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Richard Chesley

Richard Chesley

Global Managing Partner
Co-US Managing Partner
[S]uperb ability to quickly and effectively resolve issues
source quoted in Chambers USA

Richard ("Rick") Chesley is DLA Piper’s Global Managing Partner and Co-US Managing Partner. In his role as Global Managing Partner, Rick oversees the development of cross-border strategic business initiatives and expansion of global relationships, while as Co-US Managing Partner, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm in the US. 

Rick practices in the areas of corporate restructuring with an emphasis on bankruptcy transactions, both in the US and internationally, and has handled numerous high-profile matters across industry sectors. He is the former Global Co-Chair of the Restructuring practice and former Co-Chair of the US Restructuring practice.

An avid advocate of pro bono, Rick serves on the Advisory Board for New Perimeter, the firm’s nonprofit affiliate dedicated to providing long-term pro bono legal assistance to underserved regions around the world. He also sits on the board of the Erikson Institute.

Bar admissionsIllinoisNew YorkOhio


Rick’s experience includes serving as restructuring counsel or debtors' counsel in numerous chapter 11 proceedings, including chapter 15 filings for bankruptcy protections through US courts. He has served as lead counsel in matters including Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, Vesttoo Ltd., Abengoa US Holdings LLC, Appvion, The Loewen Group, Inc., Trident Microsystems Inc., Fairfield Residential, and UK-based Arcadia Group Ltd. (the parent company of Topshop).  

In addition, Rick has represented multiple acquirors of distressed businesses, including Brooks Brothers, Nine West, Barneys New York, Aeropostale, and the pharmacy management business of Rite Aid. Rick also led a number of out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcy proceedings throughout the US and internationally, including for financial advisors, real estate acquirors, liquidators and other significant creditors.

Rick’s strategic and client-centric business approach is informed in part by his prior in-house experience. He served as senior vice president and restructuring general counsel at a multinational independent investment bank and financial services company, where in addition to his firmwide legal responsibilities, he was a member of the financial restructuring group, working on the restructuring of such companies as Nextel International, CTI Movil, and United Airlines.

  • J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law
    Editorial Board, Law Review
  • B.A., Northwestern University


  • Recognized as Lawdragon's 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers (2024)
  • Crain’s Chicago Business, Who’s Who in Chicago Business (2024)
  • M&A Advisor, Professional Services Deal of the Year award (2023)
  • Global M&A Network, Distressed M&A Deal of the Year (2023)
  • American Jewish Committee, Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award (2014) 
  • Chambers and The Legal 500 ranked

Media Mentions

  • Mentioned, "DLA Piper Bullish on Latin America", Latin Lawyer, May 15, 2024
  • "DLA Piper Expands To Brazil With New São Paulo Office," Law360, May 14, 2024
  • "DLA Piper Opens Office in Brazil to Tap Cross-border Work,", May 6, 2024

Professional Memberships

  • IBA
  • ABA
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • TMA