division of the First Department. In addition, he is a regular speaker and writer on topics relating to criminal and securities law issues, internal investigations, corporate governance and compliance procedures. He is also a member of the American Jazz Foundation's Board of Directors.
Mr. Richards has been named one of The National Law Journal's Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers and was recognized by Conde Nast as one of the top ten white collar lawyers in New York. In 2015, Mr. Richards received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Second Circuit, which is granted each year "to a lawyer or judge whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law." Additionally, Chambers USA has ranked Mr. Richards as a leading individual in White Collar & Government Investigations for 10 consecutive years and as a leading individual in Securities Regulation - Enforcement from 2011 to 2016. Mr. Richards has also been identified as one of the nation's "Leading Lawyers" by The Legal 500 and as a “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics Media, Inc. In addition, The Best Lawyers in America® has named him on both the Best Lawyers in New York and the Best Lawyers in America lists.
From 1977 to 1983, Mr. Richards was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he handled major prosecutions of insider trading and securities fraud, including the first successful criminal prosecution of an insider trading case in U.S. history. In United States v. Newman, he conceived the misappropriation theory of insider trading still prevalent today. An account of Mr. Richards’ use of his pioneering theory, as an Assistant United States Attorney (S.D.N.Y.), occupies a chapter of The Prosecutors: Inside the Offices of the Government’s Most Powerful Lawyers, by Pulitzer Prize winner James Stewart. Mr. Richards is a recipient of the Department of Justice’s Award for Superior Performance.