John D. Wilburn Partner

John Wilburn is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer who concentrates his practice in construction, land use and eminent domain litigation around the country.

John represents all major constituencies in building-related projects, including public and private owners, engineering and design firms, construction managers, prime contractors and subcontractors, material and equipment suppliers, sureties and financiers, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and sureties.  He litigates a variety of construction matters before all tiers of the state and federal court system, including bid protests, design defects, and acceleration and delay claims.  John also regularly advises clients on a variety of complex and challenging projects involving energy plants, hospitals, prisons, industrial infrastructure, shopping centers, and residential developments.  Representative projects include industrial facilities such as the Maersk APM Terminal in Portsmouth, Va.; the Richmond Conference Center; Home Depot facilities; and the Alexandria Sanitation Authority Water and Wastewater Treatment Facility.

In addition, John regularly litigates complex and challenging land use and development issues for a variety of clients, including private developers, lenders, and several municipalities and government entities.   He has litigated hundreds of eminent domain matters for utility companies, municipalities, and landowners in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

John also has substantial experience in a wide range of complex business litigation matters.  He has served as lead counsel to defend several high-stakes commercial claims for business and financial services clients.  

John is a frequent speaker and author on various topics in the areas of construction and land use litigation.

  • Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law, JD, 1996
  • East Carolina University, BA, 1993

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Real Estate, 2018-2023; Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2019-2023; Commercial Litigation, 2023; Woodward/White, Inc.

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, Tysons, The Best Lawyers, 2021

Listed as a Client Service "All Star," BTI Consulting, 2015

Named to "Legal Elite," Virginia Business, 2010, 2011

Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Construction Litigation, Business Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2009, 2010

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Speaker, "Force Majeure Post-COVID-19 and Contract," Construction Industry Challenges 2022, May 24, 2022
  • Presenter, Land Laws for Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors, May 20, 2021
  • Speaker, "Best Practices in Eminent Domain and Condemnation – Part II," Southern Gas Association – 2020 Natural Gas Connect, July 22, 2020
  • Speaker, "Best Practices in Eminent Domain and Condemnation – Part I," Southern Gas Association – 2020 Natural Gas Connect, July 15, 2020
  • Speaker, Business Beware: Premise Liability in the Age of the COVID-19 Economic Restart, Webinar, May 28, 2020
  • Speaker, Northern Virginia Real Estate Tax Assessments and Appeals, May 7, 2020
  • Speaker, Real Estate Contract Implications Amid COVID-19 Concerns: Force Majeure, Impossibility and Frustration of Purpose, April 6, 2020
  • Speaker, "What’s Yours is Mine: The Challenges and Law of Eminent Domain in Energy Production and Transportation," 10th Law of Shale Plays Conference, September 4 - 5, 2019
  • Moderator, Real Estate Development and Construction Project Management, March 28, 2019
  • Presenter, "Protecting Pipelines from Encroachments: Legal and Business Strategies," CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo, March 2017
  • Presenter, "Successful Condemnation Actions: Avoiding Them and How-to Keep Landowners Happy if You Have to Use Them," Electric Transmission in the East, McGuireWoods, CLE International and Natural Resources Group, September 2015
  • Presenter, "Industry Issues Roundtable Discussion," Southern Gas Association Annual Conference, July 2015
  • Presenter, "Excavation Contracting: Reducing Liability and Litigation Risk," 2015 CGA Excavation Safety Conference & Expo, March 2015
  • Presenter, "Condemnation Trends in the Post-Kelo World," Southeastern Electric Exchange Annual Conference & Trade Show, June 2014
  • Presenter, "Construction Claim Management: Handling Disputes and Avoiding Claims," Prince William County Sanitation Authority, March 2014
  • Presenter, "Construction Claim Management: Handling Disputes and Avoiding Claims," Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, February 2014
  • Presenter, "Construction Claim Management: Handling Disputes and Avoiding Claims," Alexandria Renew Enterprises, January 2014
  • Presenter, "New Trends in Condemnation Claims," Southern Gas Association Conference, July 2013
  • Presenter, "Renovation Contracts: From Design to Occupancy," Hilton Worldwide, Inc., July 2013
  • Presenter, "Acquisition of Land Rights Through Negotiation or Condemnation," Legal Roundtable at the Southern Gas Association Operating Conference, July 2012
  • Presenter, "Real Estate Tax Assessment Challenges," Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Fall Conference, 2012
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