Richard Negrin
Senior Counsel Print This Page

Contact:
Phone: 215-665-3039
richard.negrin@obermayer.com
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Richard Negrin brings more than 20 years of experience and knowledge in the public, private and non-profit sectors. His extensive experience as a corporate general counsel, city managing director, deputy mayor, corporate litigator and former prosecutor, allows him to serve as a strategic partner to clients across a broad spectrum of practice areas. Mr. Negrin is chair of the General Counsel Advisory Group serving as an important resource for large corporations dealing with today’s complex challenges, as well as for emerging businesses requiring an efficient alternative to an internal legal team. Mr. Negrin advises clients in the following areas:

  • General Corporate
  • Complex Litigation
  • Government Relations & Regulatory
  • Contracting & Procurement
  • Internal Investigations & Enforcement
  • Business Conduct, Ethics & Compliance
  • Strategic Communications & Crisis Management.

Prior to joining Obermayer, Mr. Negrin served as managing director and deputy mayor for the City of Philadelphia – working collaboratively to manage an annual budget of $5.5 billion and nearly 30,000 employees. Mr. Negrin spearheaded high-profile initiatives creating the City’s first Center of Excellence designed to provide a central resource of best practices around project management, organizational development and performance management. Mr. Negrin launched a broad innovation strategy creating the City’s first state of the art Innovation Lab, Innovation Academy and Innovation Fund. Mr. Negrin also had direct management responsibility over key infrastructure departments and initiatives including the Office of Innovation and Technology, the Office of Human Resources, The Departments of Procurement, Public Property, Public Records, Fleet Management, Philly 311, The PhillyRising Neighborhood Collaborative, and the Office of Special Events.  During his tenure in city government, Philadelphia saw an increase in population, its highest bond rating ever (A Rating from all three agencies) and was named No.1 Digital City by Government Technology Magazine.  Philadelphia also saw a significant reduction in violent crime including a 30% reduction of homicides while also reducing the number of citizens incarcerated in prisons. Philadelphia also attracted world-class events such as the Democratic National Convention, a visit from Pope Francis and became the first World Heritage City in North America joining the international ranks of great cities such as Paris and Rome.

In response to public corruption in Philadelphia, from November 2006 to November 2010, Mr. Negrin served as a member of the new independent Philadelphia Board of Ethics where he served as Vice-Chair.  The new Ethics Board investigates and enforces ethics laws over all of city government and works to ensure that all City officials, City workers and City contractors are held accountable to the highest standards of ethical conduct.  The Ethics Board is responsible for providing guidance, education and training on the ethics rules to the entire city workforce as well as to city vendors.  In addition, the new Ethics Board promotes greater transparency in government by overseeing financial disclosures by city officials and by having oversight related to campaign finance limits and disclosures.  Philadelphia’s new Pay-to-Play rules have been recognized by Dave Davies of WHYY as amongst the strongest in the United States.  The Christian Science Monitor heralded these ethics reform efforts recognizing them as the “most remarkable example of urban ethics reform” in the country.  

Prior to serving the City of Philadelphia, Mr. Negrin was a member of the Executive Leadership Council of ARAMARK Corporation. Specifically, Mr. Negrin served as vice president and general counsel of ARAMARK’s Healthcare and Correctional Services Businesses, which generate approximately $2.4 billion in annual revenue. As a member of the senior executive team, he directly counseled the line of business President and CFO, crafted legal strategy, enabled business transactions, ensured compliance with ethics laws and the company’s business conduct policy, and managed internal and external legal resources and budgets that supported more than 50,000 employees involving the full range of legal issues in today’s complex business environment. Mr. Negrin built a first class legal team which received the “Business Partner of the Year” Award from the business; the first time any legal team was recognized with such an honor.  Mr. Negrin also served as vice president and associate general counsel of ARAMARK’s parent corporation, which is a world leader in providing food and facilities management services to institutions throughout the world with an annual revenue of more than $12 billion and more than 270,000 employees worldwide. 

