Vandeventer Black and Woods Rogers to Merge, Forming Virginia-Based Powerhouse Law Firm

W. Thomas Chappell

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • B.A. (magna cum laude), College of William & Mary (Government, Economics), 2011
  • J.D.  (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif), University of Richmond School of Law, 2014
Judicial Clerkship
  • Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn, Supreme Court of Virginia, 2014-16
Professional & Community Activities
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Chesapeake Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Community Association Institute, Southeastern Virginia Chapter
  • Virginia Community Association Institute Legislative Action Committee
  • James Kent American Inn of Court
Notable Accomplishments
  • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite-Young Lawyers” (2019-present)
  • Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly, “Up & Coming Lawyer” (2019)
  • Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch -Appellate Practice (2021-present)
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyer,” Appellate Law (2022-present)

Thomas helps his clients accomplish their goals and solve problems.  While he has diverse experience in a variety of civil litigation areas, his practice focuses on appellate advocacy, trust and estates litigation, land use litigation, collections and representing community associations.


Thomas has an active appellate litigation practice and has represented clients before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  Prior to joining Vandeventer Black, Thomas served as a judicial law clerk for Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn of the Supreme Court of Virginia and as an extern for Judge Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 


In addition to his appellate practice, Thomas represents client in diverse areas of civil litigation.  Thomas frequently handles trust and estates litigation matters.  He also represents clients in land use disputes.  He has experience representing clients before local Boards of Zoning Appeals.  He also handles collections matters on general district and circuit courts.


Thomas regularly appears on behalf of community associations in courts throughout Hampton Roads.  Thomas frequently presents on diverse legal topics to community association industry groups.  He is actively involved in the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Community Association Institute, and is a member of Virginia’s state-wide Community Association Institute’s Legislative Action Committee, which advocates on behalf of community associations in the General Assembly.


Thomas attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in Government and Economics and received a B.A. (magna cum laude).  He attended the University of Richmond School of Law and earned a J.D. (magna cum laude).  He was a John Marshall Scholar, a member of the University of Richmond Law Review and named to the Order of the Coif and the McNeill Law Society.  He was also an executive board member of the law school’s Christian Law Fellowship.


Outside of the office, Thomas plays volleyball and is an avid William & Mary sports fan.

Attorney Thomas Chappell Appointed Executive Member of the Chesapeake Bar Association
/ Firm News
Vandeventer Black attorney W. Thomas Chappell has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Chesapeake Bar Association as an Executive Member. Chappell is a senior associate at the firm, and his civil litigation practice focuses on appellate advocacy, trust and estates litigation, land use litigation, collections, and representing community associations.   ...
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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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29 Vandeventer Black Attorneys Listed as 2021 Legal Elite
/ Firm News
Twenty-nine Vandeventer Black attorneys have been recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2021 by Virginia Business magazine. The magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition every year. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio, Business Law Anne G. Bibeau, ...
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A Brief Overview of Suspension Bonds and Appeal Bonds for Appeals to the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia
/ Appellate Practice
As part of a larger set of articles on appellate practice inspired by the Court of Appeals of Virginia taking on an expanded role, this article will discuss the often-overlooked but important topic of appeal bonds. The term “appeal bond” is frequently used colloquially among the Bar to refer to ...
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Effect of Expanded Jurisdiction of Virginia Court of Appeals on Community Associations
Legal Alert for Community Associations: Community associations should take notice that Virginia recently became the final state to allow civil litigants a right to appeal a circuit court ruling.  This article provides a detailed overview of these changes. Under prior law, if a party wanted to appeal a civil judgment ...
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2021 Legislative Changes that Impact Virginia Community Associations
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the Virginia General Assembly had a busy 2021 session that consisted of a regular session and a subsequent special session during which it passed many different pieces of legislation that will affect community associations ...
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