Practice Areas

BUSINESS

Agricultural Law and Natural Resources

The attorneys at Lenhart Pettit have a long tradition of representing agribusiness, their managers and owners. From the traditional farming operations in dairy, poultry, beef, orchards and crops, to integrated producers, to more recently developed agribusinesses such as organic meat, dairy, wine and produce, greenhouse produce, nurseries, water gardens, farmers’ markets, and other agribusinesses with ecotourism applications, our experience is a valuable resource in facing the unique business, real estate, and wealth management issues involved. Increasingly, these issues include the protection and stewardship of natural resources – both known resources, such as timber, wind, solar and water, and unknown resources, such as underground aquifers, minerals and natural gas yet to be discovered. Our Harrisonburg office is situated on the eastern boarder of the Marcellus and Utica Shales, positioning the firm’s attorneys to exploit years of experience in representing landowners in negotiations with gas companies. Harrisonburg is located in Rockingham County, the largest agricultural county in the Commonwealth. Visit our Agricultural Law and Natural Resources page for more information.

Banking and Creditor's Rights

Lenhart Pettit’s business attorneys and litigators have decades of combined experience representing banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other financial services firms in the areas of financing, including complex commercial and agribusines loans; workouts, foreclosures and collections, including loan restructuring, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, bankruptcies and difficult collections; trust services, including fiduciary representation, trust establishment, and dispute resolution; employment law compliance and employee benefit plans; and as general counsel. Visit our Banking and Creditor's Rights page for more information.

Business Counseling

Lenhart Pettit’s business counseling practice team has been privileged to work closely with a wide variety of businesses and institutions, from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses, ESOP-owned businesses, professional service firms, technology, publishing and telecommunications companies, manufacturers, retailers, transportation companies, agri-businesses and nonprofits, to highly regulated banking and financial services firms, insurance firms, health care institutions and educational institutions throughout Virginia. Our business counseling draws on the breadth of our firm’s specializations, including tax, intellectual property, employment, employee benefits, real estate, financing, private capital formation, and business disputes, in addition to the regulatory laws applicable to particular industry segments. Visit our Business Counseling page for more information.

Construction Law

Lenhart Pettit’s construction industry practice group understands the myriad issues surround getting construction projects off the drawing board and into the ground. We counsel and advise all sectors of the construction industry, from owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, to design professionals. Along with our construction-related litigation services, we routinely deal with all phases of project development and construction including site acquisition, bidding and negotiation of contracts, and contract formation. We work closely with the firm’s other practice groups, such as the real estate development and finance team, tax, corporate, intellectual property and employment and employee benefits team to offer efficient and cost-effective legal services relevant to the needs of each transaction, project, or dispute. Visit our Construction Law page for more information.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

Lenhart Pettit's cybersecurity and data privacy attorneys help clients address the data security and privacy challenges that confront businesses and organizations of all types. Our data privacy and security practice draws on the breadth of our firm's other specializations, including intellectual property, technology, employment, health care, and business law, to advise clients regarding data privacy issues across a broad ranges of industries. We advise clients regarding cybersecurity best practices, and when a data breach occurs, we work with our clients to lead the incident response and data breach notification process, including compliance with state and federal laws, regulations, and industry and contractual obligations. Our experienced data privacy lawyers also counsel clients regarding data privacy and security obligations arising under a wide range of state, federal, and international laws, including Section 5 of the FTC Act, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), California's “Shine the Light” Law, HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and the EU Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) and the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. For clients who provide interactive websites, mobile apps, and other internet-based services, our data privacy and technology lawyers provide strategic advice and counseling regarding the design of the services and provide assistance with the drafting of appropriate terms of use (terms of service), privacy policies, acceptable use policies, and other agreements. Visit our Cybersecurity and Data Privacy page for more information.

