Herschel Keller is a Partner with Gentry Locke, representing businesses, governmental entities, and institutions in Lynchburg and across the Commonwealth through his practice of Corporate and Business Law, Commercial Construction Law and Litigation, and Complex Contract Drafting and Negotiation. Originally from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Herschel now lives in Lynchburg, where he has practiced law for the past 15 years. Herschel heads up Gentry Locke’s Lynchburg office. He is active in the community, including serving as past president of the Central District Committee for the Virginia Associated General Contractors. Prior to joining Gentry Locke, he was Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Lynchburg, and later rose to the role of a principal and an officer of a Lynchburg law firm.
Crazy black lab who eats everything in sight
States I’ve lived in (IN, PA, GA & VA)
If you had chosen a career other than law, what would you be doing today?
I never considered another career. Since I was 8 years old, everyone told me I should be a lawyer. I always found ways to read the rules in my favor. It used to drive my parents crazy! I wasn’t the most fun person to have on the opposite side of a Monopoly® board.
What is your favorite thing to do when you leave the office?
See my wife, my son, and my daughter. I am blessed with a great family. We love spending time together, especially when we are active outdoors, canoeing the James and Maury rivers, camping, skiing, fishing and traveling.
What’s the top item on your bucket list?
I really look forward to taking my family on a National Lampoon's Vacation-style road trip out West.
What’s the most important life lesson you would pass on?
- Dickinson College, B.A. 1993
- University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, J.D. 1997
- Represents one of the oldest pipeline and utility contractors in the Commonwealth of Virginia in all aspects of its business, including procurement issues, contract negotiations, disputes, employment issues, and OSHA compliance
- Represented steel erector in litigation arising from construction of Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium West Sideline Expansion
- Assisted in formation of $400,000,000 joint venture for construction of heavy manufacturing facility in Norfolk, Virginia
- Negotiated contract with Italian firm for construction of concrete manufacturing plant in West Virginia
- Assisted in organization of community bank in Lynchburg, Virginia
- Successfully negotiated acquisition of woodworking supply catalogue business by publically traded competitor
- Negotiated and drafted numerous joint venture and teaming agreements to allow minority contractors to participate in government contracts
- Negotiated contractor’s withdrawal from mixed used development that failed after the 2008 financial collapse
- Negotiated multiple agreements to facilitate CEO transitions
- Obtained zoning approvals and conditional use permits for cellular telephone tower developer
- Obtained conditional use permit to allow for construction of 235,000 square feet office park in residential zoned district in Lynchburg, Virginia
- Assisted in establishing numerous successful construction businesses in Central Virginia
- Investigated and resolved numerous employment discrimination claims
- Lobbied before Virginia General Assembly in support of contractors seeking to limit the use of competitive negotiation to procure construction.
- Conducted numerous employee sexual harassment trainings
- Drafted and negotiated numerous commercial leases for landlords and tenants
- Acted as both issuers’ and borrowers’ counsel for tax-exempt bond issues
- Successfully defended patent infringement litigation against one of the largest patent firms in the United States
- Drafted numerous heavy equipment leases, rent to own agreements, and other agreements for use in the heavy equipment rental and sales industry
- Frequent speaker for business groups throughout region
- Virginia Associated General Contractors; Board of Directors (2015-Present); Central District Committee President (2011-2012), State Legislative Committee (2007-Present), Safety Alliance Board (2007-2010)
- Member, Virginia Amateur Sports Board of Directors (2017-Present)
- Member, Lynchburg Business Alliance Legislative Committee (2017-Present)
- Counsel to the Virginia State Crime Commission (1998-2000)
- Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Lynchburg; Project Exile Prosecutor (2000-2001)
- Former Staff Chair, Senate Joint Resolution 220 Advisory Panel: Legislative Study Aimed at Protecting Children from Sexually Violent Predators, (1997-1998)
- Former Staff Chair, Legislative Task Force Examining More Severe Sanctions for DUI Offenses (1997-1998)
- Named to Lynchburg Business Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” for Business, Commercial Litigation, Construction, Environmental and Land Use, and Real Estate law (2016)