It is with great personal and professional pleasure that we announce Richard Rapp is joining Adam Smith, Esq. as Senior Advisor.

Those of you who have learned even a little about the consulting side of Adam Smith, Esq. know that we have remained small by choice, reflecting our conviction that the most challenging and sophisticated issues require senior-level expertise and, beyond “time in grade,” a particularly subtle sensibility and genuine intellectual rigor, with the courage to call it as we see it.

Janet and I have gotten to know Richard well over the last several months and he fits those characteristics surpassingly well. We have often been approached by other people seeking to join Adam Smith, Esq., but this is truly a case of “the wait was worth it.” Richard will substantially expand our capacity to serve our consulting clients, new and old, with the thoughtful and distinctive level of service we always seek to deliver.  But don’t take our word for it; simply read on to learn more about Richard.

An economist and business leader, Richard has a long record of success as a senior manager of professional service firms. For 18 years, from 1988 through 2005, he was president and CEO of NERA Economic Consulting. Under his leadership the firm grew to global scale with successful expansions into Europe, Asia, Australia and within the U.S. In collaboration with his partners, Richard designed the senior pay arrangements and supervised their evolution over decades – the origin of his expertise and continuing interest in senior compensation for professional service firms.

Richard served for many years as a member of the board of directors and management committee of the Mercer Consulting Group, a Marsh & McLennan Company subsidiary which included specialty businesses in actuarial and human resource consulting, change management, brand identity, and general management consulting. He also served on the board of directors and the executive committee of the Legal Aid Society of New York from 1992 to 2005.  His experience encompasses nearly every aspect of professional service firm management including, for example, business forecasting, budgeting, the control of costs, office and practice expansions, and lateral hiring.

At Adam Smith, Esq., Richard will focus primarily on issues of compensation and strategy. Here’s what he said about that:

“When I started to look for colleagues with whom I might work as a consultant on law firm management, strategy, and compensation, I first sought out Bruce and Janet because of their focus on the economics of the law firm and the market for legal services. How did I know to seek them out? For one thing, their fame in legal circles; for another the high intellectual level of the content on the Adam Smith, Esq. website.

“As a consultant to law firm management, my focus on compensation originates from the satisfaction I enjoyed in having built and maintained for my firm a set of successful pay arrangements over the course of many years. After having stepped down from the presidency, I wanted to continue to make use of my experience in managing partner-level pay regimes.

“For more than 30 years down to the present day, my work as an economic consultant in litigation and regulation has been almost entirely for lawyers. I’ve heard enough in the off hours about partner pay and its discontents to give me confidence that the market will reward expertise in getting compensation right.”

Because of his background, it’s likely some of you already know Richard, or recognize the name.

Starting in 1977, Richard has served as an expert economist in the fields of antitrust and intellectual property and has testified many times in federal and state courts, regulatory forums and arbitral proceedings.  He continues to be a Special Consultant to  NERA.  Earlier in his career Richard was Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an award-winning author of books and articles on international trade rivalry and economic decline.

He has a Ph.D. in Economic History from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in economics from Brooklyn College. In 1976 he was a member in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study.

His articles have been published in Antitrust Law Journal, Journal of World Intellectual Property, Antitrust Report, Regulation, and Journal of Economic Integration among others. He is a co-author of the Market Power Handbook (2d edition, 2012) published by the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association./Users/milnestudio/Pictures/spidertech/Output/.Richard Rapp-87807.tif

Richard and his wife live in New York. They have been members of the National Council of the Santa Fe Opera for many years.

Richard will be contributing occasional articles to Adam Smith, Esq., and don’t be at all surprised to see his views, and Bruce’s, diverge.  (See “call it as we see it,” supra.)

We hope many of you get to know Richard in the near future. You can reach him by email here.

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