Overview

Trisha Rich is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Chicago and New York offices, the national co-chair of the firm's Legal Profession Team and a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. Ms. Rich also serves as the Deputy Professional Responsibility Partner for Holland & Knight's Chicago office. Her practice focuses on legal ethics and professional responsibility matters and complex commercial litigation.

Ms. Rich is a national leader in the legal ethics community. She founded and coordinates the Attorney Defense Initiative, the nation's first privately sponsored pro bono initiative that focuses on assisting impaired lawyers facing disciplinary charges. Ms. Rich serves on the board of directors of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers as the organization's President-Elect, and is a frequent speaker and author on a variety of issues related to ethics and risk management. She is currently an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, where she teaches legal ethics and professional responsibility. She previously taught legal ethics at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Ms. Rich is a member of the Ethics Commission of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which adjudicates ethics complaints involving the agency’s governmental officers and employees. Ms. Rich is the author of Practical Ethics, the ethics column in the Chicago Bar Association's publication, The Record. Ms. Rich is the third author of the column in the history of the CBA, and its first woman author. She is also the co-editor of the forthcoming sixth edition of Attorney Fee Agreements in Michigan, published by The Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

In her professional responsibility practice, Ms. Rich advises lawyers, law firms, legal tech companies, and in-house counsel on a variety of issues related to professional responsibility and legal ethics, along with risk management, including legal malpractice, partnership and corporate structuring, regulation, law firm management and employment issues, fee disputes, conflicts and disqualification issues, confidentiality, privilege, attorney disciplinary defense, character and fitness proceedings, and all areas of legal ethics. Ms. Rich also advises both law firms and lawyers on ethical and fiduciary issues related to lateral hiring, law firm dissolution and expulsion matters. She also serves as an expert witness on legal ethics and professional responsibility matters, including partnership and fee disputes.

In her commercial litigation practice, Ms. Rich represents a wide variety of clients in litigation and other disputes, including national and international companies, small businesses, municipalities and state agencies, and individuals. She has extensive experience in resolving disputes between businesses and represents clients at the trial and appellate levels in a wide variety of matters, including actions for breach of contract, tort claims, breach of warranty, fraud, consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, tortious interference and all aspects of real estate, property management and receivership litigation. Ms. Rich also has broad experience representing financial institutions in all types of litigation, including consumer financial litigation. Ms. Rich also has experience serving as an arbitrator.

Ms. Rich has first- and second-chaired many trials and evidentiary hearings in both state and federal courts, and has represented clients in administrative hearings. She is a member of the Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois, has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and is a 2012 graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy's national trial practice program.

Prior to practicing law, Ms. Rich taught practical and theoretical ethics at two universities.

Representative Experience

  • Advised lawyers, law firms and in-house counsel on various professional responsibility, legal ethics, conflicts and lateral hiring issues
  • Represented lawyers in disciplinary matters in front of state bar disciplinary boards and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Office of Enrollment and Discipline
  • Represented law students in character and fitness proceedings
  • Defended law firms and lawyers in a variety of disputes, including law firm dissolutions, fee disputes and breach of fiduciary duty litigation
  • Initiated and defended major litigation on behalf of law firms
  • Assisted lawyers and law firms in opening new firms or new offices of existing firms, including serving as main outside counsel to large law firms for expansion into new geographic areas
  • Audited high-risk law firms regarding assets risk issues and assisted in bringing those law firms into coverage standards
  • Served as expert witness for legal ethics matters, including partnership disputes, fee disputes and legal malpractice

  • Successfully represented investors in fraud litigation against majority shareholder
  • Successfully defended a book publisher and author in a class action suit alleging consumer fraud and deceptive marketing tactics
  • Represented a state pension fund in contract and fraud disputes

  • Representing minority shareholders in valuation disputes
  • Representing institutes for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)

  • Represented commercial lenders in contested foreclosures of office buildings, shopping centers and multifamily developments, including contested evidentiary hearings and various motion practices
  • Obtained a multimillion-dollar judgment against a borrower and guarantors in a contested action relating to a defunct housing development
  • Represented the legal needs of receivers for a wide range of commercial properties, including shopping centers, liquor establishments, multifamily developments, self-storage facilities and other retail establishments

Credentials

Education
  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • Western Michigan University, M.A., Philosophy, magna cum laude
  • Western Michigan University, BBA, Business and Economics, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Michigan
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Memberships
  • Ethics Commission, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 2021-2023
  • The American Lawyer Editorial Board, 2018-Present
  • Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee, 2016-Present
  • Justice Entrepreneurs Project, Advisory Board Member, 2016-Present
  • Chicago Inn of Court, 2016-Present
  • Chicago Bar Association, Finance Committee, 2016-Present
  • Chicago Bar Association, CLE Committee, 2016-Present
  • New York City Bar Association, Committee on Professional Ethics, 2020-2023
  • CBA/CBF Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation, 2020-2021
  • Leadership Greater Chicago, Fellow, Class of 2021
  • University of Michigan Law School, Reunion Committees Co-Chair, 2011, 2016, 2021
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Director, 2019-2020; Secretary, 2020-2021; President-Elect, 2021-2022
  • Chicago Bar Association, Board of Managers, 2019-2021
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2020
  • Law360's Legal Ethics Editorial Advisory Board, 2020
  • Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, 2017-2020
  • Illinois Judges Foundation Auxiliary Committee, 2016-2020
  • Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee, Investigator, 2013-2019; Hearing Committee, 2016-2019
  • The Diversity Scholarship Foundation Unity Awards Dinner Committee, 2016-2019
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Marketing Committee Chair, 2014-2019
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, Associate Board, 2011-2019
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, Pro Bono Week Co-Chair, 2017
  • Chicago Bar Association, Membership Committee, 2015-2016
  • Chicago Bar Association, Nomination Committee, 2016
  • Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Professional Responsibility Committee, Co-Chair, 2014-2016
  • Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Member Services Manager, 2015-2016
  • The Jarrett Payton Foundation, Chair, Board of Directors, 2013-2014
  • Young Professionals of Chicago, Executive Board, 2009-2011
  • American Bar Association, Center for Professional Responsibility
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • The Lawyers Club of Chicago
  • University of Michigan Law School Chicago Alumni Club, Committee Co-Chair
Honors & Awards
  • Top 50 Women in Law, Law Bulletin Media, 2021 
  • Chicago's Notable Women Lawyers, Crain's Chicago Business, 2018, 2020
  • Pro Bono All Star, Holland & Knight, 2007-2020
  • 40 Under 40, Crain's Chicago Business, 2018
  • Forty Under 40 Illinois Lawyers to Watch, Law Bulletin Media, 2017
  • The Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award, Chicago Bar Foundation, 2017
  • Emerging Lawyer, Leading Lawyers, 2015-2017
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2013, 2017
  • Holland & Knight Living the Commitment Award, 2016
  • Milton H. Gray Award for Outstanding Project Leadership, Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section, 2016
  • Rising Star, Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2016
  • Top Fundraiser, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois Associate Board, 2014-2015; 2015-2016
  • David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service, Committee Co-Chair, 2015
  • Holland & Knight Rising Star, Class of 2014
  • Holland & Knight National Brightest Star Award, 2014
  • Northern District of Illinois Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, 2011

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News