Richard J. Silpe

Chair, Tax

Richard focuses his practice on federal and state income tax planning for corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and other taxable and nontaxable entities, including domestic and international tax planning, exempt organization tax planning, and tax planning in connection with equity-based compensation.

Richard's practice includes structuring of corporate and business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, redemptions, liquidations, affiliations, joint ventures, business formations, venture capital financing, security issuances, and equity-based compensation arrangements. He also has extensive experience handling tax audits and controversy matters.

In the course of his practice, Richard advises a broad range of clients in various industries, including technology, consumer products, manufacturing, healthcare, cannabis, financial services,  snack food and gaming businesses. Richard handled  the business combination transaction between Utz Quality Foods and Collier Creek Holdings, a consumer goods special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), to form publicly traded Utz Brands, Inc.; a reverse takeover transaction through which shares of Acreage Holdings, Inc. – a large, multistate owner of cannabis licenses and assets in the United States – became listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, and an agreement under which Acreage will be acquired by Canada-based Canopy Growth Corporation once federal prohibition of marijuana is lifted in the United States; and the $500 million sale of a steel pipe and tubular company to The Carlyle Group. He is experienced in a broad range of executive compensation matters, including public and private companies and Section 501(c)(3) charitable organizations with respect to intermediate sanction safe harbor compliance, the formation of joint venture arrangements, and the restructuring and recapitalization transactions for public and private companies. Richard has also handled numerous investments in domestic and international private equity and hedge funds.

Richard was ranked by Chambers & Partners USA in 2021 and 2022. He frequently lectures at seminars and writes on various topics of federal and state income taxation and exempt organization tax matters. Prior to earning his law degree, Richard practiced as a certified public accountant.

Richard received his undergraduate degree from Emory University, and earned his law degree, cum laude, at Villanova University School of Law where he was a law review editor and was elected to Order of the Coif. 



Eighty-eight Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 23 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2023 Guide

June 05, 2023

Of the 88 lawyers ranked, 17 lawyers have been recognized nationally, and eighteen were recognized in Band 1. Eight of the firm's practice areas have been recognized nationally, and nine were ranked Band 1.

Cozen O’Connor Advises Steinman Communications in Its Gift of LNP Media Group to WITF

May 01, 2023

Cozen O’Connor is representing Steinman Communications in its gift of LNP Media Group, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to WITF. LNP Media Group publishes LNP, Lancaster County’s daily newspaper, as well as other weekly newspapers and owns Lancaster Online, the number one news site in Lancaster County. WITF owns the public television station WITF-TV (Channel 33) and public radio station WITF-FM (89.5).

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

Cozen O’Connor Announces Changes to Firm Management 2022

March 23, 2022

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce the following changes in firm leadership positions for the 2022 year.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Cozen O’Connor Advises Utz Brands, Inc. on Definitive Agreement to Acquire Truco Enterprises

November 12, 2020

The Cozen O’Connor team is led by Larry P. Laubach. The team includes Richard J. Silpe, Gregory P. Cunningham, Eli S. Wolfe, Lindsey Stillwell, J. Trevor Cloak, Jay A. Dorsch, and Robert S. Kaplan.

Cozen O’Connor Guides Utz Quality Foods in Business Combination Agreement with Collier Creek Holdings to Form Utz Brands, Inc.

June 10, 2020

Transaction Results in Utz Going Public After Nearly 100 Years as Family Business.


House Ways and Means Committee Proposes Reduction of QSBS Exclusion [Alert]

September 27, 2021

Nathan Rudy and Rich Silpe discuss the draft tax legislation that was released as part of the “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation program and how it may impact the Section 1202 gain exclusion on the sale of qualified small business stock in a C corporation.

Summary and Analysis of Key Provisions of the CARES Act

March 28, 2020

Members of Cozen O'Connor's Coronavirus Task Force provide analysis of the CARES Act and how it will impact small businesses, distressed industries, employers and employees, taxes, and the health care, real estates, and energy industries.

Business Deductions Up In Smoke [Cannabis Alert]

October 11, 2018

Heidi Schwartz and Richard Silpe discuss three cases published this past summer that provide guidance to cannabis businesses and their owners in preparing their federal income tax returns. These cases turn on the application of IRC Section 280E, which precludes taxpayers from deducting any expense relating to a business that consists of trafficking in cannabis.

Federal Tax Reform: Major Changes Impacting Public Utilities [Utility, Environmental & Energy Alert]

January 10, 2018

David Zambito, Ira Megdal, Rich Silpe, and Rory Moore discuss the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the changes to the taxation of business enterprises that have significant implications for public utilities.

Unnoticed Provision of New Tax Bill Makes Sex Harassment Settlements Subject to NDAs Not Deductible [Labor & Employment Alert]

January 08, 2018

Sarah Kelly, Kate Ericsson and Rory Moore discuss a provision in the new Tax Act proposed by Senator Robert Menendez, (D-N.J.) that bars deductions for settlement payments, including attorney’s fees, related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if the settlement payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Business Issues in the Cannabis Industry

April 09, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN

2015 Health Law Year in Review

December 08, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA

Implementing The Affordable Care Act - Countdown to 2014

February 06, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

Industry Sectors


  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1989
  • Emory University, B.B.A., 1985

Awards & Honors

Chambers & Partners USA, 2021-2023
* This award is conferred by Chambers & Partners. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Commonwealth Court Of Pennsylvania
  • Court Of Common Pleas - Philadelphia County
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • American Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Philadelphia County Bar Association