R. Peyton Mahaffey is the Chairman of the Board of McCandlish Lillard, having previously served as its President and Managing Partner from 2007 through 2021. Peyton has actively litigated business, corporate, commercial, and fiduciary matters on a continuing basis since 1980. He has extensive experience as a trial lawyer and lead counsel in state and federal cases, as well as arbitration and mediation. He has tried many jury and non-jury cases, written and argued many appellate briefs to the Virginia Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and been the principal attorney on many reported state and federal decisions.
Peyton has significant experience representing clients in shareholder, partner, and related business disputes. His clients have included business leaders, builders, contractors, electrical and mechanical engineering firms, architects, property managers and brokers, investments advisors, banks and medical practitioners, technology entrepreneurs, software developers, computer consultants, and real estate developers. Peyton has successfully represented local, regional and national businesses in major corporate and contract litigation; individuals, and other professionals and their practice groups in partnership disputes; and federal and state chartered banking institutions in lender liability, commercial, and other contract litigation. Peyton has litigated numerous substantial guardianship, conservatorship, and related fiduciary and estate cases. Many of Peyton’s cases have involved declaratory, injunctive or other emergency relief.
Peyton has successfully brought and defended fraud, defamation, business conspiracy, will contest, fiduciary duty, limited liability company disputes, partnership dissolutions, and tortious interference with contract claims, minority shareholder oppression actions, trademark, intellectual property and trade secret issues, will and estate litigation, and suits involving non-solicitation/non-competition agreements and employer/employee rights and liabilities.
Peyton’s many professional recognitions include selection in 2019 to The Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame by Virginia Lawyers Media (publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly), honoring attorneys on the basis of their career accomplishments, contributions to the development of law in Virginia, contributions to the bar and the Commonwealth, and efforts to improve the quality of justice in Virginia, and selection in 2016 as a “Leader in the Law” by Virginia Lawyer’s Media. Peyton has been named to Virginia Business magazine’s “Legal Elite” every year since its inception in 2000, and enjoys an AV-Preeminent review rating in Martindale-Hubbell (recognition for earning the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards). Other recognitions include “Top Lawyers” and “Washington’s Best Legal Minds” in Washingtonian magazine; “Super Lawyers” in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area and “Top Attorneys in Business Litigation” – Super Lawyers corporate counsel editions; “Top Attorneys” in the Washington, D.C. area, “Best Lawyers in America”, and “America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 1%” by American Registry; “Top Attorneys” by Richmond magazine; and being a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent (1%) by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Order of Justitia, 100 or more jury and/or bench trials and/or arbitrations to verdict and/or decision. Peyton has also been named Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation; Senior Fellow (2007-21) of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society comprised of less than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the lawyers in the United States; Fellow of the Fairfax Bar Foundation; and Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation, an honor conferred on Virginia lawyers of integrity and character who are outstanding in their profession and in their communities.
In January 2016, Peyton was elected to and served a 3-year term on The Virginia Bar Association’s Board of Governors.
Service to the Bar includes membership in the Virginia Bar Association (elected to a 3 year term on the Board of Governors in January 2016; past member of its Civil Litigation Council); the Fairfax Bar Association; the Virginia State Bar (Past Member, Board of Governors, Young Lawyers Conference; Fifth District Disciplinary Committee); The Northern Virginia Young Lawyers Association (Past President); The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, The Litigation Counsel of America.
Peyton is also an avid golfer, member of International Country Club in Fairfax, and resides in Oak Hill, Virginia.