Prior to joining ARAMARK, Mr. Negrin served as a litigator with a global law firm where he concentrated his practice in the representation of corporations in various facets of civil, administrative and criminal proceedings, including internal investigations, agency investigations, grand jury proceedings, healthcare and False Claims Act actions, and other civil enforcement actions.  He also worked extensively in complex corporate litigation.

Mr. Negrin began his career as a prosecutor in the Major Trials Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. He is a veteran of hundreds of trials involving a variety of felony crimes. Mr. Negrin handled high-profile cases including significant hate crimes cases and the aggravated assault upon the former Philadelphia Police Commissioner.

Mr. Negrin is a frequent lecturer and commentator on various topics related to innovation, leadership, diversity, in-house legal practice, ethics and compliance, crisis management, human resources, community engagement and public service.  He was a regular and trusted spokesman for the administration and is experienced in all forms of media relations.  He has provided commentary and analysis on numerous networks including MSNBC, ABC, NBC, KYW, WHYY and many other news outlets in TV, radio, podcasts and print media.  Mr. Negrin is adept at the use of social media and authors a popular leadership blog, Service Centered Leadership, which shares leadership and management lessons. 

In 2017, Mr. Negrin was a democratic candidate for District Attorney of Philadelphia capturing significant support and endorsements from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, the Philadelphia Public Record and many more organizations and community leaders.  In May of 2017, he was the graduation commencement speaker and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Wagner College.

Over the years, Mr. Negrin has served as a member of numerous board of directors providing strong leadership and sound judgment across a wide variety of organizations. Mr. Negrin has won numerous awards such as the National Latino Lawyer of the Year Award from the Hispanic National Bar Association, NeighborWorks USA’s Visionary Leadership Award and the Community Champion Award from the Friends of the Free Library. His efforts have been recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change in Innovation and Citizen Engagement.  In 2015, he received the Faith-Based Coalition’s Black History Month Trailblazer Award during MLK Day commemorations. In addition, he has received the prestigious William J. Clothier Award for Exemplary Leadership.  His Academy of Municipal Innovation was named “Innovation of the Year” by StateScoop in 2014.

He has been designated a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” by Philadelphia Magazine and, in 2003, was recognized by the Pennsylvania Law Weekly in their “50 On the Fast Track” supplement as one of “the brightest people under 40 years old practicing law in Pennsylvania.” Mr. Negrin has been recognized as one of the Delaware Valley’s “Most Influential” by Impacto Magazine and Philadelphia’s Multicultural Affairs Congress. 

During college, Mr. Negrin was a consensus football all-American and served as captain of the football team, helping win the small college National Championship in 1987. After college, he played briefly in the National Football League, signing contracts with the Cleveland Browns in 1988, and the New York Jets in 1989.

Crisis Management

    Throughout his career, Mr. Negrin has excelled at crisis management dealing with major events that threaten to negatively impact the organization, stakeholders or the general public. 

    Mr. Negrin managed and supported the City’s response to the Occupy Movement in a manner that received praise for the efforts of the City and protesters alike.  He led the City’s prompt response and reforms in the days following the building collapse on Market Street and chaired the effort to investigate and make recommendations around election irregularities after the 2012 Presidential election.  In addition, he provided leadership and support across government during significant weather events and disasters. 

    Mr. Negrin has also worked to transform organizations in crisis.  Prior to being named City Managing Director and Deputy Mayor, Mayor Nutter asked Negrin to serve as Executive Director of the embattled Bureau of Revision of Taxes (The Office of Property Assessment).  The important property assessment agency was embroiled in controversy over corruption scandals and mismanagement.  Mr. Negrin declared a moratorium on assessments, made important personnel changes and reforms, eliminated patronage jobs, created a Quality Control Unit, provided essential ethics training and conducted a national search for a highly qualified Chief Property Assessment Officer to take over the agency.  His leadership helped prepare the agency and all of City government for the Actual Value Initiative which corrected and modernized Philadelphia’s broken property assessment system.

