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18 Pender & Coward Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America® and Ones to Watch 2024 Edition


Virginia Beach, Va. – 18 Pender & Coward attorneys have been included in the 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and The Best Lawyers in America®: Ones to Watch* for outstanding work in individual practice areas. These rankings are based on a rigorous process that captures meaningful and substantive peer review evaluations. 

Dave Arnold - Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

Arnold founded the firm’s eminent domain practice group and serves as chief executive officer on the firm's executive committee.  Recognized for the 8th year by Best Lawyers®, Arnold was also named as Best Lawyers® 2022 Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law “Lawyer of the Year” for the Norfolk area.  He focuses his practice on eminent domain and right of way condemnation for government and business entities, including real estate transactions and litigation.

Mark Baumgartner – Commercial Litigation

Baumgartner focuses his practice on commercial litigation, corporate and transactional law, real estate matters and environmental law.  He works with business owners, particularly entrepreneurs, landowners and developers in commercial litigation matters and corporate transactional matters.

Daniel Berger – Commercial Litigation

Berger focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation.  He represents businesses and individuals in commercial disputes involving a wide range of issues including contract law, unfair competition and trade secrets, professional liability, and business torts.

Tom Berkley – Admiralty and Maritime Law

Berkley is recognized for the 12th year by Best Lawyers®.  For more than 20 years, he has represented a variety of maritime and waterfront focused businesses and individuals and focuses his practice on federal and state litigation, maritime and admiralty, transportation, and federal and state workers compensation law.

Richard Biemiller – Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Biemiller focuses his practice in the areas of creditors’ rights, banking and financial institutions, commercial transactions, and real estate.  He represents national, regional, and local lenders in all aspects of commercial collection, work out, collateral liquidation and bankruptcy.

Jeff Gray – Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Securities, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in three categories, Gray is a seasoned commercial litigator. He focuses his practice on a wide array of commercial litigation matters including banking, construction, and investment and securities industry disputes.

Jeff Hunn – Community Association Law

Hunn focuses his practice in the areas of community association law, commercial litigation, insurance defense, business legal services, and government law.  He represents community associations, developers, businesses and individual property owners in the interpretation, negotiation and formation of contracts, management agreements, leases, title and boundary disputes and zoning issues.

Alex Johnson – Trusts and Estates

Johnson has over 35 years of experience assisting clients with estate planning and business succession matters.  He focuses his practice on wills, trusts, estate planning and administration, corporate and transactional law, real estate, and non-profit and tax-exempt status representation.

Anne Lahren – Family Law

Lahren focuses her practice on family law, immigration, and civil litigation.  She represents clients in family law and immigration matters as well as governmental entities in civil litigation matters.

Bill Lascara – Construction Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in two categories, Lascara focuses his practice on government contract law, construction law, litigation, real estate, and corporate and transactional law matters.  He has represented small and large businesses as well as individuals for more than 20 years and served as in-house general counsel for a ship repair, electronics, construction and computer graphics company for over 10 years.

Burke Margulies – Real Estate Law and Trusts and Estates

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in two categories, Margulies focuses his practice in the areas of wills, trusts, estate planning and administration and real estate.  He has over 50 years of experience advising clients in all aspects of estate planning.

Rick Matthews – Banking and Finance Law

Matthews focuses his practice on litigation, banking and financial institutions, labor and employment law, business law and local government matters.  He routinely advises financial institutions, businesses and governmental institutions on legal matters having potential litigation ramifications. 

Jeff Rosen – Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Labor and Employment

Recognized by Best Lawyers® in two categories, Rosen focuses his practice on civil litigation, local government, labor and employment, and insurance defense matters.  He defends claims regarding civil rights violations, medical malpractice, wrongful death suits against Virginia sheriffs and regional jails, and excessive force claims against law enforcement. Jeff represents state and local governments and their employees in constitutional violations, employment discrimination, defamation, and tort claims against cities, towns, school boards and regional authorities.

Bryan Peeples* – Environmental Law, Litigation - Environmental and Workers’ Compensation Law

Recognized by Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch in three categories, Peeples is a member of the firm’s waterfront law team focusing on waterfront (riparian) property rights law, maritime and admiralty law, and environmental law and he is also a member of the firm’s workers’ compensation team.

Bob Samuel – Workers’ Compensation Law, Personal Injury Litigation

Samuel has been recognized by Best Lawyers® for since 2006 and is currently recognized in four categories, Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers, Workers’ Compensation – Claimants, Personal Injury – Defendants, and Personal Injury - Plaintiffs.  He focuses his practice in the areas of workers compensation, personal injury and litigation.

Dan Schieble - Personal Injury Litigation for Defendants and Plaintiffs

Schieble has been recognized since 2013 by Best Lawyers® for Personal Injury Litigation.  He has over 35 years of experience handling personal injury matters.

Kerry Stolz* – Workers’ Compensation Law and Insurance Law

Recognized by Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch in two categories, Kerry focuses her practice on workers' compensation, insurance defense and civil litigation.  She advises businesses on the merits of workers’ compensation and injury cases and the risks of defense of those cases.

Diane Thompson - Trusts and Estates

Thompson has been recognized for more than 30 years by Best Lawyers® for work in trusts and estates.  She focuses on the areas of estate planning and administration, fiduciary income taxation, federal estate and gift taxation and post-mortem tax and disclaimer planning. Thompson was also named Best Lawyers® 2015 Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in the Norfolk area.

About Pender & Coward

For more than 130 years, Pender & Coward has been dedicated to the success of its clients, representing businesses of all sizes, governmental entities and individuals. The firm’s attorneys practice throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and remain committed to accomplishing client goals through proven experience, resourceful solutions and effective communication. For more information, visit

About Best Lawyers

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers® lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Lawyers named to The Best Lawyers in America® publication were recognized by their peers in the legal industry for their professional excellence.  Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch, the newest award initiative from Best Lawyers®, recognizes attorneys who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States.  For more information visit