McGuireWoods’ Michael Herring Named Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s ‘Leader of the Year’

October 27, 2021

McGuireWoods partner Michael Herring was selected by his peers as Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s “Leader of the Year,” headlining the publication’s annual Leaders in the Law list. The award was voted on by the lawyers selected for the 2021 Leaders in the Law class, which honors prominent attorneys across the state for significant accomplishments in the legal profession and the community.

Herring was profiled in Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s Oct. 25 edition. The managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Richmond office, Herring represents individuals and corporations in complex commercial litigation, government investigations and white-collar criminal defense matters.

“Recognition by my peers is both humbling and greatly appreciated,” Herring told Virginia Lawyers Weekly. “I often boast about the Virginia legal community when I speak to attorneys from other states, and I never take for granted what we have — collegiality, professionalism, trust, and above all, respect for one another.”

Herring joined McGuireWoods’ litigation practice in 2019 after serving for more than 13 years as Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney. In that role, he led high-profile criminal prosecutions and was appointed to head politically sensitive investigations involving alleged conduct of top statewide elected officials. He helped Richmond police develop strategies to reduce homicides and violent crimes dramatically and implemented groundbreaking criminal justice reforms adopted by other Virginia localities. He also initiated efforts to find alternatives to criminal trials such as diversion programs and deferred prosecutions for first-time nonviolent offenders.

Herring serves as president of Legal Services Corporation of Virginia, which oversees delivery of civil legal services to the poor. In 2019, Gov. Ralph Northam appointed him to serve on the Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law, which was tasked with making recommendations to address laws that have the effect of promoting or enabling racial discrimination. Herring received the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2020 for his achievements in public service and leadership helping low-income Virginians gain access to legal services.

Herring told Virginia Lawyers Weekly that his maturation in public service is his most significant professional accomplishment.

“Over time, I learned to ignore whimsical approval or disapproval and to prioritize clarity in communicating,” Herring said. “In other words, a certain amount of public and professional disagreement was healthy. Lack of understanding was not.”