Business Litigation

Results matter to us.

Gentry Locke’s Business Litigation Group approaches every business dispute with the goal of achieving an outstanding result. We work with focus, experience, and intensity for the best possible resolution of a business dispute, with or without litigation.

We want to win. There are winners and losers in litigation. We passionately want to win. For us, legal and factual case evaluation occurs early and often. From beginning to end, our vision is strategic and vigilant. Disciplined planning is critical, but agility is necessary as well. As developments occur, we adapt—always looking for innovative yet realistic paths to achieve success for our clients. Our goal is to seize opportunities and avoid unnecessary dangers.

We provide major horsepower. Our lawyers and clients know that they are part of a team, and they always have access to the best answer we have to give–even to the hardest questions and problems. From senior partner to youngest associate, we are accessible, engaged, efficient, and driven to succeed.

We are industry insiders. We have extensive experience in specific industries. Simply put, we know our clients’ businesses, so they don’t have to spend time educating us. We can dive in quickly and move you forward faster. This acquired industry knowledge gives us a tremendous advantage—and we use it!

We are trial lawyers at heart. There is a big difference between “litigators” and “trial lawyers.” We are just as comfortable before a jury as we are with motions, pleadings, and briefs. We like to try cases, and our adversaries know this. The fact that we are willing to try cases can give us a crucial edge in settlement negotiations.

It’s all about our clients. Our clients are part of the team. We are proud that many of our clients have been clients for years. We are also pleased that so many of our colleagues in the legal profession refer high-stakes cases to us for their clients.

Our areas of focus include:

  • Contract disputes, including UCC matters
  • Construction
  • Mineral rights and mining operations
  • Real estate, development, and condemnation matters
  • Governmental disputes
  • Corporate governance, shareholder disputes, and director and officer liability issues
  • Business torts
  • Banking and lender liability claims
  • Trusts and estates

We encourage you to review our Business Litigation attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your company’s legal needs.

Representative Matters

Gentry Locke punches above its weight class. We get the call when sophisticated clients face significant risk at the trial and on appeal.

  • Eramo v. Rolling Stone
    • Gentry Locke got the call two months before a defamation case against Rolling Stone was set for trial in the Western District of Virginia – Charlottesville. Case involved claims against the magazine and its reporter for running an article regarding UVA’s handling of sexual assault incidents. Rolling Stone needed experienced trial lawyers to mount best defense. It was UVA’s home turf and a tough case for the defense.
    • The three-and-a-half-week trial resulted in a far more favorable verdict for the defense than expected—even the Judge said so—and the case ultimately settled after post-trial motions were filed.
  • US ex rel. Thomas v. Duke University
    • Represented whistleblower bringing claims against Duke University in one of the largest grant-research fraud cases.
    • Gentry Locke attorneys took the case from initial investigation, to filing the Complaint, litigating many of the issues, and ultimately obtaining the largest False Claims Act recovery for research grant fraud in history.
    • Gentry Locke faced off against much bigger firms and won a major settlement.
    • The case settled for $112.5 million, the largest False Claim Act recovery for research grant fraud in history.
  • Richard M. Rashid, et al. v. Georgette R. George, et al
    • In a complex dispute involving numerous parties and multiple court proceedings, defended a group of closely-held businesses, its management, and its owners against claims of oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contract, conspiracy, and employment discrimination.
    • Obtained a favorable settlement in scorched earth litigation battle…
  • Drummond v. Norfolk Southern
    • Gentry Locke served as local counsel with Alabama attorneys to help Drummond Coal Company secure a significant win on its breach of contract claim.
    • Drummond Coal Company had a coal shipping contract with Norfolk Southern, through which it had to pay significant “shortfall” fees if it did not ship enough coal. Drummond filed suit for recovery under the theory that Norfolk Southern had wrongfully taken actions that prevented Drummond from meeting its shipment totals and thus exposing it to shortfall fees.
    • After a six-day trial, the jury found that Norfolk Southern had actively worked to prevent Drummond from using the negotiated shipping rates. The jury also found this conduct was a material breach of contract that began barely six months into the contract’s 10-year term.
    • Drummond prevailed in obtaining judgement that it did not owe over $35 million in shortfall fees.

IP & Technology Litigation

Attorneys at Gentry Locke litigate and provide advice about disputes involving the protection and enforcement of rights in patents, trademarks, copyrights, confidential information and trade secrets, technology, covenants not to compete, and other intellectual property.