Employment and Employee Benefits

Lenhart Pettit’s employment and employee benefits lawyers possess a wide range of experience supporting businesses, their owners and managers in stewarding their most important asset – their people.  We have worked closely with companies employing thousands of employees to small businesses with only a handful. Our clients also represent a large variety of industries and types of businesses ranging from retailers, manufacturers, and agri-businesses to start-up companies and professional services firms to nonprofit and large institutional clients. There is very little in this practice area that we have not touched, often daily, in our combined years of experience. Visit our Employment and Employee Benefits page for more information.

Estate Planning, Wealth Transfer & Estate Administration

We offer sophisticated, tax-motivated and non-tax- motivated estate planning services to individuals and families, including those with substantial closely-held businesses, qualified retirement plans and other forms of accumulated wealth. We also regularly serve as counsel to institutional fiduciaries and represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in trust and estate dispute litigation. Estate and trust administration and post-mortem estate planning round out our services in this practice area. Visit our Estate Planning, Wealth Transfer & Estate Administration page for more information.

Health Care

Lenhart Pettit’s attorneys possess a wide range of experience supporting health care organizations from large hospital systems and retirement communities (including CCRC-registered communities) to group and solo medical professionals. We regularly handle the full gamut of legal issues confronting practices of health care providers, such as corporate organizational questions (formation, succession, etc.), employee benefits, personnel issues, real estate and other business transactions, regulatory compliance (HIPAA, Stark, Anti-kickback, etc.), risk management and professional liability defense (up to and including litigation), credentialing and peer review, managed care, reimbursement and contract disputes. as well as personal estate and asset protection planning. We can guide health care clients through today’s complex legal landscape because we have the depth necessary to allow our lawyers to concentrate in specific practice areas, yet we are small enough to coordinate efficiently and seamlessly in providing this expert advice. Visit our Health Care page for more information.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Lenhart Pettit’s business attorneys have significant transactional experience, representing clients on the buy or sale side of thousands of deals. Whether asset sales or mergers, business spin-offs, management buy-outs, ESOPs, commercial real estate transactions, or transition of the family business or farm, our attorneys understand how to negotiate, structure and, most importantly, close deals. Requiring technical know-how, keen negotiating skills, and the ability to pace and guide a transaction through closing, this area of practice calls on best of our attorneys’ substantial experience and knowledge. The breadth of our firm’s tax, intellectual property, employment, employee benefits, real estate, and finance practices equips us for the careful due diligence associated with buying or selling a business or property, as well as the prompt resolution of issues that arise. Visit our Mergers and Acquisitions page for more information.

Real Estate, Finance & Development

Lenhart Pettit’s real estate, development and finance practice offers a complete range of legal services to property owners, investors, developers, lenders and tenants. We deal with all types of real estate, ranging from undeveloped land to commercial property (including office buildings, retail centers, and industrial parks) to residential and resort development property (including multi-family residential properties, resorts, golf courses, condominiums and apartments) to agricultural land. We work closely with other practice groups such as tax, corporate and securities law to offer efficient and cost-effective legal services relevant to the needs of each transaction. We work closely with our clients to help them evaluate, acquire, and finance real estate opportunities throughout Virginia. We also work with our clients to maximize their real estate opportunities, whether through rezoning, subdivision, development, leasing, management, tax deferred exchanges, conservation easements, sale or exchange. Visit our Real Estate, Finance & Development page for more information.

Securities and Private Equity

Lenhart Pettit’s securities and private equity team offers a breadth of legal know-how specific to start-up and emerging growth companies, including choice of entity, intellectual property protection and commercialization, private capital formation, equity incentive plans, employment and management services agreements, and tax considerations particular to entrepreneurs and their investors. We look for clients with whom we can develop a long-term working relationship as we believe our knowledge about a client’s business and history makes us better, value-added counselors. From technology and software companies and university spin-offs in bioscience and pharmaceuticals, to real estate development companies and agribusinesses, Lenhart Pettit has helped clients grow their businesses from start-up to maturity and profitable exit. Visit our Securities and Private Equity page for more information.

