Chip Dicks, Gentry Locke attorney

Chip (John G.) Dicks

Legal Assistant
Chloe Iurillo804.956.2072
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Chip Dicks is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, served on the Courts and served on the Virginia Housing Commission as a House member. Since leaving the Legislature in 1990, he has represented associations and businesses on administrative, legislative and regulatory matters before state government agencies and the Virginia General Assembly. He has substantial experience representing developers on solar and a variety of land use applications across Virginia. Chip has extensive experience in the laws and regulations affecting outdoor advertising signs, and in the field of landlord tenant and fair housing laws.

Chip co-chairs the Gentry Locke Solar and Energy Storage Team and in that capacity, represents private companies and industry organizations legislative and regulatory policy initiatives in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The Gentry Locke Solar and Energy Storage Team represents solar and energy storage developers in land use cases throughout Virginia.

Chip joined Gentry Locke in 2018 to practice with our Government & Regulatory Affairs group in Richmond.

  • Years as legislator and lobbyist
  • Age when elected to Va. House of Delegates
  • Daughter with Nutritional Genomics PhD
  • What is your philosophy of life?

    Live by the Golden Rule and always do the right thing.

  • What would people be surprised to learn about you?

    I decided I wanted to go to law school at age 13, but part of me also wanted to be a national park ranger because I love being outside. When it came time to make a decision, I decided I could help more people through the Law as my vocation. But, I do get outside for fun!

  • What do you like to do for fun?

    I am fortunate to have a great family so I enjoy my family time, including my daughter and granddaughters. I enjoy working out in the mornings and investing in the stock market.


  • Stetson University College of Law, J.D.
  • Methodist College, B.A.


  • Represented Virginia Realtors as Legislative Counsel in the Virginia General Assembly for more than 30 years and has had a hand in writing significant portions of the real estate and landlord tenant state statutes during that time.
  • Served as a member of the Virginia Code Commission Work Group to rewrite all of Title 55 of the Code of Virginia, which includes real estate related state statutes. Title 55 will was recodified into Title 55.1 effective on October 1, 2019.
  • Served for more than 20 years as a member of each of the three Work Groups established by the Virginia Housing Commission, which acts as a think-tank on real estate and housing related legislation.
  • Represented the Outdoor Advertising Association of Virginia as Legislative Counsel for more than 30 years and during that time, has had a hand in writing state billboard related legislation in the Virginia General Assembly and in that capacity, has been recognized as a national expert in sign law by industry groups.
  • Represented the Northern Virginia Apartment Association as Legislative Counsel in a major rewrite of the state statutes relating to administrative zoning determinations and variances before the Boards of Zoning Appeals in the Commonwealth.
  • Tried numerous declaratory judgment actions and cases before Boards of Zoning Appeals throughout the Commonwealth to obtain favorable outcomes to protect the zoning rights of clients.
  • Represented the Virginia Realtors as Legislative Counsel in major rewrites of the state statutes relating to vested zoning rights of private property owners.
  • Led the effort to establish the first “Remote Online Notarization” legislation in the United States in the 2011 General Assembly to enable an electronic notary to notarize the signature of a signer not in the physical presence of the notary.
  • Represented a coalition of major business and real estate organizations in the substantial rewrites of the eminent domain state statutes in the Virginia General Assembly during the years following the US Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London, Conn.
  • Represented Lamar Advertising Company in cases in the Richmond Circuit Court and before the Virginia Supreme Court successfully protecting Lamar’s vested zoning rights under state statutes.
  • Former Co-Owner of a cell tower company which was sold to a publicly traded company and handled all aspects of developing a wireless cell tower company from the start-up stage through mature operation, and as an attorney, have represented wireless companies in zoning cases in multiple localities in the Commonwealth as well as worked on broadband deployment through fiber deployment.
  • Directed an economic development practice for a law firm and in that capacity, participated in foreign trade missions with various Governors of Virginia, and participated in recruiting prospects, structuring deals and closing economic development transactions to benefit the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Structured a number of complex financing deals monetizing government revenue streams into off-balance sheet transactions to create opportunities to fund government infrastructure otherwise not achievable.
  • Represented a multi-national oil company in a tank farm spill in Fairfax City and Fairfax County.
  • Represented a major petroleum pipeline company in a significant fuel leak in Fairfax County.
  • Represents the Virginia Manufactured and Modular Home Association as Legislative Counsel including positioning this industry as a key player in finding solutions to address the affordable housing crisis in the Commonwealth.
  • Represents the Circuit Court Clerks as Legislative Counsel and in that capacity, has written legislation that established a “digital legal framework” for automation of all land records in the Commonwealth, which enables efficiency in private real estate transaction including the ability to conduct all-electronic real estate settlements. In addition, this representation includes writing legislation that streamlines the criminal procedures and the procedures used in civil cases, probate and all other substantive areas of law handled by the Circuit Court Clerks.
  • Represented CHESSA (formerly MDV-SEIA), for more than 10 years, a leading solar industry player, in its legislative and regulatory initiatives in Virginia and in that capacity, has had a significant hand in transforming energy policy in the Virginia General Assembly in the Commonwealth in the last 6 years helping to improve the marketplace for development of new solar energy facilities in Virginia.
  • Experienced in trying civil cases in numerous circuit courts throughout the Commonwealth and administrative appeals before numerous regulatory agencies in the Commonwealth.
  • Experienced in handling cases before the Supreme Court of Virginia.


  • The Virginia Bar Association (1990-Present)
  • Member, Virginia Apartment and Management Association
  • Member, RVA Chamber
  • Member, Chesterfield Chamber
  • Member, Virginia Chamber
  • Former Board Member, Virginia Chamber
  • Former Member, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Former Chair, Joint Legislative Commission on Infrastructure and Revenue Resources in the Commonwealth
  • Former Member, Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Project
  • Former Member, Virginia Housing Commission
  • Member, Virginia Public Action Project
  • Member, Virginia Free
  • Former Board Member and Member of the Executive Committee, Virginia Economic Bridge
  • Member, Virginia Economic Developers Association
  • Former Member, Japan-Virginia Society
  • Former Member, Canada-Virginia Business Association
  • Former Board Chair, YMCA of Chester
  • Former Member, Kiwanis Club
  • Former Co-Chair, Epilepsy Society of Virginia
  • Former Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
  • Former Chair, Chesterfield Democratic Committee
  • Former Member, Northern Virginia Building Industry Association
  • Former Member, Fairfax Chamber
  • Former Member, Apartment and Office Building Association
  • Former Member, Metropolitan Washington DC Board of Trade
  • Former Member, Home Builders Association of Virginia


  • Selected to Virginia Lawyers Weekly Class of 2023 Hall of Fame (2023)
  • Designated one of the “Legal Elite” in Legislative/Regulatory/Administrative law by Virginia Business magazine (2019-2020, 2022-2023) and for Government & Regulatory Affairs (2021)
  • Designated as a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation (2020)
  • Named a “Leaders in Law” honoree (2019)
  • Named “Outstanding Young Man of Virginia” by the Virginia Jaycees (1988)
  • Named Distinguished Alumnus by Methodist University (1988)
Chip Dicks, Gentry Locke attorney in Richmond, Virginia