The 21st edition of the Virginia Business Legal Elite
Legal Elite recognizes top Virginia attorneys across 20 specialties
Launched in cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association, the Legal Elite polls lawyers licensed to practice in Virginia each year, asking them to identify which of their peers are the top attorneys in a variety of legal specialties.
Virginia Business’ Legal Elite has 20 categories of legal specialties, double the number featured on the first list in 2000.
The 20 attorneys who have appeared in all 21 editions are listed on the following page. Half of the long-term honorees hail from Central Virginia, while six are based in Hampton Roads and four are in Northern Virginia.
Three firms are well-represented. The group includes four lawyers from Willcox & Savage PC in Norfolk: Allan G. Donn, William M. Furr, Thomas G. Johnson Jr. and Conrad M. Shumadine.
McCandlish Lillard PC in Fairfax has two lawyers on the long-term list: R. Peyton Mahaffey, the firm’s president and managing partner, and Ralph M. Tener.
Williams Mullen also has three long-term honorees: William D. Bayliss and Calvin W. “Woody” Fowler Jr., who are based in Richmond, and Thomas R. Frantz, the firm’s chairman emeritus, in Virginia Beach. In compiling the Legal Elite, Virginia Business contacted more than 14,000 attorneys and more than 50 law firms, directing them to a balloting website, which was available only during the annual voting period.
This year’s Legal Elite includes 1,377 lawyers, about 22.5% of the 6,118 attorneys who were nominated by their peers this year. Voting participation rose again this year, with the number of ballots cast growing to 1,875 from 1,453 in 2019. Attorneys cast a total of 33,498 separate votes across all 20 legal specialty categories.
Virginia Business also profiles a representative from each category. Profile subjects are among the top vote getters in each group, but scores are not the sole criterion.
Click on category to see complete list and profile.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- John A.C. Keith, Blankingship & Keith PC, Fairfax
- Appellate Law
- Robert B. “Chip” Delano Jr., Sands Anderson PC, Richmond
- Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights
- Alexander M. Laughlin, Odin, Feldman & Pittleman PC, Reston
- Business Law
- Allen C. Goolsby, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Richmond
- Civil Litigation
- Lauren Ebersole Hutcheson, McCandlish Holton PC, Richmond
- Construction Law
- Courtney Moates Paulk, Hirschler, Richmond
- Corporate Counsel
- Kate Seikaly, Reed Smith LLP, McLean
- Criminal Law
- Jamilah D. LeCruise, The Law Office of J.D. LeCruise, Norfolk
- Elder Law
- Andrew H. Hook, Hook Law Center, Suffolk
- Family Law/Domestic Relations
- Debra C. Albiston, Kaufman & Canoles PC, Norfolk
- Health Law
- Peter Mellette, Mellette PC, Williamsburg
- Immigration Law
- Christine Lockhart Poarch, Poarch Thompson Law, Salem
- Intellectual Property/ Information Technology
- Janet P. Peyton, McGuireWoods, Richmond
- Labor/Employment Law
- David A. Kushner, Willcox & Savage PC, Norfolk
- Legal Services/Pro Bono
- Tameeka Montgomery Williams, Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia, Norfolk
- Daniel C. Summerlin III, Woods Rogers PLC, Roanoke
- Real Estate/Land Use
- Clark H. Worthy, Gentry Locke Attorneys, Roanoke
- Christine Nguyen Piersall, Williams Mullen, Richmond
- Young Lawyer
- Michael D. Pierce, Vandeventer Black LLP, Norfolk
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