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Cham Light joined Gentry Locke’s Lynchburg office as Of Counsel in 2018 after a 30-year career as legal counsel at Nationwide Insurance. Cham will focus his practice on insurance coverage issues, litigation management and strategy, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Cham has been very active in the Lynchburg community, where he has served on boards that include the Lynchburg Planning Commission, the State Library of Virginia, and several educational institutions.

  • Wonderful family
  • Countries visited
  • History books read per month
  • Mediation/ADR matters handled
  • Why do you love Lynchburg so much?

    My father's family was one of the earliest settlers in the area, arriving in the early 1700s. I share a long-term history of a family farm with cousins. We have about 450 acres; most of my acreage is timber and most of their acreage is pasture for cattle. With such great family and friends, I would not want to live anywhere else.

  • Why do you enjoy legal work so much?

    I don't really consider it work. I consider it service, and it's a privilege to help clients. I've dealt with a variety of challenging business-related problems and issues and think my experience will prove valuable.

  • Why Gentry Locke, at this point in your career?

    Gentry Locke is a fine firm that I've known of for many years. It has a great history, but is also moving forward into the future in a creative and meaningful manner. I especially look forward to meeting with and helping great people in Lynchburg and Amherst, and all of Bedford and Campbell counties.

Education

  • Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia (graduated 2004, with Superlatives for Competency and Integrity)
  • University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, J.D. 1980
  • University of Virginia, B.A. 1976

Experience

  • Involved in the negotiation and settlement of a wide variety of severe personal injury and wrongful death claims, including claims in excess of $1M
  • Involved in over 100 Alternative Dispute Resolution/mediation matters, including those involving wrongful death
  • Provided guidance and legal counsel to insureds and stakeholders on matters including personal risk exposure and business operations
  • Served as the architect of an action plan that reduced the volume of claims falling into litigation due to inaction and other issues, eliminating 45% of litigation expenses over a three-year period
  • Championed the adoption of a program that increased the number of fair and early settlements of bodily injury claims, reducing time required for attorney representation and shortening claim cycles by over 30% over 18 months
  • Served as a trusted advisor and subject matter expert, providing guidance and direction to national insurance company
  • Admitted to practice in Virginia before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia; and the Supreme Court of Virginia

Affiliations

  • Lynchburg Planning Commission (Vice Chair since 2016)
  • Member, Board of Directors, The State Library of Virginia (2012-Present); Chair (2015-2016)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Virginia Episcopal School (2012-2018); Book Committee Chair for 100th Anniversary History of Virginia Episcopal School (2016)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Jones Memorial Library (2013-Present); Vice Chair (2016-Present)
  • Vice Chair, Lynchburg Electoral Board (2001-2003, 2011-2014)
  • Member, National Committee on University Resources, Capital Campaign Committee, UVA (2012-Present)
  • Adjunct Faculty Member, School of Law, Liberty University for Insurance Law (2006-Present)
  • Past Member, Steering Committee, Nationwide Insurance Virginia Political Participation Fund (PAC)

Awards

  • Preservationist of the Year, Lynchburg Historical Foundation (2012)
  • National Volunteer of the Year, Nationwide Insurance Civic Action Program (1992)
  • Campaigner of the Year, United Way of Central Virginia (1992)

Published Work

  • Contributing Author and Editor, Claims Resource Guides for Nationwide Insurance
  • Contributing Author, Legal Education in Virginia (University of Virginia Press)
  • Editor, An Historical Sketch of the University of Virginia (Logos Three Publishers)