Barnes/Richardson has focused on customs, trade, and export control law since 1919. From sole proprietorships to major multinationals, we help businesses maximize the value in their supply chains through tariff mitigation, lawful duty avoidance, and regulatory compliance. We also help clients access foreign markets with reduced risk through export (EAR and ITAR) and U.S. sanctions compliance (OFAC).
We are proud members of Meritas and INBLF. Meritas is an international group of law firms providing local, reliable, and efficient legal representation all over the world. INBLF is a network of select North American lawyers working in boutique firms and independent law firms throughout the world.
We have provided customs or trade advice to over one-third of the manufacturers in the Fortune 100.
All Barnes/Richardson matters are handled directly by a partner experienced in the issues involved. We strive to help our clients establish strong trade compliance programs to be managed by their own professionals. In that way, we can install a system that enables full trade operations without the client having perpetual legal expenses.
Albert MacClellan ("MacC.") Barnes, Jr., and Frank M. Halstead had worked for the federal government and had experience in the trade business. In 1919, the two, together with Mr. Chilvers, founded Barnes, Chilvers, and Halstead at 2 Rector Street in New York.More
Barnes, MacKenna & Halstead
The firm that would eventually become Barnes, Richardson & Colburn set up their first office at 2 Rector in New York City which was built just a dozen years prior.More
The Kickoff - The Firm’s first Case
Treasury Decision 38397, decided before the United States Board of General Appraisers in May 1920, was the the first documented case presented by Barnes, Richardson, Chilvers & Halstead.More
The Mary Regan Era
Described as a jack of all trades, a dedicated Republican and political activist, Mary Regan, born in a family of six siblings in Wisconsin, had a successful customs law career at Barnes, Chilvers, & Halstead.More
Mr. Barnes and Mr. Richardson Argue Bakelite at U.S. Supreme Court
Bakelite involved a decision of the Tariff Commission that certain imported products violated U.S. patent rights and should be excluded from the country. Today, these are known as Section 337 cases.More
Frank Wilson Married to Artist, Lucy Currier Richards
Frank P. Wilson was a partner at the firm after serving as a Deputy Police Commissioner of New York City, and litigating customs cases at the Department of Justice.More
Barnes, Wilson & McKenna
After his resignation as a Special United States Attorney, Frank Palmer Wilson (a Dedicated democrat and family man) became a partner of Barnes, MacKenna & Halstead and eventually a name partner.More
Richardson’s Name Goes on the Door
As a former Solicitor of Customs at New York, Samuel M. Richardson had been with the firm since about 1925. In July of 1933, the partners recognized Richardson's contribution to the firm by making him a "name partner" and renaming the firm Barnes, Richardson & Halstead. While with the firm, he took part in at least two Supreme Court cases and was involved in other numerous legal matters.More
J. Bradley Colburn
George Washington University Graduate of Law, J. Bradley Colburn, joined the firm in 1935.More
Adoption of a New Name
Since its formation, the firm had undergone five name changes. Each change took place when a new partner joined the firm. On October 1, 1942, the partners adopted the name Barnes, Richardson & Colburn and it has remained unchanged since.More
Samuel Richardson Retires
Samuel Richardson remained a partner until his retirement in January of 1946. During his time at the firm, Richardson was involved in at least two Supreme Court cases.More
The Great Rhubarb Controversy
Partner Joseph Schwartz argued before the Customs Court in C.J. Tower & Sons v. United States that the tariff classification of fresh rhubarb from Canada was as a fruit rather than a vegetable.More
The Great Rhubarb controversy involved the tariff classification of fresh rhubarb from Canada. The issue was whether the rhubarb was considered a fruit that it would likely be eaten as a dessert or a vegetable in its natural state.More
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn spreads its wings to Chicago and D.C
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn spread its wings to Chicago in 1948, and the historic Monadnock building became our home in Chicago.More
The End of an Era
In his storied career, Albert MacC. Barnes handled countless cases and testified before the Congress numerous times in his capacity as an American Bar Association committee head. He took part in three Supreme Court cases, and was so involved with the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce, he was awarded the Royal State Order of St. Olav Knight First Class.More
The Surcharge Litigation
