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Michael Finney has a diverse litigation practice, focused on resolving complex business disputes. Prior to joining Gentry Locke, Michael practiced in Washington, DC, and clerked at the United States District Court in Roanoke for the Honorable James C. Turk. Since 2012 he has been recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers and is consistently named one of the “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business magazine.

  • Years with Gentry Locke
  • Children
  • Pets
  • What do you enjoy most about practicing law?

    I like the problem-solving aspect. Each case is a different challenge, and a chance to think both logically and creatively.

  • What do you like to do away from the office?

    Spend time with my kids. They’re a handful, but the best thing and great fun. I’m also an aspiring/frustrated golfer.

  • If you had chosen a career other than law, what would you be doing today?

    Maybe a sports writer/blogger. I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and still follow my childhood teams pretty religiously.


  • Harvard Law School, J.D.
  • Stanford University, B.A.


Michael Finney is admitted to practice law in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the State of California (inactive).

  • $112.5 million settlement in False Claims Act whistleblower case involving research fraud. United States ex rel. Thomas v. Duke University, Case No. 1:17-cv-276-CCE-JLW (Middle District of North Carolina)
  • Defended magazine publisher in high-profile defamation case that culminated in three-week trial
  • Obtained partial summary judgment and jury verdict for large gas company on multi-million dollar breach of contract claims, and then successfully argued appeal before Fourth Circuit
  • Represented company President/CEO and director in shareholder’s derivative action, where asserted claims exceeded $200 million
  • Represented municipality in dispute over airport runway project
  • Represented company on products liability claims arising from plant explosion
  • Obtained dismissal of defamation and business tort claims action against newspaper publisher
  • Represented shopping center owner seeking to declare that a restrictive covenant was invalid
  • Represented former owner of accounting company in contract dispute over earn-out provision
  • Represented international pharmaceutical company in intellectual property dispute with former employee-inventor and his competing company
  • Represented national galvanizing company in open account contract dispute, obtaining trial judgment for full amount claimed
  • Represented guarantor of a commercial shopping center loan in federal litigation
  • Represented multiple individuals who purchased illegitimate annuities in underlying and insurance coverage actions
  • Represented numerous business entities and departing individuals in non-compete, trade secret, conspiracy, defamation, and other “business divorce” cases
  • Represented multiple commercial tenants in lease disputes
  • Served as local counsel in both state and federal litigation
  • Federal judicial clerk for the Honorable James C. Turk, Western District of Virginia (2008-2009)


  • Board Member, Virginia State Bar Litigation Section (2018-present)
  • Board Member, Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia (2017-present)
  • Chair, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (2012-2014)
  • Vice-Chair, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (2011)
  • Member, Virginia State Bar
  • Member, Washington DC Bar
  • Member, California State Bar (inactive)
  • Member, The Virginia Bar Association
  • Member, Roanoke Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association


  • Named to “Best Lawyers in America” for Commercial Litigation and Qui Tam Law (2020-2022)
  • Named a Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Star in Business/Corporate Law (2012) and Business Litigation (2013-2018)
  • Designated one of the Legal Elite by Virginia Business magazine in the area of Litigation (2016-2020) and Young Lawyer (Under 40, 2015)

Published Work

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.
Michael Finney Virginia attorney