Edward J. Powers

  • B.A., History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • B.A., Political Science/International Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • J.D., T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond
Jurisdiction Licensed
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
Professional & Community Activities
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Board of Directors (2011-14); Committee on Practice & Procedure, Chair (2011-15); Subcommittee On Maritime Liens & Mortgages, Chair (2001-11); Nominating Committee (2015-19); Officer (2020-22)
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • Virginia Maritime Association
  • Virginia Railroad Association
  • American Bar Association
Notable Accomplishments
  • International Who’s Who of Maritime Lawyers
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®: Admiralty and Maritime Law (2008-present)
  • Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year” for Admiralty and Maritime Law (2014, 2018-19, 2023)
  • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite”
  • Thompson Reuters, “Virginia Super Lawyers” (2010-present)
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers” – Aviation, Maritime and Transportation Law (2016-present); Personal Injury (2021-present)

Ed is a partner with Vandeventer Black.  He concentrates his practice in transportation law with a focus on the representation of ship owners, charterers, and their underwriters, including domestic and international insurance companies and P&I Clubs. Ed also has significant experience in railroad casualty litigation, having represented one of the largest Class I railroads in North America.

After receiving two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Ed received a Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law, where he was Associate Editor of the Law Review.  Upon graduation from law school, Ed spent a year as a law clerk for a United States District Judge in Norfolk, Virginia, before joining Vandeventer Black.

A seasoned litigator with experience in international arbitration and litigation, Ed has represented clients throughout the United States in courts and arbitration tribunals on a broad spectrum of matters, including maritime collisions, personal injury defense, cargo claims, maritime liens, and contract disputes.  He has participated in numerous casualty and port state control investigations ranging from pollution incidents to occupational safety issues.

Ed is licensed by the Bars of New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Ed is active in many professional organizations, including the Maritime Law Association of the United States, for which he served as a member of the Board of Directors, the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, the Virginia Maritime Association, and the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.  He also served as an associate editor for American Maritime Cases from 2000 to 2021.

Ed is a multiple recipient of Best Lawyers in America® “Norfolk Lawyer of the Year” for Admiralty and Maritime Law, and he is recognized in Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite” and the International Who’s Who of Maritime Lawyers.

U.S Court of Appeals victory for West’s Defence Member in defeating a contractual bunker supplier’s claim for payment – WRVB’s Powers and Paul acted in the case for Memebers
/ Firm News
From West of England – https://www.westpandi.com/  >> Owners, the Club’s Member, time chartered their vessel to Bostomar Bulk Shipping Pte Ltd. As is usual under the terms of a time charter party, charterers were responsible for supplying and paying for bunkers and the charter (which was subject to Singapore arbitration) ...
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WRVB Attorneys Named “Lawyer of the Year” for Roanoke and Norfolk
/ Firm News
When Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB) began operating as a merged firm in July 2022, it was a natural fit for two prestigious Virginia firms. From the beginning, Daniel Summerlin, WRVB President said, “Mutual respect, cooperation, community leadership, and an unwavering dedication to client service are deeply rooted traits our firms have ...
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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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Coronavirus and the Constitution
As the coronavirus wreaks havoc with the health and economy of the nation, some state governors have taken unprecedented action in a desperate effort to stem the spread of the disease.  Such extraordinary emergency measures have come in the form of “executive orders” closing businesses, seizing private property, restricting travel ...
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Coronavirus and the Law of Contracts
The international reaction to the COVID-19 virus (otherwise known as the “Coronavirus”) has been unprecedented, as nations around the globe rush to stem the spread of the disease.  Aside from serious public health issues, the virus will likely have a staggering economic impact on business in the United States.  Already, ...
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