About

 
 

Educated at the University of Pittsburgh (B.S.) and the University of Richmond (J.D.), Rick has learned that there is no “one way” to do anything.

Yet after acquiring 50,000 apartments, 10 retail centers, building a NYSE REIT, serving as a State Legislator (PA) and as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves…he has found that there can be “best way” to do something, within the context of resources at hand and market conditions.

“For over 20 years, Rick Chess has provided me with sound business and legal advice. My current and previous companies have faced complex, and often unique, challenges in the competitive US and international markets. Rick’s insights have been particularly helpful on real estate, tax structure, and equity access issues. I appreciate his willingness to listen. He is never unwilling to express his opinion, even when it is not what I had hoped to hear. My decisions are better from having heard him reflect back my ideas, but from his seasoned perspective.”  -Rick Provost, Principal at First Verify

“For over 20 years, Rick Chess has provided me with sound business and legal advice. My current and previous companies have faced complex, and often unique, challenges in the competitive US and international markets. Rick’s insights have been particularly helpful on real estate, tax structure, and equity access issues. I appreciate his willingness to listen. He is never unwilling to express his opinion, even when it is not what I had hoped to hear. My decisions are better from having heard him reflect back my ideas, but from his seasoned perspective.”

-Rick Provost, Principal at First Verify

Here are some stories he has lived over the last 40+ years as an attorney … and a glimpse of why they worked or failed. 

Maybe your situation is similar in some way.

GROW ACQUISITIONS. United Dominion Realty Trust (UDR) had not acquired a property in a year. Chess closed three apartments in his initial three months and helped grow the firm tenfold in 10 years. Key to success – publish an acquisitions criterion, respond to all submissions within 48 hours of receipt (and let them know why no), announce acquisition made…and thank the brokers.

FISH OR CUT BAIT. A hotel firm was torn between expanding their business (into time shares, condos and development) or expanding their acquisition & renovation approach into a similar market. Key to success – shut up and listen! After multiple meetings with the owners and their senior staff, and

“Rick has been extremely helpful and resourceful in navigating my clients through the legal and tax quagmire. We work primarily on real estate and business transitions (many on the same transaction), and his knowledge of both has been invaluable. I have turned many client projects over to him for fulfillment and can trust that it will get done correctly without oversight. In particular, his knowledge of the integration of business, real estate and tax has been extremely helpful for my clients.”  -Dr. Gary L. Ackerman, President at Business Transitions

“Rick has been extremely helpful and resourceful in navigating my clients through the legal and tax quagmire. We work primarily on real estate and business transitions (many on the same transaction), and his knowledge of both has been invaluable. I have turned many client projects over to him for fulfillment and can trust that it will get done correctly without oversight. In particular, his knowledge of the integration of business, real estate and tax has been extremely helpful for my clients.”

-Dr. Gary L. Ackerman, President at Business Transitions

feeding back to them a written analysis of their comments compared to what others in their  market were doing, they agreed on a path where they stayed put in their known geography and broadened their business where they became the dominant player in the region.  Key to success – if going to a new market, do what you already know.  If you want to grow in your own market, you may have success expanded one iteration away (meaning, don’t go from flex properties into downtown office towers; the game is too substantially different).

EDUCATE THE MARKET. NNN Properties had very slow grow of sale of 1031 replacement property offerings east of the Mississippi (when they were the dominate player in the west).

Key to success – providing on-going CE credit programs to accountant and attorneys, so that when prospects considered a 1031 replacement, their advisors were current in their knowledge.  Over $100,000,000 in equity placements by the end of the second year. Key to success – consider who may have unique influence on your target with whom you wish to do business.

GET ON BOARD.   Initially as consultant, and then later as board member and eventually Audit Committee Chair, Rick helped grow First Potomac Realty Trust (FPO). We started with one warehouse and grew to a $1.5 billion NYSE REIT.  Key to success - a family owning several properties wanted to grow with FPO without facing an immediate capital gains tax issue.  They contributed their properties via a 721 election (not a tax event) and remained as investors until FPO had substantially growth in their stock price (which is when they cashed out, with sufficient capital to pay their taxes and enjoy the fruits of their initial investment).

 

More About Rick Chess

 
 

+ GROW-PROTECT-PRESERVE CAPITAL GAINS

GROWTH – Acquired 50,000 apartments; Raised $100,000,000+ of Equity

  • GOVERNANCE - Audit Committee Chair NYSE REIT; National President REISA
  • GOVERNMENT – PA General Assembly; Allegheny County Law Department

+ ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPERIENCE

Managing Partner, Chess Law Firm, PLC (Current) Registered Representative, Crescent Securities (Current) Senior Advisor, Business Transition Services (Current) President, Encore Equities, Inc. (Dallas based real estate developer) President, American Realty Capital Markets (FINRA MBD) Director – 1031 Transactions, NNN Properties (Securities Sponsor)

+ LEADERSHIP/EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE

Adjunct Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University, Real Estate Law Audit Committee Chair, First Potomac Realty Trust (now GOV) Of Counsel, Hirschler Fleischer (Real Estate, Securities, Tax) Real Estate Manager, Winstar Wireless (Telecom Access Leases) Director of Acquisitions, United Dominion Realty (NYSE REIT) Senior Analyst, ManEquity (Manufacturers Life Insurance) Economic Development Director, Richmond Chamber of Commerce
State Legislator, Pennsylvania General Assembly
Assistant County Solicitor, Allegheny County Law Department

+ EDUCATION

J.D., University of Richmond Law School B.S., Psychology/Economics, University of Pittsburgh

+ OTHER EXPERIENCE

Chair, Commercial Real Estate Committee, Real Estate Section, VA State Bar President, Real Estate Investment Securities Association (now ADISA) Commissioner, James River Soil & Water Conservation District President, Richmond Association for Business Economics Producer, “Consumer Corner’, WXEX-TV (ABC) Sergeant, United States Marines Corps Reserve