Richard Harris serves as the executive partner of Holland & Knight's Philadelphia office. He has built his reputation as a lawyer who does his utmost to secure optimum outcomes for his clients. A natural consensus builder of rare diplomacy and tenacity, he is a gifted advocate whose keen legal mind and narrative mastery make him a formidable opponent in a courtroom.

Proven Track Record. Originally trained as a trial attorney, Mr. Harris has evolved into a crisis management professional with a highly tuned degree of insight into the executive decision-making process and associated potential conflicts. As he puts it, "I'm a trial lawyer and storyteller by training, who grew into a crisis manager to help my clients see opportunities in the midst of a storm." Clients seek out Mr. Harris for his record of accomplishments and effectiveness in a crisis, and they return to him as a trusted and determined confidant who will always sustain their best interests.

Pragmatic Strategy and Tactics. Mr. Harris' crisis management approach addresses clients' short- and long-term goals:

  • provides 24/7 response to urgent short-term matters, attention to detail and passionate advocacy
  • offers clear-eyed analysis of long-term goals and assessment of underlying conditions that have caused conflicts to arise, as well as solution-driven action plans designed to achieve organizational and cultural goals

Mr. Harris' insights often add lasting value well beyond the immediate scope of a case or short-term legal implications.

First-Chair Trial Experience. Mr. Harris represents Fortune 500 companies in multistate litigation, has served as a first-chair trial lawyer for more than 50 jury trials in state and federal court, and is recognized as a leading authority on trial advocacy. He is known for developing well-tested trial strategies that are grounded in his primary commitment to maximize value for his clients by considering and evaluating all possible outcomes with imagination, tact and discretion.

Key Practice Areas. Mr. Harris represents publicly traded and privately held companies in the following:

  • crisis management strategy
  • high-stakes / high-profile litigation
  • discrimination claims
  • trade secret litigation / unfair business practices
  • whistleblower and retaliation
  • internal corporate investigations
  • executive leadership / organizational culture training

Community Commitment. Mr. Harris has a profound belief in the value of defining and investing in community wealth for the benefit of all. He is on the board of The Best is Ahead Foundation, board of trustees for the Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School, Saints John Neumann and Maria Gorretti High School, and the Arden Theatre. He previously served on the Philadelphia Bar Association's board of governors and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Teamwork Orientation. Mr. Harris was an NCAA Division I scholar-athlete in football as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland. He credits his athletic experience as highly formative for his perspective on building teams and coalitions toward a shared goal.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Harris was a shareholder for a global law firm in its Philadelphia office. He also worked as partner for a leading labor and employment law firm based in South Carolina.


  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Maryland, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • The Mann Center, Advisory Board Member
  • Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School, Board Member
  • The Food Trust, Board Member
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2019-2024
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine, 2018-2024
  • Power List, Lawyers of Color, 2020
  • J. Austin Norris Award Recipient, Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, 2020
  • Savoy Magazine, Most Influential Black Lawyers, 2018, 2022
  • The Legal Intelligencer, Distinguished Leader, 2017
  • The Legal 500 USA, Labor and Employment Disputes: Defense, 2016