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Essex County Courthouse and Historic Clerk's Office, Tappahannock, Virginia.

Clerk's Office built 1808. Courthouse built 1848


We have been helping businesses prosper for nine decades. Traditionally our clients have reflected the local economy and as a result we have long relationships with businesses in the banking, seafood, insurance, fisheries and agriculture sectors. Influenced by a changing economy and led by a new generation of lawyers, for the past two decades we have expanded our reach and now offer business law services as robust as most law firms in the country.


Although many of our clients still come from an eight-county area in eastern Virginia, we also represent major out-of-state business clients, ranging from New Hampshire to Texas. dealing with all aspects of business and corporate Law. We represent more than 600 businesses, ranging from small- and mid-size businesses to large corporations. Our clients include local business owners as well as national and international corporations.


Partner John C. Hodges leads our Business and Corporate Law group and can help your business meet any challenge. Nancyellen Keane is also a member of this team. Here are just a few ways we can help.

Getting started.

The birth of a new enterprise is an exciting time. Startups are often the result of innovation, ingenuity and hard work. The decisions you make during the formation of your company will have lasting effects, both on corporate health, tax structure, and on your protection from personal liability. It is imperative to consult with experienced business law attorneys who can help you structure your organization to take advantage of future growth opportunities while mitigating risk.


Our attorneys advise entrepreneurs on all aspects of business formation, including:

  • Entity selection

  • Methods to limit personal liability

  • Tax implications

  • Statutory and regulatory compliance

  • Articles of incorporation and bylaws

  • Negotiating and drafting partnership and shareholder agreements

  • Negotiating and drafting employment and vendor contracts

  • Negotiating and drafting noncompete agreements

  • Facilitating corporate real estate transactions

  • Facilitating the purchase and sale of business interests

  • Employment law issues

We'll have your back.

Once your business is underway, we are as close as the telephone or e-mail to help you with contracts, statutory and regulatory compliance, employment law, as well as most other aspects of business and corporate law. We also advise clients in the fields of e-commerce and Internet business law and counsel employers and employees during a wide variety of employment law issues.

Keeping things straight.

In the whirlwind of a corporate startup, many entrepreneurs neglect the formalities of business formation. As businesses grow, it is important to have formal agreements in place to govern business activities and manage future liability. At Dunton, Simmons & Dunton, we help established businesses organize and incorporate their businesses, draft internal and external contracts and protect the financial health and corporate goodwill of their organizations. We also make sure that the entities keep good company governance and abide to formality through preparation of annual meetings or consents in lieu of such meetings.

When things change.

We are with you from start to finish and for all the interesting terms in between. Our lawyers are experienced with all types of business contracts and transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, business sales, dissolution, real estate purchases, commercial leases, commercial contracts, non-compete agreements and more.

Avoiding problems.

We are able to assist you in your ongoing operations to ensure that you avoid problems. We are experienced and are able to advise about contract and employment law, regulatory requirements, protecting your valuable assets, and in marketing and advertising. Operate your business within the lines while maximizing your business opportunities.

From start to finish.

If it sounds as if we have been to the business show a few times, that's because we have. We can help your business every step of the way, just as we have been doing for 90 years. Call us today and find out why we are your indispensable business partner.


Call John or Nancyellen today.

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