Richard S. Barnett

Of Counsel

Cincinnati
T +1 513.852.2630
F +1 513.929.0303

Overview

Rick Barnett focuses his practice on general legal and business counseling in the commercial, transactional and employment arenas. He possesses a wealth of experience in a variety of areas, both domestic and international, having served as in-house counsel to manufacturing, distribution and retail businesses. Most recently, as vice president of a publicly-traded global diversified industrial corporation, Rick served as general counsel for the corporation’s operating companies, as well as a member of the executive management team for its largest operating company. From providing everyday advice to managing crisis situations, Rick helped guide the legal function as the corporation more than doubled in size through acquisition. 

Rick’s experience also includes a role as senior counsel for a Fortune 100 company, where he helped guide the legal activities of the company’s $7 billion distribution and retail division and negotiated all national account agreements for that division. He has also served in private practice, having represented Fortune 500 companies, major universities, small businesses and individuals in corporate, transactional and litigation matters. Responsive and client-focused, Rick provides practical, pragmatic advice tailored to clients’ individual situations.

Select Experience

  • Negotiated and drafted hundreds of domestic and international commercial agreements, including national account agreements worth up to $600 million. 
  • Advised a market leading manufacturer on strategies to avoid antitrust landmines and on the launch of new product lines. 
  • Successfully pursued numerous unfair competition matters, including the enforcement of intellectual property rights. 
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Experience

  • Negotiated and drafted hundreds of domestic and international commercial agreements, including national account agreements worth up to $600 million. 
  • Advised a market leading manufacturer on strategies to avoid antitrust landmines and on the launch of new product lines. 
  • Successfully pursued numerous unfair competition matters, including the enforcement of intellectual property rights. 
  • Internationally, advised a multinational company on compliance matters concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control; established corporate entities in Russia and Chile; and provided general advice on commercial, employment, intellectual property and litigation matters around the world. 
  • Managed and resolved crisis situations, including the kidnapping of a Mexican employee. 
  • Served as the primary resource for credit departments on risk avoidance strategies, collection, customer and supplier bankruptcies, and preference claim resolution.
  • Provided counsel on a wide range of employment issues, including matters involving discrimination, ADA, FMLA, EEOC charges, employee discipline and noncompete enforcement; drafted and negotiated employment, severance and independent contractor agreements; drafted and implemented employment policies; conducted internal employment investigations. 
  • Drafted training modules and conducted training in various areas, including antitrust, ethics, credit and bankruptcy, contracts, employment and litigation avoidance. 
  • Served as the Ethics Committee chairperson for four corporate operating companies, directing and conducting internal ethics investigations. 
  • Formed and led cross-functional business teams to bring businesses into compliance with new regulations. 

Recognitions and Memberships

Memberships

  • Cincinnati Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Community

  • White Oak Christian Church: Board of Trustees

Prior Positions

  • Hillenbrand, Inc.
    • Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary; Vice President and General Counsel for all Hillenbrand operating companies in the Americas (2011 to 2016)
    • Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Batesville Casket Company, Inc. (2008 to 2011)
  • International Paper Company
    • Senior Counsel (2004 to 2007)
    • Counsel (1998 to 2004)
  • Beckman, Weil, Shepardson and Faller: Associate (1992 to 1998)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., The Ohio State University College of Law, 1992; with honors; Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1989, cum laude