With an extensive career spanning over three decades in real estate law, Stephen has adeptly managed transactions involving retail, office, industrial, and residential properties. His skillset extends across a wide range of areas, including drafting and negotiating leases, purchase agreements and ancillary real estate documents, assisting in landlord-tenant disputes and advising clients on municipal regulation matters.
Prior to joining KJK, Stephen held the position of Vice President and General Counsel at Bearich Management Company, overseeing a substantial portfolio of 2 million square feet in Northeast Ohio. During this time, Stephen gained extensive knowledge of the specific challenges and requirements faced by real estate companies.
Stephen later served as Assistant General Counsel for a local title company, facilitating their merger with a regional real estate company. Additionally, he contributed as Assistant Vice President and Trust Officer for a private trust company, playing a pivotal role in revamping and managing their Illiquid Assets Department through the development of new policies, forms, procedures, and workflows. His clients value his ability to anticipate the unexpected challenges and opportunities in each deal, and to creatively formulate solutions.
Stephen’s decision to pursue a career in real estate law was influenced by his father, a small business owner specializing in industrial real estate development. With a desire to leave a lasting impact on the world, Stephen developed an early interest in law and politics. Motivated by the goal of making a positive difference in the communities where he lived and worked, he embarked on a career in law, aiming to create a better place for his family, friends, clients, and their families. Today, Stephen blends those passions in both his legal practice and his positions as Councilman and Volunteer Juvenile Magistrate in his home community of Moreland Hills.
In his civic and philanthropic life, Stephen contributes to many causes related to youth and education. Stephen has been actively involved in such youth-focused organizations as the Drug Free Action Alliance, Cleveland Metro Bar Association’s “3Rs” program, Cuyahoga County’s Juvenile Diversion Program, Junior Achievement, March of Dimes Cleveland and Bellefaire JCB’s Social Advocates for Youth (SAY). In addition, Stephen and his family created The Richman Family Foundation (founded in memory of Stephen’s sister) to raise funds and awareness for cancer research, treatment and care.