On behalf of Yoshida International, the firm challenged the Nixon shock of 1971, which was increasing inflation in the U.S. by imposing economic measures that would, among other things, add a surcharge of 10% on imported merchandise.More
Challenging Presidential Authority to Impose Tariffs
What can an American President do when faced with conditions he or she sees as a threat to the national economy? Can the President impose tariffs to achieve an economic objective? Can the President find that tariffs are an appropriate means of addressing economic conditions that present a threat to national security? These familiar questions were addressed in 1974 and 1975 in litigation challenging the so-called Nixon Shock of 1971. Barnes, Richardson & Colburn partners J. Bradley Colburn, Earl R. Lindstrom, E. Thomas Honey, Rufus E. Jarman, and David O. Elliott brought the case on behalf of a Yoshida International, Japanese manufacturer and importer of zippers.More
Andrew P. Vance joins the firm as a partner
Mr. Vance joined the firm's New York office after a distinguished career that was capped by his designation as Chief of the Customs Section at the United States Department of Justice.More
J. Bradley Colburn Passes On
Born in 1903, and a resident of Port Washington, NY, J. Bradley Colburn died in February 1979 aged 76 years at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn.More
David Elliott Becomes President of CITBA
David Elliot, a partner in the New York Office and eventual Managing Partner of the firm, was elected President of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association in 1986.More
Washington-based partner Gunter von Conrad is awarded the Bundesverdienst Kreuz
The Bundesverdienst Kreuz is the highest order of merit awarded by the German government to private citizens, for his professional, philanthropic and charitable accomplishments.More
Sandra Friedman Becomes President of CITBA
Sandra Friedman, a partner in our New York office, was elected President of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association. She served in that position from 2006 to 2008.More
Barnes, Richardson, and Colburn Becomes Limited Liability Partnership
The year 2013 was a great year for Barnes, Richardson & Colburn. It marked the year that the firm became a limited liability partnership. This would mean limited legal liability and flexibility in terms of management roles.More
Lawrence Friedman Becomes President of CITBA
Chicago-based partner Lawrence Friedman was elected to serve as President of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association. In addition, Mr. Friedman serves as a member of the Court of International Trade Advisory Committee and chaired the Court's Judicial Conference Planning Committee.More
It’s a Century!
The year 2019 marked the year when the firm celebrated 100 years since its inception. It was the celebration of 100 years of exemplary service offered to the global community.More
History at a Glance
The firm that would eventually become Barnes, Richardson & Colburn was founded in New York City in 1919 as Barnes, Chilvers & Halstead. The firm's three founding partners were Albert MacC. Barnes, Jr., Mr. Chilvers, and Frank M. Halstead. Barnes and Halstead had significant experience in the trade arena. We've learned they founded the firm after both holding leadership positions in the Federal government.More
Our History in Stories
In 2019 Barnes, Richardson & Colburn is celebrating it's 100th year in operation. During the course of the year we will post interesting cases and facts from our archives that show both the history of the firm, but also the development of the trade laws in the United States. We hope that you enjoy these articles, and feel free to reach out to any of our attorneys if you have any questions.More
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New York, NY 10038
Tel: (212) 725-0200
Fax: (212) 889-4135
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: (312) 565-2000
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 483-0070
Fax: (202) 483-0092
Interested in a career at BRC?
Barnes/Richardson is always seeking lawyers and trade professionals with a demonstrated strong interest in customs and international trade law. Experience, particularly government service, is preferred but not necessary. Excellent academic credentials and writing ability required. Foreign language proficiency, particularly Chinese, Spanish or Japanese, is a plus. Applicants should be admitted in the jurisdiction where they hope to work or able to sit for the next scheduled bar exam. Salary and benefits are competitive.
Interested parties should send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to the partner listed below for the relevant office:
Sandra L. Friedman
100 William Street
David G. Forgue
303 East Wacker Drive
Matthew T. McGrath
1200 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.