Mark D. Williamson Partner

Mark has practiced extensively in all aspects of commercial real estate since graduating from the University of Virginia law school in 1984. Among others, he has represented developers, lenders (permanent and construction), borrowers, retail companies, municipalities, landlords, tenants and investors in all aspects of real estate finance, zoning and development.

Although conversant with all aspects of commercial real estate (transactional and zoning), his practice features several specialties including (i) retail development and leasing; (ii) construction and permanent lending; (iii) public-private partnerships; (iv) lease disputes; and (v) zoning and permitting in all jurisdictions of South Hampton.

In "down" real estate cycles, Mark has substantial experience working with national, regional and community based banks on all aspects of loan workouts and restructurings, foreclosures (including deeds in lieu of foreclosure), lease issues, and the ultimate sale or other dispossession of troubled real estate loans and/or bank owned distressed real estate.

In addition to his substantial expertise in traditional real estate finance and development law, he also has experience with tax-exempt revenue bond finance, and has worked extensively with the firm's Community Development Authority (CDA) team on numerous CDA/Tax-Increment Financing districts, including so-called "Town Center" projects.

Mark has also worked with public/private partnerships involving the Virginia Public Private Educational Act (PPEA). He has been listed in "The Best Lawyers in America – Real Estate" since 2006. He previously served as chairman of the Commercial Real Estate Subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar Real Estate Section.


Represented the operator of a global port, terminal and inland services network as real estate counsel in a 20-year $800+ million port lease to the Virginia Port Authority, representing the leasing of the largest privately owned port facility on the East Coast.

Represented New York based lender in the financing for the construction and development of the only privately owned toll bridge in the state of Virginia.

Represents a regional bank in over 20 “workout” transactions including forbearance agreements, foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, guaranty lawsuits, note sales, sale of real estate owned and related loan restructuring/distressed asset type transactions.

Represents developer of an approximately 1,000-unit mixed-use PUD project in Chesapeake, Virginia, representing the largest mixed-use residential project currently under development in “Southside” Hampton Roads.

Represents community development authority with respect to a proposed hotel/conference center “CDA” project in Prince Edward County, Virginia.

  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, Member, Editorial Board, Virginia Tax Review, 1984
  • University of Virginia, BA, with High Distinction, 1981

Former Chairman, Commercial Real Estate Subcommittee; current Area Representative, Real Estate Section, Virginia State Bar

Founding Director, Hampton Roads Association of Commercial Real Estate

Board of Directors, Virginia Association of Commercial Real Estate, 1993-1997

Member, Real Estate Council, Virginia Bar Association, 2004-2006

Founding Chairman and Board of Directors, Great Bridge/Hickory YMCA, Chesapeake, Virginia, 2002-2004

Member, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Virginia, 2002-2003

Founding Director, Families for Autistic Children of Tidewater (FACT), Tidewater Virginia, 1995 

Member, Endowment Committee, Fortune Maison Orphanage Foundation, Pondiassou, Haiti, 2008, 2009

Founding Director, The Voice of Autism, Tidewater, Virginia, 2012

  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, Woodward/White, Inc., 2006-2021

Named to “Virginia Super Lawyers,” Real Estate, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006

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