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W. Michael Holm

2318 Mill Road
Suite 1100
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone:  703.647.5927
Fax:  703.647.5967


Mike Holm is a veteran trial lawyer who represents businesses in bet-the-company cases involving corporate governance issues and other unfair business practices. He is the co-chairman of LeClairRyan's corporate governance litigation team and is also the co-author of an Unfair Business Practice blog. As lead counsel, Mr. Holm has tried over 40 cases involving derivative claims of breach of fiduciary duty, theft of corporate opportunity, business conspiracy, partnership and corporate dissolutions and accounting claims, minority stockholder oppression, interference with contract, conversion of corporate assets, trade secret misappropriation, construction delay claims, environmental regulatory issues, securities fraud, breach of contract, torts and other business related matters. Numerous other litigation matters have included pre-merger shareholder actions, post-merger disputes, civil RICO, federal constitutional claims, federal and state environmental regulations, covenants not to compete, trademark and copyright infringement, and the defense of cases involving violations of the False Claims Act. Most of his cases have been in federal courts, particularly the Eastern District of Virginia or “Rocket Docket” as it is well known.

Over the last decade, electronic discovery has changed the face of business litigation. Mr. Holm offers his clients in-depth experience in e-discovery including matters relating to document preservation and retention, litigation holds and spoliation.

In the real estate context, Mr. Holm has tried cases involving public/private streets, specific performance of real estate contracts and other contractual disputes. He also has litigated matters involving easements, zoning disputes and condemnation matters. Several of these cases were successfully handled at the appellate stage.

Mr. Holm also has an extensive appellate practice, having briefed and argued dozens of appeals before the Second, Fourth, District of Columbia and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Virginia, among others. Mr. Holm is a permanent member of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Holm has conducted internal corporate investigations and has represented clients in matters involving the valuation and buyout of minority interests in closely-held corporations and limited liability companies.

In September 2009, Mr. Holm taught American Business Law to Chinese entrepreneurs enrolled in an Executive MBA program in Wuxi and Suzhou, China.

In 2015, Mr. Holm was selected to become a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society whose membership is limited to less than one-half of one percent of North American lawyers, judges and scholars.

Representative Experience

  • In re Paramount Gold and Silver Corp. Stockholders Litigation, Consolidated, Delaware Chancery Court, C.A. No. 10499-VCN, defending public mining exploration company and its directors in consolidation of stockholder class actions alleging breach of fiduciary and claims company failed to disclose sufficient information in proxy statement.
  • Beninati v. Borghi, 2014 WL 4439447, (Mass. Sup. Ct., 2014), obtained seven-figure judgment and attorneys fees following four-week trial involving claims of usurpation of corporate opportunity, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty related to a group of New England health clubs.
  • Corinthian Mortgage Corp. v. Summit Financial, LLC., et al., (Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia, Chancery No. 187513), Lead plaintiffs counsel in business conspiracy case by direct mail mortgage company against nine former employees and family of corporations that, along with former employees, established a competing business. Suit involved claims of breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and violation of the Virginia Business Conspiracy Act (Va. Code § 18.2-500). During the case, the trial court made findings or entered orders: (1) finding spoliation of electronic and paper files; (2) granting an adverse inference instruction against one individual defendant; and (3) finding that, by their conduct, the individual defendants had waived the attorney-client privilege and work product protection as to their representation by prior counsel regarding discovery responses and other matters. Case settled in 2007 for payment of $10.5 million by defendants.
  • Feddeman and Company CPA v. Langan Associates, P.C., 260 Va. 35, 530 S.E.2d 668 (2000). Lead counsel for plaintiff in action by accounting firm against former officers, directors and employees as well as a rival accounting firm for breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contract and violation of the Virginia Business Conspiracy Act. After a six day trial, jury returned verdict against all defendants for $3.3 million. Rather than treble the damages, the trial judge set aside the verdict. Reinstated by unanimous opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court.
  • In re Hanes, 214 B.R. 786 (Bankr. E.D.Va. 1997), rev’d on appeal in unpublished opinion by Judge Albert V. Bryan, Jr. (E.DVa., July 29, 1998), judgment for plaintiff on remand (Bankr. E.DVa., June 1, 1999). Lead plaintiffs counsel in suit by executrix of mother’s estate against her brother for defalcation and against large New York law firm for legal malpractice. After twice being dismissed and reversed on appeal, case was tried over two week period. Subsequently, Bankruptcy judge entered judgment for defendants in published opinion. Reversed for third time on appeal and on remand Bankruptcy judge entered judgment for plaintiff against brother for $4.1 million and against law firm for over $15 million, including interest.
  • Successfully defended a generic drug manufacturer in a multi-week arbitration against claims brought by minority shareholders who sought approximately $42 million in damages for breaches of a shareholders agreement relating to securities registration and claims involving product development issues.
  • Successfully tried and litigated numerous suits alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and other corporate governance claims involving closely held corporations or LLCs.
  • Obtained favorable settlement in defense of company acquired by private equity fund and its directors against shareholder suit alleging inadequate disclosures, inadequate price and self-dealing.
  • Defended Delaware corporation located in Virginia that was sued post-merger by acquiring company alleging violations of representations and warranties in merger agreement.
  • Vanguard Research, Inc. v. PEAT, Inc., 304 F.3d 1249 (Fed. Cir. 2002). Represented plaintiff in action filed in Northern District of Alabama asking court to declare patent invalid or, alternatively, not infringed by plaintiffs conduct. The trial judge converted a Rule 12 Motion to Dismiss into one for Summary Judgment, held that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in that there was no case or controversy and dismissed the case with prejudice.  Reversed on appeal on basis that a justiciable controversy existed and remanded for trial.

