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Vandeventer Black LLP - Chamber Partner Since 1921
Vandeventer Black LLP - Chamber Partner Since 1921
The Hampton Roads Chamber is proud to have been the voice of business in this region since 1801. Our ability to serve the business community is due in large part to the unwavering support of our region’s business leaders. Fifty-six members have invested in the Chamber for more than 50 years. The Member Voices series will highlight those members and their contributions to our community.

Vandeventer Black LLP has supported the Chamber’s mission, vision, and values since 1921.  The firm has leveraged every opportunity to utilize the networking, business and community involvement provided by the Chamber and other local organizations. As a testament,  the firm is currently involved with over twenty of our community’s business associations.

“The Chamber is a great way to connect with the business to business community and government representatives with the scope of networking events they host each year,” said Michael L. Sterling, Managing Partner.

For over 135 years, this local business and litigation law firm has been serving the Hampton Roads community.  It was established in 1883 as a solo maritime law practice by Floyd W. Hughes when he was twenty-one-years-old and had just received his law degree from the University of Virginia.  The office was, and still is, located on Main Street at a time in which the city was growing into one of the largest coal transshipment ports in the world.  This connection to the ports led to a long history of representing the maritime industry.¹

Floyd. W. Hughes
Floyd W. Hughes


“Maritime law continues to be a core practice of our firm, but we evolved into a multidisciplinary and multifaceted firm that offers a comprehensive range of business-related legal services,” said Sterling.  Now an internationally recognized provider with offices in Virginia, North Carolina and Germany, Vandeventer Black brings an exceptional level of experience and legal talent to their clients.

Moreover, Vandeventer Black has a history of giving back to the community, and it’s actively involved with over forty local charities and nonprofit organizations each year.  These include veteran, armed forces, educational, social welfare, animal, children, arts, music, people with disabilities, health care, diversity and inclusion, and professional development, among others.


Vandeventer Black’s long history of supporting the Hampton Roads business community reflects many of the same goals the Chamber has set during the almost 100 years the two organizations have partnered.  Whether participating in signature events, in the LEAD Hampton Roads or working with the Chamber governmental affairs team to advocate for our business community, Vandeventer Black continues to be the model of collaboration to ensure a flourishing environment for business prosperity. For more information, please visit


¹ Powers, E.J. (2018). Over A Century Of Serving Business And Our CommunityA History of Vandeventer Black LLP.  Norfolk, VA: Vandeventer Black LLP

Sylvia Haines
Executive Vice President, Operations
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