James C. Cosby

Jim practices extensively in the area of commercial litigation and arbitration, and regularly represents regional, national and international businesses, and individual clients in professional liability matters, in the areas of financial services, commercial real estate, construction and development, distribution, and professional service businesses. He has tried numerous cases involving contractual, intra-corporate and partnership issues, business torts, director and officer liability, securities, and creditors’ rights claims. 

Jim has also served as outside counsel to national and regional banks, brokerage and wealth management firms and investment advisory companies, in the areas of litigation, regulatory and enforcement matters, and employment.

Jim has successfully handled disputes at each level of state and federal court in Virginia, as well as a number of neighboring jurisdictions. Before entering practice, he completed a judicial clerkship to the Hon. Charles S. Russell of the Supreme Court of Virginia. His practice has included matters before the appellate courts, having represented the prevailing party in his last five (5) arguments before the Supreme Court of Virginia. He also has extensive experience in arbitration and mediation before a variety of sponsoring and self-regulatory organizations.

In three recent cases, he was engaged to replace prior counsel where the client had become concerned with strategy, interim results or cost.  Two of these cases concluded with outright defense wins for our client.  The third case resulted with the dismissal of a majority of claims and the settlement of the remainder.

Jim also regularly advises clients in non-competition issues, including trade and sales practices, recruiting and employment. Such areas include covenants not to compete, non-solicitation, non-disclosure, trade secret, “garden leave,” and other employment agreements and restrictive covenants, “raiding” and “inevitable disclosure” claims, common-law fiduciary issues, and trade secret and trademark matters.

Representative Matters:


  • Representation of minority shareholder in business tort and related claims in cases brought among owners and management of auto dealership holding company.
  • Represented wealth management firm in private arbitrations involving structured and alternative products.
  • Advised several investment firms on regulatory and compliance matters arising from employment, succession, and merger activities.
  • Completed successful representation of U.S. manufacturer of electronic components, on claims in federal court to enforce payment terms and contractual exclusivity provisions.  In litigation lasting two years, and where the Defendants were represented by three law firms, our client prevailed in virtually every ruling, including its motion to dismiss counterclaims seeking over $20 Million in damages, as well as Defendants’ motions seeking summary judgment and judgment on the pleadings and on all discovery rulings.  Successful rulings enabled our client to demonstrate how Defendants had attempted to use new entities and transactions to transfer assets and cash to avoid pending claims, and case concluded at mediation thereafter, with payment in full of all unpaid invoices and preserving master agreements.


  • Represented a major retailer and operator of Toys “R” Us locations throughout Asia as local counsel, in the Chapter 11 and related cases brought by Toys “R” Us and its subsidiaries in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.


  • Representing automation systems and equipment manufacturer in commercial litigation in US District Court, concerning international sales and supplier contracts for electrical components.
  • Prevailed in fiduciary litigation in Virginia state courts, defending corporate officers and directors in claims brought on behalf of shareholder and shareholder trusts.
  • Represented California based investment firm in claims brought by professional athletes concerning investment claims arising from product issuer.
  • Defended accounting firm in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, MD against claims arising under ERISA, obtaining dismissal of all counts.


  • Represented national wealth management and investment firms in defending private litigation and arbitrations, including cases pending in California, Georgia, Maryland, and New York.
  • Representing international manufacturer and distributor of electric components in litigation in U.S. District Court.
  • Represented NY-based national investment firm in litigation pending in U.S. District Court and arbitration.
  • Represented NYSE-listed healthcare REIT in connection with HDL Bankruptcy pending in the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Defended licensed professionals in enforcement proceedings brought by FINRA, as well as state securities regulators.
  • Regularly advised financial services firms on employment, recruiting and retention matters.
  • Represented boutique M&A firm on transaction-related litigation.
  • Represented UK construction firm in U.S. matters concerning joint venture with international computer manufacturer.


  • Obtained dismissal of two cases asserting securities and other claims arising from alternative investments.
  • Concluded defense of brokerage firm in REIT litigation with successful mediation in NYC.
  • Represented financial services firms and registered professionals in enforcement matters before FINRA and Commonwealth of Virginia, State Corporation Commission.
  • Representation of managing partner in ongoing litigation in U.S. District Court.
  • Representation of real estate fund in workouts and compliance matters.
  • Local counsel to NYSE listed creditor in Bankruptcy proceedings.


  • Replacing prior counsel, represented national wealth management firm against claims asserted by purchasers of deferred variable annuities, prevailing on a motion to dismiss all claims.
  • As replacement counsel completed representation of majority owners of a regional real estate development firm against derivative and business tort claims asserted by minority member in extended state court litigation.  Over the course of numerous hearings, our client prevailed on all rulings.
  • Defended national wealth management firm against claims asserted by the former financial advisor, obtaining dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented minority owner of entertainment venues, asserting derivative claims and other strategies to obtain a buyout of interests at a significant premium.
  • Defended highway contractor against claims for liquidated damages by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Completed representation of regional developer with regards to title issues presented by fuel wholesaler.
  • Concluded employment litigation in state court involving claims by a Fortune 100 packaging company against key design professional.
  • Continued to represent national brokerage firm against claims by purchasers of non-traded REIT and Tenant In Common investments throughout the mid-Atlantic.
  • Defense judgment for e-commerce consulting firm against claims for breach of warranty by national office products retailer.