Classes and Seminars Taught

  • Lecturer, Northern Virginia Community College Extended Learning Institute, 1989

Speaking Engagements

  • Litigation Trends in Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims, Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Interference with Contractual Relations, USLAW Business Litigation Symposium, June 14, 2016, San Francisco, California
  • Management v. The Minority: A Roadmap to Shareholder/Member Disputes, Shareholder & Member Rights CLE, Fairfax Bar Association, March 13, 2014
  • The Rocket Docket: Trying Cases in the Eastern District of Virginia, Virginia CLE, December 7, 2016, December 10, 2014, December 6, 2012, December 9, 2010
  • Negotiating the Thicket: Admissibility of Electronic Evidence at Trial, Advanced Business Litigation Institute, Virginia CLE, September 15, 2011
  • How to Protect Your Company From Unfair Business Practices, Seminar, January 25, 2011
  • American Business Law, September 2009
  • Understanding the Challenges and Solutions in Electronic Discovery, 2008
  • Electronic Discovery and Data Retention, March 8, 2007
  • Electronic Discovery: Upcoming Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 2006
  • Electronic Discovery: The Cutting Edge Tool for Litigation Cost and Risk Management, September 10, 2004
  • The Obesity Epidemic, June 2004
  • Roundtable on Obesity Litigation, Forum, June 2004
  • Taking Effective Depositions, 1999
  • Taking Effective Depositions, 1998

Published Works

  • Editor, Federal Civil Procedure in Virginia, Virginia CLE Publications, 2016
  • "Intentional Misconduct Could Nullify Damages Limitations Clauses in Commercial Contracts," Article, July 2009
  • "Your Company's Database Passwords Are Not Trade Secrets," Alert, June 17, 2009
  • "Employees Who Take Proprietary Data May Violate the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," Alert, March 11, 2009
  • "So You Think They Got Your Secrets?" Article, Legal Times, October 23, 2006
  • "Special Problems Related to Condominium Construction Litigation," Article, 42 Wash & Lee L. Rev. 405, Spring 1985

Legal Experience

  • LeClairRyan, Alexandria, Virginia, June 2011–Present
  • Williams Mullen, Tysons Corner, Virginia
  • Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Fairfax Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association

Board Memberships

  • Board of Trustees, Hopkins House, 1995-2006
  • Vestry, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2002-2005
  • Founder and President, Agenda: Alexandria, 1998-2000
  • Vice Chairman, Governmental Affairs Division, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, 1991-1994
  • Director, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, 1989-1994
  • Director, Alexandria Unit, American Heart Association, 1993-1994
  • Director, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, 1990-1991
  • Director, Alexandria Unit, American Cancer Society, 1983-1987
  • Chairman: Alexandria Republican City Committee, 1988-1992
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum, 1990-1992
  • Chairman, Business Advisory Board, Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum, 1992-1998
  • Member, Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission, 1984-1987


  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Permanent Member, Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell
  • Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation, 2013–2019
  • Recognized in Benchmark Litigation as a “Local Litigation Star” in Virginia, 2014, 2016, 2017 & 2018
  • Recognized in the Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers magazine for Business Litigation, 2008
  • Listed as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine for Business Litigation, 2007, 2013–2015, 2017-2018 
  • Named a Virginia Super Lawyer for Business Litigation, 2006, 2012–2018
  • Appointed by Governor of Virginia to Advisory Committee for the Virginia Commission on Prison and Jail Overcrowding, 1989
  • Appointed by Chief Justice of Virginia Supreme Court to a committee to study the regulation of Court Reporters in Virginia, 2007


  • J.D., College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, 1981
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1975

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York