Our Team Can Help You Win Your Virginia Pier and Dock Case

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Leading Virginia Pier and Dock Legal Services

Jim Lang Waterfront Law, a division of Pender & Coward, is the only law firm in Virginia with a dedicated, four-attorney, waterfront property law team. There are many reasons that people want to live on the water, but one of the most common is to gain access to deeper water by way of a pier. Unfortunately, building a pier is not as easy as it seems and disputes over piers are a large part of our law practice.

Our experienced riparian rights attorneys have experience handling a wide range of  pier cases whether in court or before regulatory agencies such as the Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC)and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Our deep ties in the industry allow us to provide as many resources as possible to give our clients  an advantage. For this reason, clients throughout Virginia seek us out.

If you are thinking of building a pier, or if you have any other concerns about piers and your riparian property rights, contact our team of waterfront lawyers. We’re standing by and ready to help navigate your unique situation.


Our Waterfront Law Team’s Pier Case Experience

Our leading riparian rights attorneys have  extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to handling pier cases ranging from helping clients build a pier to ensuring clients can keep their community pier boat slips. 

Other pier case examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • Difficulty acquiring permits from regulatory agencies to build a pier
  • Preventing construction of a pier because it will block your view or interfere with navigation
  • A homeowner wants everyone’s boat slips taken away for a community pier because he does not have a boat slip


Recent Pier Case Victory

Our waterfront law firm recently won a case where we represented the owners of a large community pier on the Potomac River in Northern Virginia. A member of the community who did not have a boat slip on the pier attempted to take away everyone else’s boat slips. After years of litigation, and a hard fought three-day trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, our waterfront law team members helped deliver a victory for our clients.


Useful Pier Case Resources

Would you like to learn more about pier cases? We’ve created some helpful resources that further explain your rights.



How to Build a Pier in Virginia? Waterfront Property Rights Explained

There is a lot to know about building piers, but here are five things that all potential buyers should understand when buying waterfront real estate.


Pier Case Victory For Homeowners In Fairfax County

Learn how our extensive knowledge of Virginia community pier laws ensured a victory that prevented residents’ boat slips from getting taken away.



We Protect your Waterfront, Maritime, and Environmental Rights

  • 30 years of experience

  • We win cases for our clients

  • We live and work in Virginia

  • We are members of waterfront trade groups


Pier Case Client Testimonials

Our Waterfront Law team is here to help with your pier case. We’ve worked with clients across Virginia to protect their riparian, maritime and environmental rights.


"Hi Jim and Jeff, Yay!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! . . . I can't tell you how relieved I am and how much I appreciate your efforts on our behalf! . . . Jim and Jeff, we always were confident that we found not only the right attorneys in you but also true advocates for our case. Thank you so much for your diligence and for the thoughtful and thorough way you represented us!"

- Mary S.

"My husband, Paul, and myself cannot say enough good things about our experience with Pender and Coward. We worked with James Lang and Jeff Wilson on a rather complicated issue that we were not sure we could get a solution to. However, because of their professionalism, their vast knowledge and the ease with which they worked with us, it ended up to be a great success story. They were able to handle something a bit out of the norm and helped us achieve our goal without the issue escalating. They listened and actually heard us and their communication was always immediate and personal. We can't thank them enough. They lifted a huge weight off our shoulders and we are forever grateful."

- Louisa F.

"Our homeowners' association originally hired Pender & Coward to represent us in our bid to obtain additional pier slips for our community pier located on the Potomac River in Lorton, Virginia. Even though we live in Northern Virginia, and he is located in Virginia Beach, Jim Lang came highly recommended as an expert in riparian rights. Suddenly and unexpectedly a resident and member of the homeowners’ association who did not have one of our boat slips assigned to him sued the association to take away everyone’s boat slip. Pender & Coward rose to the occasion. Jim brought in another excellent attorney from the Pender & Coward Waterfront Property Law team, Jeff Wilson, and together they tackled every motion and demand the other side threw at us. They are brilliant. They know the law inside and out. They are kind, forthright, tireless and masters in the courtroom. The distance they traveled to court was never an issue and compared to legal rates in Northern Virginia, we saved a considerable amount of money. Best of all, after a hard fought three-day trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court...we won!"

- Ann Poloncak

"Jim Lang has been working with us for two years dealing with a host of complicated issues stemming from our Northern Virginia location on the Potomac River. Jim, Jeff Wilson, and the Pender & Coward team have represented our Homeowners Association and then members individually as the issues became increasingly complicated. What started as our collective interest in securing additional slips for the community pier turned into a series of disputes with a disgruntled member of the association. Claims of contract violations, trespassing, easement disputes were thrown at the association and the individual homeowners in a relentless series of hostile actions spanning the two years.

Throughout this legal morass, Jim and Jeff dealt with one novel issue after another with skill and aplomb, staying ahead of the plaintiffs at every legal turn and keeping us informed and calm during what can only be described as a community-wide nightmare. Watching Jim, Jeff and the other Pender & Coward attorneys and support staff perform gave us the confidence that in the end we would prevail.

AND WE DID! Every important issue was decided by the court in the community's and homeowners' favor.

This whole episode was clearly an attempt by a homeowner experiencing buyer’s remorse to bring the association to its financial breaking point so that the merits would not be the deciding factor in the final outcome. Jim was mindful of our financial limitations and did everything possible to minimize legal costs. Pender & Coward also worked with the association’s insurance company to reimburse the bulk of our defense fees.

Thank you Jim and Jeff. You are great lawyers and great people."

- Jim and Wendy M.


We Fight For Our Clients All Across Virginia

Although no two cases are alike, click on the links above to see examples of our work helping Virginians in the waterways of Virginia. We’re standing by and ready to help navigate your unique situation - Schedule Your Consultation Now.