Tax Law

Lenhart Pettit’s tax attorneys are business lawyers with extensive tax backgrounds, including two having advanced law degrees in taxation and three who are certified public accountants. As a result, tax planning is incorporated into every business representation and transaction rather than constituting an afterthought or add-on service. We work in close cooperation with the business’ accountants and other financial advisors to help provide the best possible tax planning for the myriad of transactions that involve tax considerations, including federal, state and local tax considerations. Most transactions or events experienced by a growing company and their owners throughout their life cycles— from entity formation, through financings and private capital formation, employee incentives, technology exploitation, and sale—have significant tax implications that must be addressed to maximize operating profits and equity value.  Visit our Tax Law page for more information.

Trademarks, Technology & Intellectual Property

Lenhart Pettit’s trademark, technology and intellectual property practice offers comprehensive intellectual property services for owners and users of all types of intellectual property and technology, including patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. The primary focus of our practice is to support and assist businesses to identify their intellectual property, technology, know-how, and goodwill, and to take appropriate measures to capture, protect, and exploit its inherent value depending upon the business’ specific needs and strategy.

Our copyright, trademark and patent litigation attorneys work closely with all types of business entities throughout the Commonwealth, including software developers, publishers, on-line content providers, e-commerce companies, “gaming” companies, and service providers, to devise creative and tax-efficient ways to acquire, hold, license, exploit, and protect intellectual property. We also assist businesses to take appropriate measures to respect the intellectual property rights of others, and to respond appropriately to claims of misappropriation or infringement. Visit our Trademarks, Technology & Intellectual Property page for more information.

LITIGATION

Appeals

Cases start with a trial, but they often end up before an appellate court tasked with determining whether the trial verdict was right or wrong. Skilled appellate advocacy can be the difference between winning and losing.  Our attorneys serve on state-wide appellate practice committees and include former law clerks to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of Virginia, and our appellate practice group has the right combination of oral and written advocacy skills, experience, and knowledge to provide you with the best opportunity for success on appeal. We have successfully represented clients in appeals involving constitutional rights, employment and business disputes, land use regulations, and many other matters. In addition to representing clients before appellate courts, we also lend our experience and counsel to consult with and assist attorneys handling their own appellate cases and with trials that may result in an appeal. Whether you are attempting to reverse a decision, or protect one, we can help. Visit our Appeals page for more information.

Commercial Litigation

We assist businesses and individuals, from start-ups to long-established companies, in commercial litigation in all forms, from routine breach of contract actions to complex business and partnership disputes. Our lawyers have litigated claims involving breaches of contract, violations of non-compete agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, and business torts such as fraud, misrepresentation, tortious interference with business relationships, and conspiracy. Our experienced attorneys provide effective and efficient representation, with an eye toward results and our clients trust us to handle their most difficult litigation issues, regardless of the subject. Together with our clients, we analyze the risks of litigation and the comparative options of settlement and alternative dispute resolution. We have extensive experience with mediation and arbitration, which often are required in commercial cases, and are equally comfortable trying cases to verdict before judges and juries. Visit our Commercial Litigation page for more information.

Construction Litigation

Lenhart Pettit’s construction attorneys advise all sectors of the construction industry from owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals. Our attorneys have significant experience representing clients in a wide variety of complex construction disputes in state and federal courts and in dispute resolution proceedings. Specific areas of practice include representation of clients on issues arising from claims for non-payment, mechanic’s liens, bond claims, alleged defects, delays, warranty issues, design changes, scope of work issues, and liquidated damages. Visit our Construction Litigation page for more information.

Contingent Fee Business Litigation

At Lenhart Pettit, we are committed to providing our clients with access to the court system when they need it.  We provide a wide variety of business and commercial litigation services across Virginia, and in some situations, across the country. In representing businesses, Lenhart Pettit’s attorneys understand that it is sometimes necessary for a business to undertake litigation, but that need often times arises unexpectedly.  As business litigators, we recognize that these unplanned and unbudgeted for situations sometimes require alternative and creative representation and billing in order to protect the assets and interests of the business.  In this way, Lenhart Pettit partners with its clients in litigation – aligning their interests in the litigation with both being incentivized to work diligently, keep expenses as low as possible, resolve the matter quickly, and recover as much as possible. Visit our Contingent Fee Business Litigation page for more information.

