The Virginia Bar Association installed Leesburg attorney Benjamin D. Leigh as the association’s new president on Jan. 21, according to a release from the VBA.
Leigh will serve as the association’s 135th president and succeeds Roanoke attorney Victor O. Cardwell in the role. Cardwell, the first Black president in the history of the VBA, will now serve as immediate past president.
The VBA – Virginia’s largest statewide voluntary bar organization – installed Leigh as president during its annual meeting in Williamsburg. Leigh was sworn in by Supreme Court of Virginia Senior Justice William C. Mims on stage, with all past VBA presidents in attendance.
Mims and Leigh, along with William H. Atwill, cofounded the law firm Mims, Atwill & Leigh in 2002. The firm now operates as Troxell & Leigh, where Leigh serves as a principal and focuses primarily on real estate.
In remarks following his swearing in, Leigh encouraged members of the VBA to follow three resolutions: You Belong, Answer the Call, and Raise All Bars.
“Many of us joined the VBA seeking to be part of something larger than ourselves or our firms or a practice-area bar,” Leigh said after taking office. “Today and this coming year, I would charge each of you to carry the message to others seeking exceptionalism – the message that You Belong in the VBA.”
In his term as president, Leigh said the VBA “will raise the bar for the individual lawyer.”
“We will complement the Virginia State Bar and specialty bars by serving as the One Bar for Them All with statewide reach and representation in lobbying. We will raise the bar for the profession,” Leigh said.
Other leadership changes
In addition to Leigh, the VBA announced several more leadership changes in the Jan. 26 news release:
Norfolk attorney W. Ryan Snow was elected VBA president-elect.
Richmond attorney Kimberlee H. Ramsey was elected to a one-year term as chair of the VBA Board of Governors.
R. Patrick Bolling of Lynchburg was elected chair of the Young Lawyers Division.
Ann Petros of Arlington was elected chair-elect of the Young Lawyers Division.
Richmond attorneys Nupur S. Ball and Cliona Mary Robb, Norfolk Commissioner of the Revenue Blythe A. Scott and Charlottesville attorney M. Bryan Slaughter were elected to three-year terms on the VBA Board of Governors.
Supreme Court of Virginia Justice D. Arthur Kelsey and Chief Deputy Attorney General Charles H. Slemp III started one-year terms that can be extended for up to three years. Both will advise the VBA Board of Governors on judicial and governmental attorney matters.
Michael C. Guanzon of Richmond will chair the VBA Law Practice Management Division.