Richard A. Malm

Of Counsel
Richard A. Malm
Tel/Direct 1:
801 Grand Ave.
Suite 3700
Des Moines, IA 50309
Support Team
515.244.2600 x572


Richard A. Malm represents business clients in a wide range of matters including formation, financing, contracts, general legal advice, and civil litigation. His clients have included both small and large local businesses, as well as very large firms that were international in scope. Admitted to practice in 1974, he has had experience in most areas of business and civil practice, including litigation in state court, federal court, administrative tribunals, and arbitration.

Education & Background

  • J.D., Drake University Law School (With Honors, Order of the Coif, Drake Law Review Associate Editor, Tau Beta Pi)
  • B.S.E.E., Iowa State University (Electrical Engineering)

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Chambers USA

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2009-2021 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a “Leading Individual” in the area of Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions in the state of Iowa.  Also selected for inclusion in the 2008 edition as a “Leading Individual” in the area of General Commercial Litigation in the state of Iowa.  Rick has drawn the following published commentary from the editors of Chambers USA:
    • 2009: “Richard Malm combines a strong corporate practice with expertise in litigation.”
    • 2010: “Richard Malm divides his time between transactional and contentious work.  Sources concur: ‘He listens well, explains clearly and the quality of his draftings means they are seldom tested in court.'”
    • 2011: “Richard Malm is an ‘outstanding lawyer’ who provides general corporate counsel alongside litigation advice.”
    • 2012: “The ‘sharp-minded and smart’ Richard Malm focuses on sophisticated work on behalf of large institutions. His expertise covers contracts and agreements, M&A and litigation.”
    • 2013: “Richard Malm ‘gives very common-sense, authoritative advice,’ according to clients. He is best known for his work with large financial institutions on a range of acquisitions and regulatory matters.”
    • 2016: Rick advises on financial structuring issues. Sources attest that he "brings value to the transaction side of things," adding: "He really digs into the details."
    • 2017: "Rick Malm is an established corporate attorney whose complementary experience in litigation is also highlighted by peers."
    • 2021: "Richard Malm is the head of the firm's business and corporate law group. He is experienced in financing-related issues."

Best Lawyers

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the following areas:
    • Corporate Law
    • Derivatives and Futures Law
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Construction Law
    • Corporate Governance Law
    • Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law
    • Litigation – Construction
  • Rick is the 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" for Corporate Governance Law as recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers in America.
  • Rick is the 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law as recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers in America.
  • Rick is the 2017 "Lawyer of the Year" for Construction Law as recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers in America.

Super Lawyers

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2014 Great Plains Super Lawyers List in the area of Construction Litigation.



Admitted to practice in the following states:

  •  Iowa

Admitted to practice before the following federal courts:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa

Reported Cases and Representative Matters

  • Board of Water Works Trustees v. Sac County Board of Supervisors, 890 N.W.2d 50 (Iowa 2017)
  • Dowell v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA, 517 F.3d 1024 (8th Cir 2008).  Successfully represented bank in Fair Credit Reporting Act case.
  • America Online, Inc. v. National Health Care Discount, Inc., 174 F.Supp.2d 890 (N.D. Iowa 2001). Recovered damages for “spam.”
  • Fall River County v. S. Dakota Dept. of Revenue, 1999 SD 139, 601 N.W.2d 816. Trial of a complex railroad property tax dispute.
  • Burlington N. R. Co. v. Huddleston, 94 F.3d 1413 (10th Cir. 1996). Obtained ruling that making intangible personal property exemption available to all commercial and industrial taxpayers other than public utilities violated 4-R Act.
  • Citicorp of N. Am., Inc. v. Lifestyle Communications Corp., 836 F.Supp 644, 668 (S.D. Iowa 1993). Trial of a multi-party commercial dispute.

Memberships & Activities

  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Polk County Bar Association

Articles, Presentations, and Publications

  • Author, “Contracts for Future Delivery of Grain: An Overview of Common Legal Problems,” The Agricultural Law Journal, Winter 1981