Fairfax and Leesburg, VA – Nine lawyers from northern Virginia’s McCandlish Lillard law firm have been recognized by Virginia SuperLawyersmagazine as being among Virginia’s top attorneys in 2015. SuperLawyers determines who is to be included as a “SuperLawyer” by surveying other attorneys practicing in the Commonwealth. Most of the firm’s attorneys named as a result of this year’s survey have been honored previously.

Gary W. Brown, a Senior Counsel and past Chairman of the Board of the firm, resident in the Fairfax office, was named among the best in the category of Medical Malpractice: Defense.  A member of the firm’s Litigation Group, his areas of concentration include medical malpractice, legal malpractice, product liability and employment discrimination. He is an experienced arbitrator and mediator. Mr. Brown is a former adjunct professor at both the Georgetown University Law Center and Medical Center and a past President of the District of Columbia Defense Lawyers Association, which chose him as Lawyer of the Year in 1996. Also, Mr. Brown was named recently as one of the Best Lawyers in America.

Alan B. Croft, another Senior Counsel, resident in the Leesburg office, was named again this year among the best lawyers, in the area of Business Litigation.  Mr. Croft has actively litigated for over 40 years, having first begun his legal career as a criminal prosecutor for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Although his practice has focused primarily on complex commercial, insurance coverage, complex construction and personal injury litigation, he continues to represent both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of other matters.  Mr. Croft has served as lead counsel in more than 100 trials in state and federal courts throughout the United States, as well as hearings before arbitral tribunals.  In addition to his years as a trial attorney, he also draws upon his experience as a patent attorney and as the president of a real estate development firm, which has benefitted him in handling complex technical and commercial issues.  He received a B.S.E.E. degree from Washington University in 1966 and a J.D. degree from American University in 1970, and was first admitted to practice law in Virginia in 1971.

John W. Farrell, a Principal of the firm, resident in the Fairfax office, was named among the best in the field of Land Use/Zoning Law. John has over 35 years of experience before governing bodies, planning commissions, boards of zoning appeals and circuit courts, representing landowners, developers, local governments, and environmental organizations in land use and environmental controversies.  That representation has included one of the largest rezonings ever filed in Northern Virginia, dozens of plaintiffs in the Fairfax County C & I downzoning, the Loudoun downzoning, and the Loudoun County groundwater litigation. He regularly lectures on land use law for the Virginia Law Foundation and is the co-author of “Planning and Zoning,” the comprehensive monograph on land use law in Virginia. He is the past chairman of the Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and has also served on the State Legislative Committee of the Home Builders Association of Virginia. He is admitted to practice in Virginia and Massachusetts.

Derek E. Karchner, an Associate in the firm, resident primarily in Fairfax, was recognized as a Rising Star in the category of Real Estate/Corporate Law. Derek is a business attorney who counsels clients on business, real estate, and related litigation matters.  He has represented clients on a broad range of civil matters, including (among others) business formation and governance, contract drafting and negotiation, employment matters, trademark and copyright matters, government contracting, real estate transactions, commercial leasing, and franchising. He is active with NAIOP Northern Virginia on its Government Relations Committee, serves as General Counsel to the Dulles Area Transportation Association, and is a member of The Future Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia. A 2011 graduate of The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and a 2000 graduate of the University of Richmond, Derek is admitted to practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia.  Prior to joining the firm, Derek spent nine years in public relations, first on Capitol Hill as a press aide and then with a private public relations firm.

Laura Golden Liff, an Associate in the firm, resident primarily in Fairfax, was recognized as a Rising Star in the category of Business Litigation. Laura is a civil litigator, who focuses her practice in the areas of commercial and business litigation, fiduciary litigation, and domestic relations litigation. She has successfully represented clients ranging from multi-million dollar companies to individuals, from case inception through trial, in state and federal courts in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Laura additionally has significant appellate experience before the Supreme Court of Virginia, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the Virginia Court of Appeals. Laura is a leader in several Virginia bar and community associations, and is a currently serving on  the Executive Committee for the Virginia Bar Association, Young Lawyer’s Division; the Board of Directors for the Northern Virginia Women Attorney’s Association; and the Leadership Council for the Future Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia. Laura received her B.A. from the College of William and Mary and her J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she was an Associate Editor of the Catholic University Law Review.

R. Peyton Mahaffey is President and a principal of the firm, resident primarily in Fairfax, and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. This year he was selected as a SuperLawyer in the field of Business Litigation.  He has actively litigated business, corporate and commercial matters on a continuing basis since 1980, with broad experience as a trial lawyer and lead counsel in State, Federal and arbitration cases. He has tried numerous jury and non-jury cases, written and argued appellate briefs to the Virginia Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and been the principal attorney on a number of reported state and federal decisions. Mr. Mahaffey has also appeared several times previously in “Super Lawyers” in the Commonwealth of Virginia and in the Washington, D.C. area; “Top Lawyers” by Washingtonian Magazine; “Top Attorneys in Business Litigation–Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel”; “Top Attorneys” in Virginia, by Richmond Magazine; “Top Attorneys” in Virginia by D.C. Magazine; “Legal Elite” in Virginia Business magazine; and “Best Lawyers in America.” He has been named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America; a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation; and to the Fellows Advisory Board of the Fairfax Law Foundation. Mr. Mahaffey graduated with High Distinction from the University of Virginia in 1977, and from its Law School in 1980. He is admitted to practice before all State and Federal courts in Virginia, as well as the United States Supreme Court.

Stephen C. Price, a Principal with the firm, resident in Leesburg, was selected in the category of Land & Trust Litigation. Steve’s practice focuses on business litigation and transactions, with an emphasis on real property, condemnation, unfair competition, business tort, contractual and conservation easement matters.  He also serves as a Commissioner in Chancery for the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, and as General Counsel to the Land Trust of Virginia & to HealthWorks for Northern Virginia (formerly known as Loudoun Community Health Center), and has been a substitute Judge for the General District Courts of Loudoun, Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties, as well as President of the Loudoun County Bar Association and several community organizations.  Steve has been recognized several times as an outstanding attorney, including prior recognition in Virginia Business magazine’s “Legal Elite.” He earned a B.A. with honors, from Virginia Military Institute, a J.D. from the University of Virginia, and an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College).

Douglas J. Sandersona Principal with the firm, resident primarily in Fairfax, was recognized among the best in the area of Family Law/Real Estate. Mr. Sanderson counsels and represents people who need legal assistance with family law matters including pre-nuptial agreements, property and separation agreements, divorces, child custody and visitation, equitable distribution and support, and is trained also in mediation and in collaborative divorce. He also maintains a substantial practice in business transactions and commercial real estate law. Mr. Sanderson has been recognized as a “SuperLawyer” and been among Virginia Business magazine’s “Legal Elite” several times previously.  He served as President of Legal Services of Northern Virginia from 1993 to 1996, and has served as pro bono legal counsel to the Arts Council of Fairfax County, Inc. since 1991.

Benjamin J. Trichilo, a Senior Counsel, resident in the Fairfax office, was recognized among the best in the area of General Litigation.  Mr. Trichilo has more than 39 years of experience handling personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. He has been AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell for over 25 years, and has been recognized numerous times by his peers, in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. He is fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and a member of the Diversity Law Institute and Trial Law Institute.

A photograph of these attorneys is attached.  McCandlish & Lillard, P.C. has 23 active attorneys, with offices in Fairfax and Leesburg.  The law firm has been meeting the legal needs of businesses and individuals in Northern Virginia and throughout the Commonwealth for more than a century.  For more information regarding McCandlish & Lillard, P.C., call the firm at 703-273-2288 or visit our website at