Our lawyers have significant experience in prosecuting and defending:

  • Copyright
  • Trademark and patent infringement cases
  • Unfair competition actions
  • Internet and technology disputes (including those involving software and computer technology)
  • Franchise disputes
  • False advertising claims

We are well-versed in federal and state court procedural issues, including obtaining and defending against temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions that often are sought in intellectual property actions.


The antitrust group at Gentry Locke is dedicated to helping our clients achieve their business objectives in a competitive and litigious environment. The group is composed of skilled commercial litigators familiar with state and federal antitrust law. We offer our clients a variety of services, including:

  • Antitrust business counseling
  • Civil antitrust litigation
  • Government investigations
  • Regulatory advice
  • Electronic discovery and electronic document retention and production efforts

Commercial Torts

Lawyers at Gentry Locke Attorneys have significant experience both prosecuting and defending commercial tort claims. In today’s competitive business environment, companies and individuals can easily find themselves the victim of tortious business practices or the target of a lawsuit. Our attorneys have the skill and experience to discreetly investigate and effectively handle such claims.

The legal services provided by our Commercial Tort attorneys address the following:

  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Common Law Conspiracy
  • Statutory Business Conspiracy
  • Conversion
  • Fraud
  • Tortious Interference with Contract
  • Tortious Interference with Business Expectancy
  • Unjust Enrichment

Securities Litigation

The experienced litigators at Gentry Locke have represented both claimants and customers in claims of securities fraud and related issues. We are familiar with the unique aspects of these cases that are almost always litigated before an arbitration panel under the rules applicable to the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).

Our experience enables us to assist clients with matters such as:

  • Contests for corporate control—litigation involving proxy contests, tender offers and mergers and derivative litigation
  • Derivative actions alleging breach of fiduciary duty and related torts—suits in federal and state courts asserting violations of the duty of loyalty and care by directors and officers
  • Defense of actions for securities fraud and misrepresentation— short selling violations by directors, officers and other insiders

Shareholder Disputes

Shareholder, member, or partner disputes can disrupt businesses and place assets at risk. Gentry Locke attorneys have worked with both owners and companies to find advantageous solutions to disagreements and problems. Evaluation, planning, and proper action assist us in avoiding litigation where possible, and in executing litigation when necessary.

Our firm handles corporate shareholder, LLC member, and partnership disputes such as:

  • Breach of contract (Shareholder, Membership or Partner Agreements, Buy/Sell Agreements, etc.)
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Corporate and LLC deadlock disputes
  • LLC management disputes
  • Shareholder or member buyouts and division of assets and liabilities
  • Business dissolution

NASD rules

Real Estate & Land Use

The Real Estate practice group at Gentry Locke has a well-deserved reputation for successfully helping clients achieve strategic and financial objectives, and completing their real estate transactions on time and on budget.

Our experienced team focuses on creating better, quicker solutions to the challenges present in every land transaction. As a result, we enjoy the continued loyalty of buyers, sellers, developers, investors, landlords, and tenants we have the privilege to serve.

We have earned the respect of local government and elected officials in Roanoke, Botetourt, Salem, Blacksburg, Bristol, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, Waynesboro, Winchester, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Lexington, and all counties and towns in between. These relationships create opportunities to have meaningful discussions with the key decision-makers involved in the approval process for our clients’ land use projects.

The real estate lawyers at Gentry Locke have been principally involved in the purchase, sale or development of some of the most significant real estate projects in western Virginia, including the:

  • Acquisition of multiple parcels comprising the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke
  • Successful approval of more than 250 wireless telecommunication facilities in over 20 municipalities
  • Purchase and redevelopment of the largest private marina at Smith Mountain Lake
  • Rezoning or permitting of numerous commercial and planned residential developments
  • Closing of historic tax credit financing projects for some of the region’s most important historic structures

Real Estate Litigation

Real estate disputes can slow or shut down a project.

That means lost time, money, and opportunities. Whether through negotiation, litigation, mediation, or arbitration, Gentry Locke’s experienced team of real estate litigators creates quick, responsible, and effective solutions to the challenges present in every real estate dispute.

Our real estate lawyers handle a wide range of real estate disputes, including:

We encourage you to review our Real Estate Practice Group attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your company’s legal needs.

Have questions? Contact us.