| Aspen Dental Management
Chief legal officer
After clerking for the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Richard Parr spent six years in private practice with major law firms before moving in-house. Parr served in roles of increasing scope and responsibility with several national healthcare companies and first became general counsel in 1996 at Concentra, then a public company listed on NASDAQ. In 2006, he was named general counsel at HCR ManorCare, at the time an S&P 500 public company listed on NYSE and is now private. He highlights that, ‘I’ve been privileged to guide the company through three major transactions and significant litigations, and I’ve used the skills developed and lessons learned throughout my career to do so successfully, efficiently, economically, and with good humour’. The healthcare sector, including HCR ManorCare has faced an increase in litigation across the board, whether it is in private – tort, employment and class action – or governmental regulatory enforcement, whilst FCA litigation has also been increasing. During his time at HCR ManorCare, Parr re-tooled its internal legal support capabilities, re-tasking in-house attorneys, insisting on greater discipline from our outside counsel, and using a number of tactics to identify risk areas and address them in advance of problems. He has also emphasised technology and quantifiable metrics to motivate his team, and fostered a communication culture between senior management and the firm’s attorneys to increase connectivity and communal spirit. Parr’s advice to aspiring general counsel is to ‘learn your client’s business so that you can give the best, most relevant advice possible, and so that you can speak their language. Be responsive. Finally, nobody cares about a legal problem, except to the extent that it’s a business problem; know that and communicate accordingly’. In October 2018, Parr moved to Aspen Dental Management, and has continued to impress peers and colleagues as an industry-leading general counsel.