Women in Law 2022

PATRICIA BROWN HOLMES MANAGING PARTNER Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP A s a former state court judge, experienced prosecutor, and defense lawyer, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP (RSHC) Managing Partner Patricia Brown Holmes is renowned for her comprehensive trial experience and wisdom as a trusted advisor for clients. Over the past decade and a half, in her role as a successful and sought-after defense attorney, she has focused her practice on high-stakes, “bet-the-company” commercial disputes and litigation; class actions; investigations and white collar criminal defense; environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG) such as diversity audits; and risk, reputation, and crisis management counseling for her wide range of public and private corporate clients. A woman of exceptional talent, intelligence, and vitality, Patricia has chalked up enough accomplishments to fill three lifetimes. She is the first African-American woman to manage and have her name on the door of a national law firm that is not women- or minority- owned, and one of just a handful of Illinois lawyers who have tried cases in state, city, and federal court as well as state appellate, federal appellate, and Illinois Supreme Court. She is also co-writer of a brief that was presented before the US Supreme Court. Patricia is an avid and committed champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession, as demonstrated most concretely by RSHC’s 39% women and 33% racial/ethnic minorities percentages, which far exceed the national averages. Patricia practices the art of communicating with government officials by employing equal measures of conviction, clarity, and tact. Her experience on both sides of the bench has given her valuable insight into how to analyze cases from all angles. This rare combination makes her a powerful asset, valuable partner, and trusted counselor to clients across industries, including education, transportation, manufacturing, entertainment, industrial, health care, and food and beverage. Patricia has received countless accolades for her impressive professional achievements and for her dedication to the legal industry. Recently she was selected a Managing Partner of the Year honoree by Corporate Counsel Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards 2021, appointed Co Chair of the National Football League (NFL) Diversity Advisory Council (DAC), and received the 2022 Top 10 Illinois Super Lawyers distinction. A trusted advocate and community leader, Patricia serves on the University of Illinois System Board of Trustees and The Chicago Network. She chairs the board of Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization. She is a former President of the Chicago Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association, and Harriet’s Daughters. She is a former board member of La Rabida Children’s Hospital. She has served in a variety of appointed positions such as the Special Prosecutor in the Laquan McDonald matter, the Trustee of Burr Oak Cemetery, and as co-chair of the Judicial Selection Commission for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.




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