Each month we spotlight our talented colleagues and learn a little more about their professional journey and how they make our firm special. This month we are spotlighting Garth Wainman as well as celebrating his most recent and well-deserved award, being voted Lawyer of the Year in the Washington, DC metropolitan region for Real Estate Litigation. Each year practicing lawyers in the U.S. are selected by their peers for inclusion in the edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. The Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year” designation is awarded to only one lawyer in the DC Metro area with the highest average of votes in their particular practice and region. Without a doubt, this is indicative of Garth’s stellar reputation and impeccable work ethic in the legal field.
Garth’s roots as a lawyer have always been in real estate and commercial litigation since joining the Hazel, Beckhorn, and Hanes firm in the 1980s. That firm merged and became Hazel and Thomas and became a leader in Northern Virginia’s commercial litigation in both Virginia and federal courts.
Garth joined Walsh Colucci and Lubeley with long-time friend and partner John Foote in 1999 and brought their respective litigation and land use experience to the firm. Upon joining the firm, Garth chaired the Litigation group and helped build it into a strong and collaborative team of litigators that support the firm’s long list of established developers, builders, and contractors. While being recognized by Best Lawyers for many years as a top lawyer in both real estate matters and commercial litigation—in 2023 Garth was recognized as the top lawyer in the Washington Metro area in Commercial Real Estate Litigation. He believes this honor is a testament to being surrounded by talented and hard-working lawyers that pride themselves on staying current on all things real estate and business law and once a case heads to trial– simply out-strategizing and outworking our opponents.
If asked what makes a great litigator, Garth would say it starts with asking your client the hard questions up front and then giving them the unvarnished truth about the strength of their claims and defenses. Lawyers get their clients in trouble when they do not give them an honest up-front assessment of the weaknesses in the client’s case and the costs associated with settlement versus trial. Our litigation group firm has a very successful track record of defending our builder/developer clients against overly inflated multi-million dollar damage claims. In recent multi-million dollar suits in both state and federal courts, our litigation team has gotten either complete defense verdicts or minimal damage awards that were below what our client’s offered in settlement prior to litigation.
Garth constantly reminds his litigation group that being in a courtroom is the “last” place our business clients want to be so he stresses exhausting all creative settlement efforts to find common ground but if the other side leaves you no choice—make them regret it.