Brian L. Sykes

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • B.A., Psychology, College of William and Mary
  • M.Ed., School Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • J.D., Washington & Lee University
Professional & Community Activities
  • American Bar Association
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys – Worker’s Compensation Division, At-Large Member
Notable Accomplishments
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine – “Top Lawyers” Workers’ Compensation (2016-present)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® – Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers (2018-present)

Brian is a partner with Vandeventer Black and concentrates his practice in Workers’ Compensation Defense. He works with insurance carriers and self-insured businesses defending workers’ compensation claims filed pursuant to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Brian also works with risk managers, human resource professionals and executives on preventative strategies.

Brian received his B.A. from The College of William & Mary, his M.Ed. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his J.D. from Washington & Lee University School of Law. Before attending law school, Brian was a School Counselor at Charlottesville High School.

He is a member of the American, Virginia and Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Associations (Workers’ Compensation and Labor & Employment Law Sections) and the Virginia State Bar.  Brian served as At-Large Member of the Board of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorney’s (VADA).  He also served on the Board of Directors for the Norfolk Ronald McDonald House, on the Corporate Advisory Board for the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD), as a member of the Virginia Bar Association’s Lifestyle Balance Committee, as the Co-Chair of the Eastern Virginia Pro Bono Legal Aid Hotline for the Young Lawyers’ Division of the Virginia Bar Association, and on the Board of the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association.

Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black Attorneys Make Major Showing in Best Lawyers in America
/ Firm News
When Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB) began operating as a merged firm in July 2022, the combined strength of the two prestigious law firms created a regional powerhouse. When announcing the firms’ intent to merge, Daniel Summerlin, WRVB President said, “[We] look forward to bringing our collective talent and a ...
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Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as 2022 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
/ Firm News
Attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2022. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. “We feel very proud of our legal team accomplishments for the high ...
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28 Vandeventer Black LLP lawyers named to 2022 Best Lawyers® list
/ Firm News
Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 lawyers were included in the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The Best Lawyers in America lists are divided by geographic region and practice areas. Attorneys are reviewed by their peers based on professional expertise and undergo an authentication process. “We would ...
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The Application of the Amorphous “Death Presumption” in Virginia Workers’ Compensation
Authored by Brett M. Saunders and Brian L. Sykes Many practitioners in the field of workers’ compensation are aware of the “death presumption.” The rule is often understood as this: when an employee is found dead at his place of work, there is a presumption that a compensable injury has occurred. However, this is ...
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