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Virginia’s Go To Lawyers for commercial real estate

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//September 18, 2023

Virginia’s Go To Lawyers for commercial real estate

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//September 18, 2023

Virginia Lawyers Weekly is pleased to present the next group of honorees in our program recognizing the leading lawyers in a particular field of law. In this edition, we showcase “Virginia’s Go To Lawyers” for commercial real estate law.

The attorneys featured on the following pages were nominated by their colleagues and chosen by a panel from Lawyers Weekly. We expect some readers will argue there are some excellent lawyers who should have been included. Let us know! And please nominate them for future lists. Our next featured practice area will be medical malpractice.

Please join us in congratulating these outstanding commercial real estate attorneys.

Kelly Caplan
Group Editor

Brandon S. AllredBrandon S. Allred
Associate, Kaufman & Canoles

Brandon S. Allred handles a wide range of commercial real estate transactions, including property acquisitions, joint ventures, commercial leasing and development projects, preferred equity investments. and partnerships His expertise and focus on client service have made him a leading commercial attorney in the Hampton Roads community.

Prior to joining Kaufman & Canoles, Allred worked in tax accounting with Ernst & Young in McLean.

A member of LEAD757 Class of 2022, Allred also serves as a young lawyer representative with the Business Law Section Council of the Virginia Bar Association, and on the board of directors of the Cape Henry Collegiate School Alumni Association, Phi Kappa Psi Virginia Beta House Corporation and SMILE, Inc. He is a former board member of the Washington and Lee University Alumni Association.

Jo Anne S. BitnerJo Anne S. Bitner
Odin Feldman Pittleman

For nearly three decades, Jo Anne S. Bitner has represented commercial and residential real estate developers and homebuilders in all aspects of real estate development, acquisition and conveyance of real property interests. Her work has been integral in bringing to life many of the vibrant neighborhoods, commercial centers and public transportation systems that define the growing suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Bitner served on the Board of Zoning Appeals for the town of Vienna and is a founding board member of HomeAid Northern Virginia, a charitable arm of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association that partners with builders and developers to provide shelter for people who are homeless. She is also actively involved with Women Giving Back, a charitable task force of HomeAid that provides clothing for homeless women re-entering the workforce.

Tara R. BoydTara R. Boyd
Boyd & Sipe

As founder of Boyd & Sipe, Tara R. Boyd has built a career on providing practical, understandable guidance on managing the risks of complex commercial real estate transactions, whether to seasoned portfolio investors, lenders entering the regional market, or nonprofits negotiating their first lease.

In addition to her work, Boyd is the co-founder of the University of Virginia School of Law Nonprofit Clinic, a collaboration with Legal Aid Justice Center that teaches nonprofit law to students through work with local charities.

Boyd served on the board of the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority from 2010 to 2020 and was named to the Virginia Access to Justice Commission Pro Bono Honor Roll in both 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Philip K. ChungPhilip K. Chung
Partner, Chung & Press

A partner at Chung & Press since its formation in 1993, Phillip K. Chung provides expert advice and counsel to clients purchasing and selling real estate, including numerous multi-million-dollar transactions. He frequently handles matters involving multi-family housing complexes, shopping centers, office buildings and land under development.

An active member of his community, Chung is a director and founding member of the Virginia Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, a board member of the Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network of the University of Virginia, and a member of the board of trustees for the McLean Orchestra, for which he served as president for the 2006-2007 season. He is also a former board member of the George Washington University Law School Alumni Association.

Richard J. CrouchRichard J. Crouch
Principal, Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black

Richard J. Crouch has dedicated his entire career to his commercial real estate practice, serving clients in Virginia and nationwide, and is equally committed to mentoring younger attorneys and college students interested in the field.

Deeply involved in the community, Crouch is a member of the advisory board for the E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate at the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University; the board of directors for Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance; the Mid-Atlantic Capital Sources Forum; the Dollar Bank Advisory Board; the Greater Norfolk Corporation; and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Crouch is also a regular contributor to publications such as Inside Business, CoBizVa, Builders and Contractors Exchange Bulletin, LEXOLOGY and the Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black Real Estate quarterly newsletter.