  • Served as co-counsel to BP North America in U. S. District Court, in a case involving breach of gasoline supply contracts and other violations, proceeding through hearings on motions and mediation, resulting in the resolution of all claims.
  • Represented a former executive in claims for an unpaid performance bonus against an NYSE listed defense contractor.  Following a three (3) day jury trial, client prevailed on all claims, including pre-judgment interest.
  • Represented Officers and Directors of regional engineering firm in state court, obtaining dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented multinational bank and wealth management firm in arbitration proceedings in Georgia and Florida, prevailing on pre-trial motions and resolving remaining claims through mediation.
  • Represented national brokerage firm against securities claims asserted in numerous proceedings in Baltimore, MD, prevailing on state court motions to compel arbitration, and settling remaining claims in arbitration.
  • Represented regional hotel developer in delay and other claims related to the completion of a nationally branded hotel.
  • Represented NYSE-listed REIT in bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware.
  • Represented government contractor in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, on business tort and related claims.
  • Represented regional broker-dealer in claims against former registered representative.


  • Prevailed in litigation on behalf of regional developer at multi-day trial, obtaining specific performance of development agreement and prevailing on all issues.
  • Represented financial advisory firm against claims arising under state and federal law, obtaining settlement for less than 2% of cost basis of assets at issue.
  • Continued representation of regional developer and its officers in state court against derivative claims sounding in tort and corporate violations, obtaining dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented financial consulting firm in U. S. District Court, District of Minnesota, against indemnity and contribution claims arising from SEC Enforcement Action against its former client, obtaining dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented independent financial advisory firm against securities and common law claims, as substitute trial counsel. Obtained dismissal of all claims upon completion of plaintiffs case in chief.
  • Represented financial consultants in FINRA Regulatory proceedings in Atlanta, Georgia, initiated by customer complaints and arbitration claims. Representation concluded with the complete dismissal of the investigation.


  • Represented prevailing party in extended litigation concerning landmark estate and resulting judicial sale. Continued representation in appeals before the Supreme Court of Virginia, prevailing in each appeal. Presented argument for additional intervening party, which also prevailed.
  • Defended national investment firm and other insureds against claims from the sale of non-traded REIT, tenant-in-common, and debenture securities, resulting in settlement for less than 2% of cost basis.
  • Represented National Wealth Management firm in FINRA arbitration against customer claims involving closed-end funds and master limited partnerships. Prevailed on all claims by successfully arguing motions to dismiss all claims at the close of the claimant’s evidence.
  • Represented majority owner of regional residential developer, defeating derivative and other claims in state court.
  • Represented corporation and its president in enforcement proceeding brought by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, alleging numerous securities violations. Following a week-long trial, clients prevailed on all charges, with findings upheld after review by the full Commission.
  • Represented Fortune 100 Bank in separate cases involving employment and business tort claims in U. S. District Court.
  • Represented CFP® Professional in Regulatory Investigation brought by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. in Washington, D.C. Representation concluded with the complete dismissal of the investigation.
  • Represented investment advisory firm in numerous arbitrations arising from sale of non-traded REIT interests.


  • Represented National Wealth Management Firm against customer claims asserting securities violations and fiduciary claims, obtaining settlement or prevailing on the merits in each.
  • Prevailed in state court on behalf of NYSE- listed propane distributor on public contract claims against county government.
  • Represented co-owner of real estate holding company, defeating claims seeking corporate dissolution, and successfully prosecuting client’s statutory right to acquire protesting party’s interest.  Prevailed against attempts to dismiss the mandatory buy-out, obtained settlement, and prevailed in state court on claims for breach of settlement provisions.


  • Defended National Brokerage and Wealth Management firm in South Carolina state court, and in arbitration, obtaining dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented business owners in claims arising from the marketing and sale of illegal tax avoidance strategies utilizing foreign currency trading, obtaining full reimbursement in excess of $1 Million.
  • Defended regional beverage distributor against claims asserted by former executive in excess of $3 Million, prevailing in pre-trial rulings leading to settlement of claims and redemption of stock.
  • Represented national office products distributor in successful appeal and reversal of a prior decertification as a Virginia Women or Minority-Owned business by Va. Dept. of Minority Enterprise.
  • Represented Fortune 50 Banking and Financial Services corporation in the hiring of senior investment management personnel.
  • Prevailed on behalf of Fortune 50 Bank and senior managers against claims in U.S. District Court alleging breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation, conversion and conspiracy, obtaining dismissal of all counts following evidentiary hearings.


  • Acted as local counsel to global wealth management firm in SCC Enforcement Action, resulting in appropriate settlement following extended negotiations and discovery.
  • Represented developer and franchisee of national branded hotels in major termination claims by general contractor and subcontractors.
  • Represented regional beverage distributor in termination of major vendor contract providing inventory management systems, obtained judgment against vendor in full amount of all claims.
  • Obtained judicial dissolution of residential real estate brokerage, including wind-down of operating entity and branches, and redemption of related LLC interests.
  • Represented national brokerage firm against claims sounding in tort, mismanagement and securities fraud, seeking damages of over $1.5M, and obtaining settlement after extended mediation for approximately 25% of direct investment losses only.
  • Retained to counsel national financial services firm in hiring of various registered and management personnel in markets in the mid-atlantic region.
  • Retained to counsel national financial services firm in hiring of various registered and management personnel in markets in the mid-Atlantic region.
  • Represented regional beverage distributor in termination of major vendor contract providing inventory management systems, obtained judgment against vendor in full amount of all claims.
  • Represented developer and franchisee of national branded hotels in major termination claims by general contractor and subcontractors.
    Acted as local counsel to global wealth management firm in SCC.