Gentry Locke Promotes Five Attorneys to Partner Status

ROANOKE, VA (January 2, 2015) – The Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that attorneys Les Bowers, Ben Byrd, Christen Church, Pete Irot, and Justin Lugar have been promoted to Partner.

Les Bowers is a trial lawyer with a diverse litigation practice before federal courts, state courts and arbitration tribunals. Les focuses his practice on medical malpractice, personal injury, and products liability matters, but also regularly assists clients in complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal matters. Les is admitted to practice law in Virginia and North Carolina. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his undergraduate degree from UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce.

Ben Byrd is a trial lawyer representing injured people in medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury cases across Virginia. Ben represents people who have been injured or lost loved ones as a result of the careless actions of others. For the past three years, he has been noted by Super Lawyers as a Virginia Rising Star in the practice of Personal Injury General: Plaintiff, placing him among the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state. Ben graduated cum laude with his J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law and is a magna cum laude graduate of the Charleston of Charleston.

Christen Church is an attorney in Gentry Locke’s General Commercial practice group with a transactional and advisory practice focusing on mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, commercial financings, health care regulation and compliance, data privacy and security, as well as structuring both state and federal tax credit financings/transactions (historic rehabilitation, low-income housing and new markets tax credits). Christen was recently recognized as a Virginia Rising Star in Mergers & Acquisitions by Virginia Super Lawyers. She earned her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

Peter Irot is an attorney in Gentry Locke’s Insurance practice group, and has wide-ranging experience in handling personal injury, workers’ compensation, and commercial litigation matters. He represents both defendants and plaintiffs across Virginia and has handled cases involving negligence, tortious interference with business relations, fraud, contract disputes, liens, defamation, false imprisonment, and cybersquatting. Pete is licensed in both Texas and Virginia, and worked as a commercial litigator in Texas before moving to Roanoke. He received his J.D. with honors from The University of Texas School of Law and earned his undergraduate degree from Rice University.

Justin Lugar is a trial attorney in Gentry Locke’s Criminal and Government Investigations Practice Group where he recently defended a former company president in an eight-week jury trial in the Middle District of Georgia. Justin has significant experience representing both individuals and corporations in the following industries: food safety, government contracting, ITAR, aviation, energy, chemical, transportation, mining/minerals, tobacco, and health care. He also regularly assists clients in complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining Gentry Locke, Justin was an associate at WilmerHale in London, UK, where he focused on criminal investigations and international arbitration. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, earned his J.D. from Liberty University School of Law, and graduated with distinction from the University of London, LLM in Dispute and Conflict Resolution in 2009.

“This is a very important milestone that reflects these attorneys’ hard work and dedication to serving our firm’s clients,” notes Monica Monday, managing partner of the firm. “The entire team at Gentry Locke is proud of each of these highly skilled individuals on their well-deserved achievement.”

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