Richard L. Costella

Rich is a partner in the firm's bankruptcy/creditors' rights department.  His practice focuses primarily on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, banking and finance, and commercial litigation matters.

Rich represents a wide variety of lenders and financial institutions in virtually all aspects of consumer and commercial bankruptcy cases.  He has experience in pursuing motions for relief from the automatic stay, as well as litigating confirmation, dischargeability, cash collateral, DIP financing, and avoidance actions.  He also has substantial experience participating in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in courts throughout the United States.  His participation in these matters cross a wide variety of industries, including biotech, printing and bindery, warehousing and storage, food and produce processing, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, airline, commercial real estate, and title insurance.  Rich also represents numerous lenders and financial institutions in state court collection and enforcement actions.

Representative Cases

  • Represented a large national full service trade bindery and post press finisher in the acquisition of assets of a large New York based specialty binder involving bankruptcy proceedings, negotiations with the debtor, employee retention, and acquisition financing;

  • Defended a client regarding an asserted preference claim exceeding $1 million and the ensuing litigation;

  • Represented an asset based secured lender in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of American Candy Company and Bradley Candy Company where the lender ultimately achieved full payment of approximately $20 million including interest and costs;

  • Represented a wholesale food producer with respect to the multi-faceted restructuring, reorganization, and recapitalization of its business;

  • Represented a client in connection with a receivership, two foreclosures, and the forced sale of multiple real estate developments; and

  • Served as counsel to a large international financial institution in an action brought against it by the Chapter 11 Trustee for Thornburg Mortgage.

Rich is a member of the Maryland bar and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has also co-authored several briefs and presented oral argument on appeal in both the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Prior to joining the firm, he was in private practice with Miles & Stockbridge for 19 years.

Rich graduated from the West Virginia University School of Law in 1998 where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Executive Editor of the West Virginia Law Review.  He received his B.S. from Towson University in 1987, and his M.S.B., with honors, from Johns Hopkins University in 1994.  After graduation from law school, Rich clerked for the Honorable L. Edward Friend, II in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.


In 2020, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Services appointed Rich to its board of directors.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Fundraising Committee.

Rich has held leadership positions in the Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association, including Baltimore Chapter chair.  He is also involved with the Chesapeake Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association having previously served as president and a board member.

He is a regular speaker at legal education seminars sponsored by the Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association and the Turnaround Management Association.  In recent years, his presentations at these seminars have included the “Use of Experts in Bankruptcy Valuations,” “Recent Developments in Bankruptcy Jurisdiction and Venue,” “Predatory Lending and Creditor Abuse in Bankruptcy Matters,” and “Electronic Discovery in Bankruptcy Litigation.”

Recently, Chambers USA has recognized Rich as a leader and notable practitioner in the area of bankruptcy litigation. Since 2013, his peers selected him continuously for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law.  Since 2011, Maryland Super Lawyers has selected him for inclusion in its list for his bankruptcy, business litigation, and creditor/debtor rights practices.

Attorney Profile
  • West Virginia University College of Law (J.D., 1998)
  • Johns Hopkins University (M.S.B., with honors, 1994)
  • Towson University (B.S., 1987)
Bar Admissions
  • State of Maryland
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, Board of Directors, 2020-; Chairman, Fundraising Committee, 2022-
  • Turnaround Management Association, Chesapeake Chapter, Emeritus Director and Co-chair of Event Finance Committee, 2024- ; National Audit Committee chair, 2013; Chesapeake Chapter President, 2011-2013; Board of Directors, 2007-2010
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association, Assistant Treasurer, 2013; Spring Break CLE Planning Committee, 2008-2013; Baltimore Chapter Chair, 2010-2011; Baltimore Chapter Vice Chair, 2009-2010; Director, 2006-2009, 2011