Civic & Board Leaderships

    Currently Mr. Negrin is an active board member of Ceasefire PA, a statewide organization working with mayors, police chiefs, faith leaders, community organizations, and individual Pennsylvanians to take a stand against gun violence; The Committee of Seventy, an independent and nonpartisan organization advocating for better government in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania; The Pennsylvania Innocence Project, an organization laboring to exonerate those wrongly convicted of crimes and to prevent innocent people from being convicted; National Junior Achievement, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to providing young people with the knowledge and skills necessary to own their future economic success; and Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (formerly known as Arthur Ashe Tennis), an organization with a mission to prepare young people, especially those from under-resourced families and communities, to become successful, responsible citizens through innovative tennis, education, life skills, and leadership development programming. From 2008 to 2015, Mr. Negrin joined the Board of the Philadelphia Foundation.  For more than 90 years, the Foundation has worked to improve communities by advancing change, leading on issues of importance, forging meaningful relationships and providing knowledge and resources to organizations by managing more than $350 million in assets in more than 775 charitable funds.  Mr. Negrin served as Treasurer of the Board and chaired the Finance and Audit Committees.

    From 2008 to 2015, Mr. Negrin joined the Board of the Philadelphia Foundation.  For more than 90 years, the Foundation has worked to improve communities by advancing change, leading on issues of importance, forging meaningful relationships and providing knowledge and resources to organizations by managing more than $350 million in assets in more than 775 charitable funds.  Mr. Negrin served as Treasurer of the Board and chaired the Finance and Audit Committees.

    Throughout the years, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors for a number of organizations including the United Way, Legacy and Congreso de Latinos Unidos, where he served as Chair of the Governance Committee.  Congreso has a 15 million dollar annual budget and is the premier Latino social service organization in the Delaware Valley.  He has also served on the boards of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Community Legal Services and the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

    From 2001 to 2005, he also served as pro bono General Counsel to a national non-profit organization, Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (“FSMA”), which raises awareness and research funding to combat Spinal Muscular Atrophy (“SMA”).  Mr. Negrin’s daughter Abigail was diagnosed with SMA in 2001 and was lost to the disease in 2006.  SMA afflicts more than 6,000 children each year claiming most of their lives prior to the age of two.  It is the number one genetic killer of children at that early age.  Mr. Negrin was a founder of FSMA’s Pennsylvania Chapter, which has raised more than a million dollars for research in the last decade.

    He was appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia to serve on a seven member task force to examine police disciplinary procedures, was a member of the City of Philadelphia’s Emergency Preparedness Committee, which authored a detailed report identifying critical gaps in Philadelphia’s emergency readiness, and was a member of the Governor of Pennsylvania's Summit for the Merit Selection of Judges.  He has worked on the transition teams for a number of the areas public leaders including Governor Edward G. Rendell and Mayor Michael A. Nutter.

    In 2003, Mr. Negrin was appointed by Governor Rendell to serve as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency's Homeland Security Advisory Committee. In that capacity, he performed a comprehensive analysis of homeland security efforts in Pennsylvania and partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police to further information sharing and established the innovative Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center (PaCIC).  PaCIC has been recognized by the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices.

    In the past, Mr. Negrin has also been active in the professional bar having served as a member of the Board of Governors and as a member of the Judicial Selection Committee for the Philadelphia Bar Association.  He has been an active member of the American Bar Association having served on the Planning Committee and as a speaker for the ABA’s Minority Lawyer Conference.  He has been active in the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

    Mr. Negrin is a former President of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania (HBA) and has served on the Board of the HBA's Legal Education Fund.  Mr. Negrin has also been active in the Hispanic National Bar Association, where he served as Regional President and co-chair of the United States Supreme Court Committee which helped create a short list of exceptional Latino candidates for the highest court that included now Justice Sonia Sotomayor.  Mr. Negrin has also served as adjunct professor of law in trial advocacy at Temple University School of Law, where he coached the National Trial Team to a National Championship in New Orleans in 2009.  Mr. Negrin has also served as an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and has taught continuing legal education courses on a variety of subjects including the protection of the attorney-client privilege for the PA Bar Institute.

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