Richard E. Lear is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Lear practiced in Chapter 11 cases for over 40 years and currently focuses his practice exclusively on reviewing and negotiating legal opinions addressing bankruptcy-remote structures, substantive consolidation and true sales. In doing so, Mr. Lear works closely with structured finance attorneys and real estate finance attorneys in many of Holland & Knight's offices throughout the country to address issues in forming special purpose vehicles (SPVs). He also collaborates with drafting and reviewing reasoned legal opinions on substantive consolidation and on true sales in connection with commercial mortgaged-backed securities (CMBS) and other real estate finance transactions, as well as with structured finance transactions, including in connection with the securitization of financial assets.

Mr. Lear has on many occasions made presentations on true sale and nonconsolidation opinions and on other bankruptcy topics at various seminars sponsored by local, regional and state bar associations and national forums such as the Working Group on Legal Opinions.

From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Lear was an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, where he taught a course in real estate bankruptcy in Georgetown's Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate Program.

Mr. Lear served as a law clerk to the Honorable Martin V. B. Bostetter Jr., Chief Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, from 1983-1985.


  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D.
  • University of New Hampshire, B.A., magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • All State Courts in Virginia
  • All State Courts in New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association, Director, 2005-2006, Secretary, 2006-2007, Treasurer, 2007-2010, President-Elect, 2009-2010
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Local Bankruptcy Rules Standing Committee of the Eastern District of Virginia, 2006-2007
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, Bar Liaison Committee, 2005-2009
  • Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia, Bankruptcy Mediation Panel, 1992-2004
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law/Insolvency and Reorganization, 2001-2023; Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2012-2023
  • Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2018
  • Top Washington Lawyer Nominee, Washington Business Journal, Bankruptcy, 2004
  • Top Washington Lawyer Finalist, Washington Business Journal, Bankruptcy, 2006
  • Who's Who In America
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Phi Beta Kappa 
  • Pi Sigma Alpha


Speaking Engagements