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2022 In-House Counsel Awards: Brian T. Rabineau

Port KC

Brian RabineauGroundbreaking for the first soccer stadium purpose-built for a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team took place in October 2022 on the riverfront in Kansas City. Brian Rabineau, general counsel for Port KC, was instrumental in helping to develop this estimated $70 million project, entirely privately financed through the ownership group of the new KC Current NWSL team.

“This is a fun project and literally the first of its kind in the U.S.,” Rabineau says. “The groundbreaking represented my biggest professional accomplishment for 2022.”

Born in Michigan, Rabineau grew up on the East Coast. His first Missouri connections came when he earned his bachelor’s degree from Evangel University in Springfield, and then his JD from the University of Missouri. His first job as a lawyer was with the Missouri Attorney General’s office, where he worked for two years.

“I got a lot of hands-on experience very quickly in state government,” Rabineau says. “I really enjoyed working in the public sector.” He went on to serve as a clerk to a judge in the Missouri Court of Appeals for two years, and then as senior associate city attorney for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, for 15 years.

In 2019, Rabineau joined Port KC as deputy general counsel and was recently promoted to general counsel. During his relatively short time with Port KC, he has played a key role in overseeing all legal matters. He negotiated and drafted agreements to extend the streetcar to Berkley Riverfront. He was also responsible for the creation of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, the implementation of the City’s modern streetcar system, the Loews convention center hotel, multi-family residential developments in the city’s Power & Light District, and several other incentivized projects contributing to the continuing economic growth of Kansas City and the region. Currently, he is leading the legal team in the development of the “South Loop Link,” which will result in the creation of a new multi-block park over I-67, connecting the City’s downtown core with the Crossroads district and surrounding neighborhoods.

“Balancing the interests of all to create the Kansas City Streetcar Authority was an ‘aha’ moment for me,” Rabineau says. “I realized that what I’m doing is actually making a difference. Bringing many varied interests together to work with one another and work toward the same goal is rewarding for me.”

If he hadn’t become a lawyer, Rabineau might have become a police officer or a long-haul truck driver. Travel is one of his passions — driving coast to coast or hopping on a plane or cruising around the Mediterranean.

Some of the best career advice Rabineau has ever received continues to influence his professional and personal life. “Find what interests you, whatever that may be, and pursue it,” he says. “It’s easy to get burned out in a legal career or to get stuck in a job that isn’t right for you. Find your passion and do what you enjoy.”