Employment Litigation - Management

Our attorneys protect employers and their businesses from claims or wrongful actions of current and/or former employees. We have significant experience successfully defending employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Virginia Human Rights Council, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Virginia Unemployment Commission and other state and federal agencies. We also have extensive trial experience in state and federal courts and arbitration proceedings representing employers in all types of employment litigation.  Visit our Employment Litigation - Management page for more information.

Family Law

Attorneys at Lenhart Pettit have successfully handled family law cases in Central Virginia and Shenandoah Valley for well over a quarter century.  Laws have changed substantially in that time, but what has remained constant is our commitment to providing the best possible legal service in a cost-effective manner.  We recognize the unique challenges created by complex family dynamics, and we listen to the needs of our clients as we work with them to arrive at what are often life-changing decisions. Visit our Family Law page for more information.

Intellectual Property Litigation

Whether a business needs to enjoin a former employee from using stolen secrets, prevent a competitor from using its trademark, or defend a claim of misappropriation or infringement asserted by a competitor, Lenhart Pettit stands ready to represent that business in state or federal court. The Intellectual Property Team at Lenhart Pettit has a demonstrated track record of providing winning legal strategies in high-stakes intellectual property disputes, including patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret matters. We have delivered successful results for start-ups and companies large and small. The firm has handled these cases on both contingency fee and hourly arrangements, depending on the needs of our clients. Our litigators have the experience that allows them to take on large infringers while maintaining the personal relationship with our clients that is so vital to successful litigation. Visit our Intellectual Property Litigation page for more information.

Real Estate Litigation

Lenhart Pettit’s experienced real estate litigation attorneys help our clients successfully resolve a wide range of real estate related disputes efficiently and effectively. Our real estate litigation clients include developers, builders, contractors, lenders, owners, property managers, landlords, tenants, purchasers, sellers, vineyards, country clubs, golf courses, homeowners associations and condominium associations. In addition to representing clients during all stages of litigation, including at trial and in appeals, our real estate litigation lawyers regularly advise other practitioners regarding potential transactions and disputes, workouts, bankruptcy reorganizations, and other proceedings. Visit our Real Estate Litigation page for more information.

Trusts, Estates & Probate Litigation

Whether a will contest, trust dispute, breach of fiduciary claim or any number of other disagreements that can arise when a family member dies or becomes incapacitated, the lawyers at Lenhart Pettit are prepared to step in and protect your rights. Trust and estate litigation raises many issues including fiduciary duties, tax law, real estate, partnerships / family businesses, bankruptcy, and creditors’ rights. It is critical that clients have a team of trust and estate litigators who not only have the ability, but also the expertise and experience, to effectively resolve the most complex of trust and estate contests. Our attorneys have broad experience litigating these claims and we have the back up from attorneys who routinely draft documents and advise families and the elderly in estate and succession planning. This combination of experience and know-how ensures that our clients receive the highest quality legal services to obtain the best possible outcome.  Visit our Trusts, Estates & Probate Litigation page for more information.

White Collar Defense and Government Investigations

When individuals and organizations face allegations of regulatory or criminal wrongdoing, the right legal team is essential. In today’s world, even the threat of a charge carries with it far reaching and lasting implications on your reputation, and those possibilities now exist for large and small businesses alike. In this enforcement climate, our attorneys bring together the ideal blend of sophisticated state and federal criminal and regulatory practice with local, grassroots relationships. With this balanced approached, we can effectively navigate the intimidating landscape of a pending government investigation or prosecution for businesses and individuals.  Visit our White Collar Defense and Government Investigations page for more information.