Attorney John Byrum

John K. Byrum Jr.

Principal | Richmond Office Managing Partner

John advocates for clients up against state and federal environmental and other regulatory agencies in both permitting and enforcement proceedings and in state, federal and appellate courts.

Get To Know John

John defends clients against state and federal enforcement actions and helps clients find uncommon solutions alongside the government in permitting, promulgation of regulations, and other matters. He began focusing on these areas after nearly a decade as Lead Litigator representing Virginia's various environmental agencies in permitting and enforcement actions in state and federal courts as well as representing the Commonwealth in appeals before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Virginia. 

John has litigated cases of national import both against and on the same side as state and federal agencies, including the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions and the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

John has authored treatises on regulatory law and advocates on behalf of clients in various forums, including in administrative agency proceedings, in state and federal trial, and appellate courts and in local government hearings. John also handles corporate civil litigation but excels in helping businesses deal with regulators at various levels.

Having grown up in Ohio, John made Virginia his home more than forty years ago when he came to the College of William and Mary for undergraduate school. After graduating, John worked for four years in Washington D.C. for Congressman Herbert H. Bateman,   who represented the First District of Virginia (what Congressman Bateman always called, "America's First District").

John attended law school at the University of Richmond and he and his wife, Martie, settled there where they have stayed ever since. They have two grown sons who are living and working in Virginia, and John and Martie coached a number of their baseball, soccer, and swim teams over the years. John has practiced Taekwondo for nearly thirty years and holds a Third Degree Black Belt and teaches classes in Taekwondo most weekends.

Maybe because of his martial arts background, John's Legal Assistant gifted him with a leather portfolio with his initials and the legend: "The Fighter." He carries that portfolio every day as a reminder of how he wants to be known by clients.


  • Litigated more than 100 administrative appeals of agency enforcement or permitting decisions under the Virginia Administrative Process Act.
  • Successfully defended the Commonwealth's jurisdiction over isolated state wetlands in litigation before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court (on brief).
  • Obtained declaratory judgment vacating unsupported Bureau of Financial Institution regulation adversely impacting consumer finance companies.
  • Obtained withdrawal of improper permitting guidance issued by Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Reversed United States Army Corps of Engineers' decision and obtained permit to construct community lake in Waynesboro Virginia.
  • Counseled clients in permitting of utility scale wind and solar projects.
  • Counsel clients in permitting of MSW waste, recycling and energy facilities.
  • Represent electric, water, wastewater, cellular telephone and financial institution clients in ratemaking and associated proceedings before Virginia State Corporation Commission.
  • Represent Certified Public Accountants, licensed Contractors and other professionals in licensing and enforcement proceedings before Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).



University of Richmond School of Law, J.D.

William & Mary, B.A.



Supreme Court of Virginia

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia



  • American Bar Association
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar Administrative Law Section, Board of Governors
  • Virginia State Bar Environmental Law Section, Board of Governors (2007-2010)

News & Insights

Matter results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Past results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future matter. Some material on this site may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions.

Jump to Page