Jennifer Magalhaes CuddyJennifer Magalhaes Cuddy
Partner, Reed Smith

Focusing her practice on real estate matters for clients across the United States, Jennifer Magalhaes Cuddy has extensive experience working with owners of both improved and unimproved commercial properties.

Cuddy regularly represents landlords and tenants in commercial lease negotiations, including retail shopping center, office, industrial and health care spaces, and leads projects involving lease portfolios, development matters, mixed-use projects, schools, industrial assets and retail spaces.

In addition to mentoring younger lawyers at Reed Smith and serving on the firm’s Diversity Inclusion and Equity committee, Cuddy holds leadership roles at several nonprofit organizations in the state, including the NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, Virginia Portuguese Community Center and Women’s Center.

Christopher B. DeMersChristopher B. DeMers
Pesner, Altmiller, Melnick, DeMers & Steele

As a partner at Pesner Altmiller Melnick DeMers & Steele, Christopher B. DeMers represents and advises national, regional and community banks with developing loan terms and structure, drafting and negotiating loan documents, conducting borrower and collateral due diligence and closing secured lending transactions.

He has represented community associations in the areas of corporate governance, covenant enforcement, contracting, and developer transition. In addition, DeMers is experienced in counseling clients on a range of corporate matters, including establishing and organizing corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and nonprofit corporations.

DeMers recently presented a session on negotiating commercial loan documents at the Virginia Continuing Legal Education 23rd Annual Advanced Real Estate Seminar. He also volunteers with The Eddie Hurley Project and is a director of the Oakton Valley Homeowners Association.

Justine A. FitzgeraldJustine A. Fitzgerald
Managing Partner, Hirschler

As managing partner of Hirschler’s Tyson’s office, Justine A. Fitzgerald oversees the firm’s roster of 20 attorneys, as well as its daily operations. In addition to her practice, she is a member of the firm’s Executive Board of Directors and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and is co-chair of its Women’s Initiative Network. Committed to investing in human resources, she also is an active mentor to the next generation of legal leaders.

Earlier in her career, Fitzgerald practiced law for more than a decade at Arnold & Porter and served as senior in-house counsel at Hilton Worldwide, Inc. She co-founded Fitzgerald & Rhodes in 2010.

Outside of her practice, Fitzgerald leverages her real estate experience to serve nonprofit organizations within the Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland regions, including the Wesley Housing Development Corporation.

Howard E. GordonHoward E. Gordon
Williams Mullen

Focused on commercial and multi-family real estate, commercial leases, ground leases, land use planning, and permits and pass-through entities, Howard Gordon’s experience includes representing owners and developers in the acquisition of land, development, leasing and financing of shopping centers, hotels and housing projects.

Before joining the firm, Gordon was a partner at Hofheimer Nusbaum, which merged with Williams Mullen in 2004. Gordon also served as law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge John A. MacKenzie of the Eastern District of Virginia.

A fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Virginia Law Foundation and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers,Gordon is also active with several community and civic organizations, including ForKids, Norfolk Collegiate School, the Norfolk Sports Club and its scholarship foundation, the Virginia Arts Festival, and the TOWN Foundation.

Will HomillerWill Homiller
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders

Serving clients coast to coast, Will Homiller has overseen the acquisition and development of millions of square feet of industrial, office, medical, hospitality and retail spaces in his 21 years of practice.

In addition to his work, Homiller finds time to give back to the community and the legal profession. Volunteering with several nonprofits throughout his career, he is the former chair of the Real Estate Section of the Virginia Bar Association, and continues to serve on its leadership council.

Homiller also served on the board of Virginia Supportive Housing and is currently the chair of the local board of LISC Virginia, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Goodwill Services and the Virginia Commonwealth University Real Estate Circle of Excellence.

