Declan C. Leonard

Top rated Employment & Labor attorney in McLean, Virginia

Berenzweig Leonard LLP
Declan C. Leonard
Berenzweig Leonard LLP

Practice Areas: Employment & Labor, Business Litigation, Business & Corporate; view more

Licensed in Virginia since: 1996

Education: George Mason University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2008 - 2009

Berenzweig Leonard LLP

8300 Greensboro Drive
Suite 1250
McLean, VA 22102 Visit website


Declan Leonard leads the Employment Law practice at Berenzweig Leonard, where he and his team work with companies and executives in the Washington Metropolitan area and throughout the United States to navigate the maze of employment and business laws with an eye towards minimizing legal risks in order for clients to maximize revenue. Declan attained a Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) certification, the highest certification in the field of human resources. He is one of the few practicing employment lawyers in the D.C. region to have received this certification.

Declan regularly advises companies and executives in all facets of the employment relationship, from the hiring stage through the termination process. He is intricately knowledgeable about the numerous federal and state laws and regulations affecting the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Declan also has extensive experience in handling non-compete and trade secret disputes that often arise during workplace transitions.

Declan has extensive experience in business litigation, including prosecution and defense of breach of business contracts, allegations of conspiracy to injure business, and collection of accounts receivables. In addition, Declan has handled a multitude of corporate transactional work for the firm’s business clients, including the negotiation and preparation of asset purchase agreements, stock transfer agreements, joint venture/teaming agreements, and corporate formation documents.

Practice areas

Employment & Labor: Employer, Business Litigation, Business/Corporate, Civil Litigation: Defense, Employment Litigation: Defense, Mergers & Acquisitions

Focus areas

Business Formation and Planning, Business Organizations, Employment Law - Employer, Labor Law, Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secret

  • 50% Employment & Labor: Employer
  • 10% Business Litigation
  • 10% Business/Corporate
  • 10% Civil Litigation: Defense
  • 10% Employment Litigation: Defense
  • 10% Mergers & Acquisitions

First Admitted: 1996, Virginia

Professional Webpage:

Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Frequently quoted as an authority on business legal issues in such major publications as The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, SHRM HR Magazine, and Lawyer’s Weekly.
  • Lectures to other lawyers and to members of the business community on employment and business law issues
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Volunteer Mentor, BUILD Metro DC High School Entrepreneurship Program
  • Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Pro Bono Employment Law Project
  • Faculty Member, Virginia State Bar Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course
Educational Background:
  • University of Mary Washington, B.S., 1991
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Virginia, 1996
  • District of Columbia, 2006
  • Maryland, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 1997
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, 1998
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 2010
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Corporate & Commercial Litigation Section, Chair
  • Fairfax Bar Association, Employment Law Section, Chair
  • Arlington County Bar Association, Business Law Section, Past Chair
  • Northern Virginia Technology Council
  • Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Obtained a Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) Certification, 2012
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Represented defendant aviation contractor and former executive in lawsuit by former employer claiming over $71 million in damages alleging breach of fiduciary duty, common law conspiracy, fraud, statutory conspiracy, tortious interference with business relationships and expectancies, conversion, defamation per se, and unjust enrichment; motion to dismiss granted on four counts and successfully limited remaining claims based on statute of limitations. NorthStar Aviation, LLC v. Alberto, 332 F. Supp. 3d 1007, 1014. E.D. Va., 2018
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by an employee’s former employer claiming over $55 million in damages alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, violation of Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia trade secret laws, intentional interference with business expectancies, and unjust enrichment; successfully preserved entirety of decision on appeal with affirmance in full by the Fourth Circuit. Integrated Direct Marketing, LLC v. Drew May and Merkle, Inc., 129 F.Supp.3d 336, 339 (E.D. Va. 2015); aff’d, No. 16-1032. 4th Cir., 2017
  • Represented defendant financial institution in lawsuit by plaintiff alleging causes of action under various federal statutes with respect to compliance with IRS notices of levy; motion to dismiss granted with prejudice on all counts and affirmed on appeal. Satterlee v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, et al., Case No. 15-1387-ABJ, (D.D.C. July 5, 2016), aff’d Case No. 16-5342. D.C. Cir. Mar. 31, 2017
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging pregnancy discrimination under Title VII; lawsuit voluntarily dismissed with prejudice by former employee shortly after responding to complaint. Fair v. ThreatConnect, Inc., Civil Action No.: 1:16-cv-00914-CMH-IDD. E. D. Va. Jan. 3, 2017
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging discrimination and retaliation under USERRA; motion for summary judgment granted and affirmed on appeal. Washington v. Coastal Int’l Sec., Civil Action No.: 14-0331-DKC, 2015 WL 4396616 (D. Md. July 16, 2015), aff’d, 633 F. App’x 186, 2016 WL 758034. 4th Cir., 2016
  • Represented defendant executive with respect to a personal guaranty on a corporate line of credit; secured dismissal of all counts filed against executive client. SunTrust Bank v. Advanced Business Concepts, Inc. et al.. Va. Cir. Ct. July 1, 2016
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging disability discrimination and failure to accommodate under the ADA. Mannion v. Attain, LLC, Case No. CAL 16-07507. Md. Cir. Ct., 2016
  • Represented plaintiff in corporate embezzlement case; obtained judgment for plaintiff including award of attorneys’ fees and successfully defended judgment on appeal. Maia Institute Holding, Inc. v. Ferreira. Va. Gen. Dist. Ct. Mar. 23, 2015, aff’d Ct. July 9, 2015
  • Represented defendant IT company in lawsuit by former contractor alleging breach of contract, including alleged breach of various restrictive covenants; successfully defended against motion for temporary restraining order. Top5, Inc. v. Core Point Consulting, Inc., Case No. 1:13-cv-1510-JFM. D. Md., 2013
  • Achieved dismissal of all counts against government contractor alleging gender and racial discrimination, retaliation, and unequal pay. Cashwell v. Attain, LLC et al., 1:12-cv-522. E.D.Va., 2012
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging racial discrimination and retaliation under Title VII; motion for summary judgment granted with prejudice on all counts. White v. Ameritel Corporation, Civil Action No. 8:10-cv-00929. D.Md., 2011
  • Represented defendant government contractor and former executive in lawsuit by former employer alleging breach of duty of loyalty and fiduciary duty, breach of contract, violation of Virginia’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and intentional interference with contract; successfully defended against a motion to expedite discovery with the court specifically finding that the former employer was unlikely to succeed on the merits and could not show irreparable harm. ForceX, Inc. v. Technology Fusion, LLCet al., Case No. 4:11-CV-88, 2011 WL 2560110. E.D. Va. June 27, 2011
  • Conducted internal investigation for staffing services contractor regarding alleged Service Contract Act violations and represented client’s interests with the Department of Labor.
White Papers:
  • Go-To Lawyer for Employment Law, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2024
  • 2017, 2019-2024, Super Lawyer, Virginia Super Lawyers, 2024
  • Employment Law - Management, Recognition in the 30th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, Best Lawyers®, 2024
  • Top Attorney, Arlington Magazine, 2023
  • Top Lawyer, Northern Virginia Magazine, 2023
  • Labor and Employment Law, Best Lawyers, 2023
  • 2017, 2019-2022, Super Lawyer, Washington DC Super Lawyers, 2022
  • 2015, 2016, 2018-2022, Legal Elite, Virginia Business Magazine, 2022
  • Top Lawyer, Northern Virginia Magazine, 2022
  • 2015-2017, 2021, Superlawyer, Law & Politics Magazine, 2021
  • Top Lawyer, Northern Virginia Magazine, 2021
  • 2015-2019, 2021, Virginia’s Legal Elite, Virginia Business Magazine, 2021
  • Virginia Go To Business Lawyer, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2020
  • Top Attorney, Arlington Magazine, 2019
  • Leader in the Law, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2016
  • Centers of Influence Award, Washington SmartCEO, 2016
  • Legal Elite, SmartCEO Magazine, 2015
  • 2008, 2009, Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2009
  • Named to the ranks of Virginia’s Top-Rated Lawyers, The Wall Street Journal
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • 1.5 HRs of CLE Credit at the 2024 VADA Spring Sections Seminar, Moderator, The Use of AI By Law Firms: Friend or Foe?, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, 2024
  • Annual Employment Law Conference, Speaker, Navigating HR Laws: Your Must-Have DMV Cheat Sheet, DC SHRM Employment Law Summit, 2024
  • 1.0 HR of CLE credit, Moderator, How to Efficiently and Effectively Conduct a Workplace Investigation, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys Annual Meeting, 2023
  • Spotify & iHeart Radio, Co-Host, "Real World Law" Weekly Video Podcast, Berenzweig Leonard
  • Newsletter of the Fairfax Bar Association, Co-Author, Where Can Virginia's Working Parents Turn as Covid Rages On, Journal of Fairfax Bar Association, 2020
  • CLE, Presenter, Advising Your Business During the COVID-19 Crisis, Farifax Business Association, 2020
  • CLE, Presenter, Human Resource Law: What You Need to Know Now, National Business Institute, 2017
  • 2010-Present, Author,, Real World Employment Law Blog
  • 2015-Present, Contributor, @ Work Employment Column, Washington Post
  • The Critical Path, Joint Employer Doctrine Could Spell More Litigation Trouble, DRI, 2015
  • Featured Employment Law Monthly Columnist, Washington Business Journal, 2007
  • New Stories, Co-Author, Keeping Up With Noncompete Law in Virginia, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2006
  • News Stories, Author, Ex Parte Contacts With Employees: Rules Not Always Clear Cut, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2006
  • HR Magazine, Author, Virtually Identical Job Duties Needed for Equal Pay Act Claim, SHRM, 2005
  • Publication, Author, Cell Phone Use While Driving Can Pose Legal Liability for Employers, Atlantic Coast In-House Counsel, 2005
  • Continuing Legal Education Presentation, Presenter, Arbitration: A Comprehensive Overview, Virginia State Bar, 2005
  • Presentation, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Saving Accounts, and COBRA, Lorman Education Services, 2005
  • Publication, Author, U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Constructive Discharge in Title VII Cases, Atlantic Coast In-House Counsel, 2004
  • Presentation, Lawsuit-Free Hiring and Firing, National Institute of Business Management, 2004
  • Presentation, Legal Issues for Starting a New Business, Arlington Bar Association, 2004
  • Legal Report, Author, Workplace Monitoring: Balancing Business Interests with Employee Privacy Rights, SHRM, 2003
  • Presentation, Presenter, Current Issues in Labor and Employment Law, American Bar Association, 2002

Office location for Declan C. Leonard

8300 Greensboro Drive
Suite 1250
McLean, VA 22102

Phone: 571-581-2865

Additional sources of information about Declan C. Leonard

Attorney resources for Declan C. Leonard

Page Generated: 0.058889150619507 sec