Kathleen O'Brien
Philadelphia Office

1735 Market Street
21st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7505

P: 215-772-7288
F: 215-772-7620


Kathleen O’Brien’s practice includes general corporate, finance and banking, mergers and acquisitions and closely-held businesses. She counsels financial institutions on commercial lending transactions and individuals and business owners on a wide range of corporate matters including entity formation, shareholder and partner issues, governance, and acquisition and divestiture.

Selected Publications

  • Mentioned in, “Women of Distinction Awards Alumni Collections,” The Philadelphia Business Journal, November 2021
  • Authored a business law volume for the West Publishing Pennsylvania Practice Series
  • As a lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on setting up business corporations, Katie has co-authored a book on the subject

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Program organizer and speaker, “Selling Your Business – Develop the 5-Year Plan,” First Niagara Bank’s Executive Forum, October 2011
  • She has also lectured on counseling small businesses for the Small Business Association Conference on Women Business Owners and the American Law Institute’s televised seminar programs

Community Involvement

She is past president and a past member of the board of directors of The Forum of Executive Women, past chair of the board of Child Care Matters, and past member of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity and Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. Katie served as a member of the 2009-2010 Philadelphia Mayor’s Task Force on Tax Reform and Economic Competitiveness and was selected to participate in the 2008 and 2010 Leadership Exchanges sponsored by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.

She was an adjunct faculty member at the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law teaching “Transactional Practice” and was a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for the spring semesters of 1984 and 1986, where she conducted a seminar entitled “Counseling Small Business,” and supervised the Small Business Clinic. Katie is a frequent speaker and panelist on a variety of topics focusing on business law, diversity, and marketing for organizations such as the American Corporate Counsel Association, the American Bar Association, the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Hewlett-Packard, and Ernst & Young, among others. Her work with women’s networks, mentoring, and marketing has been featured in multiple publications.

Honors & Awards

  • Recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award
  • Recipient of the Advocate for Women’s Business Award from the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in recognition of her work with women business owners
  • Recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Women to Watch and Public Policy Advocate Awards
  • Recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal‘s Women of Distinction Award
  • Named one of the Fifty Best Women in Business in Pennsylvania
  • Named SBA Champion of the Year for Women in Business by both the Philadelphia District and Region III of the Small Business Administration Award

No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the highest court of any state. See Awards Methodology

Professional Activities & Achievements

  • American Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association

Academic Achievements

In 1976, Katie received her J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During her law school career, she served as the director of the Government Policy Research Unit, which provided consulting services in law and policy development to nonprofit organizations and government agencies. She also completed an internship at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C.

Katie received her B.S. degree, with honors, in Psychology and Education from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1969, where she was a member of the General Honors Program. She was elected to the Mortar Board Honor Society and recognized as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. She earned an M.Ed. degree in Counseling and School Psychology from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts in 1972.