Benjamin LeighBenjamin Leigh
Partner, Troxell Leigh

Over the course of his career, Benjamin Leigh has established a reputation for finding creatve solutions to the most complex real estate problems.

Leigh currently serves as president of the Virginia Bar Association, having previously served on its Real Estate Council and as the association’s secretary/treasurer. He is also commissioner in chancery and special commissioner at Loudoun County Circuit Court, and was a member of the Rural Economic Development Council and Economic Development Council for Loudoun County.

In 2020, Leigh received the Virginia State Bar Association’s Traver Scholar Award, which honors attorneys who demonstrate the highest ideals and expertise while practicing real estate law and share their knowledge with others.

Brian MarronBrian Marron
Spotts Fain

As chair of Spotts Fain’s financial services section, Brian Marron focuses his practice on banking, real estate, closely held companies and financial services matters.

A frequent lecturer on real estate and finance issues and an active member of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond, Marron received the association’s Pro-Bono Publico Award in 1998. He envisioned and helped organize the Pro Bono Clearinghouse for the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, which was honored as the 2016 recipient of the Richmond Bar Association’s John C. Kerry Pro Bono Award.

Marron also received the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation’s George H. Hettrick Leadership Award in 2017 and was named as a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation in 2010.

Adam NelsonAdam Nelson
Partner, ThompsonMcMullan

In his successful Richmond practice, Adam Nelson pulls from not only more than two decades of legal experience, but also his time spent as a corporate financial analyst and his background in psychology.

In addition to practicing law, Nelson shares his expertise as a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law. He previously served as a professor at The College of William & Mary.

Committed to service, Nelson is deeply involved in several legal and community organizations, including the Virginia Bar Association, Hanover County Bar Association, ChamberRVA, Congregation Beth Ahabah, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, Junior Achievement of Central Virginia, Hanover County Public Schools and Penn State Alumni Association. With a wealth of knowledge in commercial real estate, he is often called on to speak at real estate focused events in Richmond.

Mark VianiMark Viani
Bean, Kinney & Korman

Mark Viani serves clients throughout the region who have encountered growth management and increasingly complex legislative and regulatory issues during all phases of development.

He currently serves as the general counsel for the Prince William County Service Authority. Working with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, he assisted the Commonwealth of Virginia, state of Maryland and District of Columbia with the establishment of the Metro Safety Commission.

Viani is a member of the Virginia Local Government Attorney’s Association and former chair of the State and Local Government Section Council of the Maryland Bar Association. He also acts as Mid-Atlantic regional counsel for several national retail and institutional clients, and devotes a significant amount of time to leading and assisting several community, civic, charitable, business and professional organizations.

Elizabeth WhiteElizabeth White
Sands Anderson

As a specialist in helping master planned communities and condominiums develop and operate, Elizabeth White has been instrumental in the development of several such communities throughout her career.

An early pioneer in community association law, White has been a member of the Community Associations Institute for nearly three decades. She is a member of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers and has taught a class on community association law at William & Mary Law School.

In addition, White has built a reputation as a regular contributor to, a resource for community associations nationwide. Her awards include the Outstanding Service Award from the Board of Supervisors of James City County, the Above and Beyond Award from the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and Speaker of the Year Award from the Southeastern Chapter of the Community Associations Institute.

Clark WorthyClark Worthy
Partner, Gentry Locke Attorneys

With a background in finance, Clark Worthy has devoted more than 20 years of his practice to commercial real estate matters, including purchases, sales, leases, tax-free exchanges and financing.

He was named “Roanoke Lawyer of the Year for Real Estate Law” in 2022 and contributes to the Roanoke community through board service and leadership with several organizations, including Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley, the Apple Ridge Farm and the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Worthy has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce and started out wanting to be a certified financial planner, heading on a path toward his MBA. Along the way, however, he took the LSAT and scored well — and the rest, as they say, is business law history.

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