Law Firm Attorneys

Sands Anderson PC has a reputation for unsurpassed excellence in defending lawyers in civil litigation and before the Bar and other regulatory bodies.  In addition, with our better than 140 years of practice, we have developed a rich and extensive understanding of the management, financial and human resources challenges and needs of law firms and their equity and non-equity partners. With 14 attorneys working in this area, we have one of the region's largest lawyer and law firm-focused practices. 

Firm Formation, Governance and Corporate Matters

Sands Anderson's Business Team can help law firms that are growing, or whose needs may be changing due to partnership or financial reasons, address their needs in forming, governing and operating their business. 

Matters in which we regularly assist our law firm clients include: 

  • agreements between partners or owners
  • compensation policies and planning
  • contracts with vendors
  • employment contracts, handbooks and policies
  • entity selection and formation
  • engagement letters and client contracts
  • ethics advice and training
  • file management and conflict systems
  • intellectual property protection
  • law firm management
  • leasing or acquiring the law office
  • licensing or franchising the law practice
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • office sharing agreements
  • personal legal representation selection advice
  • professional liability policies and coverage issues
  • retirement and succession issues 

Defense of Claims Against Lawyers and Law Firms

Sands Anderson has defended claims against lawyers and provided coverage analysis for lawyers' professional liability policies for decades. We regularly represent their interests and those of their liability insurers, including successfully defending malpractice claims in both state and federal courts. Our attorneys have a reputation for an aggressive, objective defense and for working hard to thoroughly evaluate the best approaches for dispute resolution to help each client achieve its goals creatively, quickly and cost-effectively. Our representation has included, in addition to malpractice suits,  racketeering and conspiracy suits, sanctions proceedings, bar complaints, and claims against officers and directors in negligence actions.

Since the mid-1980s, claims against lawyers have increased to such frequency and magnitude that the defense of lawyers in civil litigation constitutes a significant part of the practice of our firm's Business & Professional Liability Litigation Team. Whether through alternative dispute resolution or in federal or state court, our legal malpractice defense team stands ready to defend claims against lawyers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Members of our defense team can demonstrate:

Success. For example, despite the inability to use depositions and the Virginia Supreme Court's admonition to trial judges "not to take the case from the jury," over sixty percent of the legal malpractice cases assigned to us over the past five years were resolved in favor of Sands Anderson's clients on successful pre-trial motions. Of those cases that were appealed, the dismissals were upheld in every instance.

Leadership. Through both law review articles and actual trial practice, Sands Anderson's attorneys actively developed the "economic loss rule" by which claims against attorneys must be brought in contract. The difference? Elimination of specious tort claims and requests for ever increasing punitive damage awards.

Experience. The lawyers handling insurance coverage issues and defense claims have broad experience. A former President of the Virginia Bar Association, Douglas P. Rucker, Jr. has been defending lawyers for close to twenty years. Our attorneys routinely speak and write on topics concerning the handling of legal malpractice claims, legal ethics, lawyer discipline and insurance coverage issues. Jeffrey H. Geiger has written in the field for many years, authoring a book chapter on professional liability insurance issues in Virginia as well as articles in state journals and the Defense Research Institute's For the Defense. 

Defense of Ethics Charges

Members of our law firm defense team also regularly represent attorneys in bar complaints, disbarment complaints initiated by courts and disqualification motions, as well as malpractice suits charging ethical violations. 

At Sands Anderson, our knowledge and understanding of the law, experience in defending claims against lawyers, demonstrated skill, commitment to excellence, case management and teamwork result in prompt settlement of liability cases, aggressive litigation of disputed matters and creative solutions to complex problems.

Whether your claim is simple or complex, or if you simply need the business advice of fellow attorneys, our lawyers have extensive background and first-hand experience to review and handle the legal and practice issues involved.  We welcome inquiries and would be pleased to describe cases or provide references.

Learn How Our Team of Law Firm Attorneys Work for You

Our Law Firm Attorneys counsel our clients to assess their current needs and anticipate future obstacles and opportunities. Contact us today through our online form to learn more about what our Law Firm Attorneys can do for you.

Law Firms attorneys include: