Photo of Richard A. BarrPhoto of Richard A. Barr

Richard A. Barr

Co-Leader, Economic Development Incentive and Environmental Practice Groups
Co-Leader, Urban Redevelopment Group


University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • cum laude
University of Michigan, B.B.A.
  • Accounting
  • with high distinction


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Richard Barr focuses his practice on environmental, economic development, real estate, and business law. He possesses significant knowledge regarding the redevelopment of contaminated and obsolete sites by utilizing federal, state, and local incentives.

  • Facilitates brownfield development in the presence of environmental roadblocks
  • Structures complex brownfield plans, including multiple, layered state and local incentives
  • Identifies and pursues tax abatements and other incentives for companies located in Detroit and other communities
  • Facilitates site selection and incentives packages for multinational companies seeking Michigan headquarters locations
  • Assists clients on development and zoning issues
  • Participates in Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality stakeholder groups and outreach efforts


Representative Matters

  • Actively involved in the legislative processes that resulted in the major overhaul of Michigan's primary environmental protection law (known as "Part 201") and the current brownfield incentive programs; served on the Environmental Advisory Rules Committee (established pursuant to Governor Rick Snyder's Executive Order 2011-5) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Collaborative Stakeholder Initiative
  • Negotiated incentive package valued at more than $50 million for multinational company investment in Michigan
  • Completed CPA Examination



  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2022
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Economic Development Law
      • Environmental Law
      • Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2017
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Environmental Law
      • Real Estate Law: Commercial
      • Tax Law: Business 
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010-2017, 2019
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2019
    • Named as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers, 2008 and 2009  
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Beta Gamma Sigma, 1978-present

Professional & Community Involvement

  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Environmental Law Section
    • Real Property Law Section
    • Business Law Section
  • State of Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention
    • Environmental Advisory Rules Committee, 2011-present
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
    • Collaborative Stakeholder Initiative, 2012-2014
  • Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce
    • Environmental & Energy Policy Committee
  • Michigan Manufacturers Association
    • Environmental Policy Committee
  • Yad Ezra (Food Pantry)
    • Director, 1991-present
    • President, 1994-1995
  • Adat Shalom Synagogue
    • Board of Trustees, 2014-present

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