Melissa Richards

Ms. Richards graduated with honors from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology in 1993. Ms. Richards studied law at the University of Colorado on an academic scholarship and graduated second in her class in 1997. During law school, Ms. Richards served as an associate editor of the Colorado Law Review and received several honors, including the Outstanding Case Note/Comment Award, the Outstanding Associate Editor Award and Order of the Coif. Prior to co-founding Richards Dukes Law, Ms. Richards practiced law at Cooley, Godward, Kronish LLP, from 1997 through 2001, focusing on the representation of emerging companies and public companies in the information technology and biotechnology industries. Responsibilities included preparation, review and negotiation of a variety of intellectual property and commercial contracts, including commercial leases, nondisclosure agreements, licensing agreements, electronic commerce agreements, privacy policies, website terms of use, affiliate agreements, strategic alliances, joint development agreements, sponsored research agreements, clinical trial agreements, supply and distribution agreements and technology acquisitions.

Ms. Richards left law firm practice in 2001 to serve as in-house corporate counsel for Myogen, Inc., a biotechnology firm engaged in developing therapeutics for cardiovascular disease.  Her role as corporate counsel included assisting the company with FDA matters and the implementation and oversight of its various clinical trial and research and development programs. In addition, she represented the company in all other facets of its business, including securities matters, employment law, real estate, immigration, and intellectual property matters. Thereafter, she served in the same capacity for OPX Biotechnologies, a biofuel firm engaged in developing bio-based fuels and chemical products, while also co-founding Richards Dukes Law in 2008.

At Richards Dukes Law, Ms. Richards’ practice focuses on commercial lease transactions. She has drafted and negotiated thousands of leases, lease amendments, subleases and lease assignments for her clients in a wide variety of industries.