Richard A. Newman
Richard's practice has a special emphasis on municipal finance, project finance, and the representation of nonprofit organizations.
As co-chair of Arent Fox’s Public Finance group, Richard provides services as borrower’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel, credit enhancement counsel, trustee’s counsel, servicer/originator counsel, and bond counsel to clients nationally. He also represents clients in all phases of real estate acquisition, development, financing, leasing and disposition, as well as nonprofit and for-profit organizations in federal and local tax matters, including Tax Increment Financings, Special Tax District financings, real estate tax matters, and exempt organization taxation.
Richard has extensive experience in both real estate and municipal and public finance and tax and has represented numerous public and private, for-profit and not-for-profit developers and owners of all classes of real estate, as well as lenders, credit enhancers, underwriters, trustees, and governmental entities. He regularly represents clients in the public financing of facilities for use by the federal and local governments, and has represented the developer or credit enhancer in projects for the GSA, IRS, NIH, DOE, VA, and NOAA, as well as for various localities. He has also represented the ownership of the US Air Arena and the Verizon Center in the public financings of each facility utilizing taxable and tax exempt municipal bonds, and the owner of the DC United in the transactional matters associated with the development of a new stadium.
Richard handles real estate, finance, and tax matters for numerous cultural institutions (including The Phillips Collection, The Arena Stage, and The Shakespeare Theatre); public policy groups (including the World Wildlife Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America); quasi-governmental entities (The Smithsonian Institution, The National Academies of Science, and the Institute for Defense Analyses); and other large and small nonprofit organizations (the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).
In the municipal finance area, Richard has, among other things, represented the first non-hospital, non-university nonprofit to achieve an investment-grade rating; the first conduit borrower to use tax exempt bonds issued by the District of Columbia; and the borrower in the largest new money 501(c)(3) issuance reported to date.
Richard is a former general counsel to The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, The AIA Legacy Foundation, and Discovery Create Children's Museum. He is a member of the board of The Arena Stage and The Washington Hebrew Congregation.
Before entering private practice, Richard worked for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of General Counsel, and was affiliated with several prominent firms in the Washington, DC area.
Richard is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
Publications, Presentations & Recognitions
Richard was recognized as a leading real estate lawyer in Washington, DC by Chambers USA from 2006-2015, and by American Lawyer. He was also selected by Super Lawyers magazine as a leading real estate lawyer in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. Richard was named a "top lawyer" in real estate by Washingtonian magazine's biennial list in 2013, 2015, and 2017 and he was listed in The Best Lawyers in America in 2014 and 2015.
Richard speaks regularly on issues related to the intersection of tax, real estate, and finance.
Richard's recent publications include:
- “Tenant Improvement Allowances Paid to Exempt Organizations,” Taxation of Exempts; September/October 2018
- “Tax-Free Exchanges of Debt-Finances Property by Tax-Exempt Orhanizations,” Taxation of Exempts; May/jun 2017
Life Beyond the Law
Richard is married, has three children, and together with his wife collects contemporary art. He also has a passion for the theater and the beach. Richard began his career as an advocate for the development and preservation of low and mixed income housing in transitional neighborhoods of Cleveland.