Stephen D. Richman
Senior Counsel
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Stephen D. Richman

Senior Counsel
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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.

Representative Experience
  • Represented several clients with the leasing of a multitude of industrial, office, retail and commercial buildings throughout the State of Ohio.
  • Represented several clients on the acquisition and leasing of more than 2,000,000 square feet of shopping centers in Ohio, Michigan and New York.
  • Served as one of the lead attorneys on the $120 million, multi-state sale of 14 self-storage facilities.
  • Represented a developer on the acquisition, development and leasing of a portfolio of dialysis health centers in Ohio and Tennessee.
  • Served as lead drafter of a $50 million, 20-year single tenant lease for an automotive related distributor’s world headquarters and adjacent build-to-suit parking garage.
  • Served as one of the lead attorneys on the acquisition of a former industrial complex for conversion to a multi-tenant facility housing a national mortgage company’s headquarters.
  • Represented an apartment building owner/manager with the sale of a $56 million portfolio of apartment complexes.


  • Martindale-Hubbell-Preeminent Lawyer, 2011 – 2023
  • Cleveland’s Top-Rated Lawyers-Real Estate, 2012 – 2021
  • Local Lawyers-Super Attorneys, Cleveland Jewish News Real Estate, 2012 – 2021
  • Orange High School Alumni Hall of Fame, Inductee, 2005
  • Ostendorf-Morris (Colliers Intl.) All-Star Team, Inductee, 1997

Professional Affiliations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • 3Rs Program, Steering Committee Member
    • Teaching Volunteer
  • Ohio
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Village of Moreland Hills, 2003 – Present
    • Council Member
    • Volunteer Juvenile Magistrate
    • Planning Chair, Current
    • Council President, Former
  • Prevention (Drug Free) Action Alliance, 2010 – 2019
    • Member, Board of Directors


  • Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Leases, National Business Institute, Sept. 12, 2013
  • General Considerations in a Real Estate Transaction, National Business Institute, 1996
  • Support Ohio HB 351-Amending Ohio’s Social Host Law, Ohio Legislature – Criminal Justice Committee; Cincinnati Police Dept., May 12, 2010 and July 21, 2010


  • “Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Leases,” Commercial Real Estate from A to Z (National Business Institute, 2013 Seminar Book), 2013
  • “General Considerations in a Real Estate Transaction,” Keys to Success in a Real Estate Transaction in Ohio (National Business Institute, 1996 Seminar Book), 1996
  • Watch your Language with Commercial Leases,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, 2014



  • College of Law, Cleveland State University, J.D., 1985
  • University of Miami, M.B.A., 1980
  • University of Miami, B.B.A., Business and Finance, 1979, magna cum laude


A lot of my work is with closely held businesses, including family businesses. I treat every client I have as if it were my family.

Stephen D. Richman
Senior Counsel