Richard grew up in St. Thomas; leaving in 1972 to attend Yale College, where he received his B.A. in Economics, magna cum laude, in 1976.   He went on to Yale Law School and Yale Graduate School, earning his J.D. and a M.A. in Economics in 1980.

After graduation, Richard moved to New York where he joined the venerable law firm of Lord, Day & Lord, where he became a specialist in federal tax law.  While at Lord, Day & Lord he attended New York University Law School’s evening program in tax law, and received his Master’s of Law (LL.M.) Taxation in the spring of 1987.

At Lord, Day & Lord Richard developed a practice area specializing in U.S. Virgin Islands development projects.  He was instrumental in enabling the Virgin Islands to issue general obligation tax exempt bonds for the first time ever in 1983, followed by several additional debt issues in 1984 and 1985.  He was responsible for Lord, Day & Lord becoming underwriters’ counsel on these bond issues for Goldman Sachs, Shearson Lehman American Express, and other syndicates.

In 1985 Richard was responsible for Lord, Day & Lord representing Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in a major cogeneration project and negotiated a 35-year output/supply contract between that firm’s joint venture partner and the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.

In 1986 Richard moved back to St. Thomas and became counsel to Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig.  In 1989, he became a partner in the firm.  In 2005 Richard opened his own law firm, specializing in tax law and estate planning, real estate, and Economic Development Program project representation.

The Law Offices of Richard P. Bourne-Vanneck specialize in estate planning including trusts, wills and probate matters, tax planning, general business law and transactional representation, corporate law, partnerships, real estate and elder care.


Richard has represented dozens of applicants and beneficiaries before the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission; including Marriot Frenchmen’s Reef Resort, Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort, Holiday Inn Windward Passage Hotel, Atlantis Submarine, Inc., Coral World Marine Park, Inc., and Medical Air Services Association International, Inc. on St. Thomas, Caneel Bay Resort and Westin Resort & Villas on St. John, and Carambola Golf Resort and StoneTree Group L.L.L.P. on St. Croix.  Most recently, Richard represented Island Capital, LLC before the Economic Development Commission in the successful development of Yacht Haven Grande, a $160 million mega yacht resort, restaurant and shopping complex on St. Thomas.

Richard is a frequent lecturer on estate planning matters and appears regularly on National Public Radio of the Virgin Islands 107.3FM discussing tax and estate planning strategic planning.

Richard has extensive community ties and is committed to public service.  For over 20 years he has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, which maintains the only shelters for the homeless shelters in the Virgin Islands as well as soup kitchens on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.  He was an invited guest at The White House where leaders of Catholic Charities chapters from across the nation were recognized by the President of the United States for their dedication to those in need.