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John K. Burke, Jr.

Direct Dial: (804) 835-5929

Direct Fax: (804) 285-7799


John Burke focuses his practice on business and commercial litigation. He has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts throughout Virginia and other states. He represents large and small companies and individuals in all types of business and real estate disputes. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers In America© since 1999 in Commercial Litigation, and has also been repeatedly listed in the categories of Litigation - Real Estate and Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.

For seven consecutive years, beginning in 2013, John Burke has been named by The Best Lawyers In America© as the Richmond Lawyer of the Year in either Real Estate Litigation (three times) or Eminent Domain (four times). He was also named Richmond Lawyer of the Year for Eminent
Domain a fifth time for 2024.

A former president of the Richmond Bar Association, John takes pride in obtaining the best possible results for his clients in an economical manner.


Repeatedly recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation (1999-2023). He is also recognized in the categories of Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law and Litigation-Real Estate.

Named Best Lawyers' Richmond Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law "Lawyer of the Year" in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.

Named Best Lawyers' Richmond Litigation - Real Estate "Lawyer of the Year" in 2014, 1016 and 2018.

Recognized numerous times as one of America's Leading Lawyers for Litigation by Chambers USA.

Named numerous times in Virginia Business magazine's Legal Elite in Civil Litigation.

Named numerous times as a Virginia Super Lawyer in Business Litigation.

Achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Served as Law Clerk to Justice George M. Cochran of the Supreme Court of Virginia upon graduation from law school.



Representation of defendants in a major healthcare antitrust case in U.S. District Court in which plaintiffs capitulated during trial.

Obtained a declaratory judgment and a decree of specific performance on behalf of the purchaser enforcing a $39,000,000 real estate contract involving 1,898 acres in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Client was also awarded attorney's fees and costs of $364,000. The judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Successful representation of beneficiaries of trusts with assets exceeding $100,000,000 in litigation to remove and replace trustee.

In 2014 obtained sanctions award in state court against a plaintiff and his lawyer in the amount of $148,860 for instigating and pursuing litigation for the purpose of intimidating the defendants. The award was upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court of Virginia. A prominent appellate commentator described the Supreme Court's opinion as "required reading for anyone who sets foot inside a courtroom."

An eminent domain case representing owners of a 1400-acre tract of land near downtown Richmond which was damaged by the construction of a limited access highway which bisected the property. Obtained a settlement during trial for $950,000 plus valuable non-monetary consideration despite condemnor's position that landowner was entitled to only $246,000.

Obtained a jury verdict of $936,461, including interest, for landowners in an eminent domain case in which the condemnor's position was that the landowners should be paid $443,000.

Obtained a defense verdict and award of attorney's fees on behalf of client who was sued for alleged breach of contract to convey seven acres of valuable commercial property on an arterial thoroughfare in Richmond's prime commercial location.

Obtained a $454,681 real estate tax refund from a Virginia locality on behalf of the former owner of a major commercial development.

Obtained a verdict in excess of $500,000 after trial in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond on a "successor liability" claim against the purchaser of the assets of a corporation which owed plaintiffs deferred payments under a buy/sell agreement.

Successful representation of plaintiffs in a will contest case involving excess of $1,000,000.

Defense of a multi-million dollar breach of contract and fraud claim in federal court in North Carolina arising out of the sale of a large manufacturer.

Successful representation of defendant urologists in an antitrust case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia involving the practice of urology.

Federal trade secret litigation between two successful money managers.

Disputes with dealerships on behalf of a major automobile manufacturer.

Environmental cases in federal and state court.


Co-author of Valuation chapter of "Eminent Domain Law in Virginia", published by Virginia CLE in 2012 and 2017.

Co-author of "Valuation in Eminent Domain", presented at Conference of Local Government Attorneys Association of Virginia (Spring 2008)

Co-author of "Eminent Domain Practice Tips", presented at Conference of Local Government Attorneys Association of Virginia (Fall 1999)

Author of "Virginia Environmental Common Law" chapter in Virginia Environmental Law Handbook, published by Governmental Institutes, Inc.

Practice Areas

  • Business and Commercial Litigation

  • Eminent Domain and Real Estate Litigation

  • Environmental Litigation

  • Construction Litigation

  • Trusts and Estates Litigation


  • University of Virginia, J.D.

  • University of Virginia, B.A., with distinction

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Virginia

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virgina

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Bar and Legal Associations

  • Past President of the Richmond Bar Association

  • Virginia Bar Association, Former Chairman, Committee on Nominations to Virginia Commissions and Appellate Courts

  • Virginia State Bar

Commercial Litigation

Litigation-Real Estate

Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

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