Mike serves as the Managing Partner of the law firm and is located in the Firm’s Norfolk office. He has also served on the Executive Board and Chaired the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts Department, Practice Management Committee, and Dispute Resolution Services.
Mike’s practice is concentrated on complex projects and disputes for international, national and local clients with particular focus on compliance and other regulatory issues.
He is experienced in a wide range of project delivery methods including design-build and public-private-partnerships; projects included co-generation and processing plants, wind tunnels, cable stay bridges, highways, stadiums, hotels, courthouses, hospitals, water and wastewater treatment plants, parking garages, high-rise condominiums, environmental site restoration, demolition and large scale residential developments as well as ship construction and repair; represented general contractors, subcontractors, vendors, manufacturers and design professionals, as well as private and public owners; experienced with the Federal Acquisition Regulations, related agency regulations and statutes applicable to federal government funded contracts and grants; appeared before federal and state courts, boards of contract appeals, GAO, agency administrative judges and arbitration panels; and prevailed at the United States Supreme Court.
Mike also manages the law firm’s Dispute Resolution Services; serves as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), various Courts and by private appointment.
Construction matters have ranged from claims of defective workmanship to incomplete work to other performance and payment related problems; non-construction matters have included securities fraud, creditor-debtor, joint venture and governance, disputes, employer-employee disputes and other commercial matters; mediated attorney-client fee disputes for the Virginia State Bar; also served as a Hearing Officer for the Supreme Court of Virginia presiding over various state and local employee grievances and professional licensing disputes; represented construction clients in numerous alternative dispute resolution proceedings including AAA arbitration, mediation, early neutral evaluation and partnering sessions; founded the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association ADR Committee that prepared a standing order for court-sponsored ADR; and conducted various presentations on ADR including as a guest lecturer at William & Mary School of Law.
Mike recognizes the importance of public and professional service and serves on the Board of Directors of Eggleston Services. Mike has served on the Boards of the Red Cross of Southeastern Virginia, and the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, and he has been Chairman of the Virginia Bar Association Construction and Public Contract Law Executive Council and the Vandeventer Black Foundation.
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” (2002, 05, 09, 12-17)
Thomson Reuters, “Virginia Supers Lawyers” - Construction & Government Contracts (2006-present)
A Top Virginia Attorney in Corporate Litigation & Construction
A Virginia Top Rated Lawyer -Construction
American Arbitration Association Mediator and Arbitrator
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America - Construction Law (2013-present)
Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year” - Construction Law (2018)
Publications & Presentations
Federal Government Construction Contracts (3rd Ed.), Chapter 14 - Terminations for Default, American Bar Association, (2017)
Construction Law: State and Local Construction Projects (1st Ed.), Chapter 14 - claims Issues, American Bar Association, (2017)
•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Listed as ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ of 2019
•Vandeventer Black’s 2018 Executive Board Elected
•Michael Sterling Selected as a fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America
•Sterling to Serve on the Virginia Chamber Legal and Regulatory Reform Institute Advisory Board
•Vandeventer Black Recognized as a Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” for 2018
•27 Vandeventer Black Attorneys Named ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ of 2018
•Vandeventer Black Announces Elected Executive Board Members
•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers
•Twenty-two Vandeventer Black Attorneys 2016 Legal Elite Finalists
•Potential Contract Adjustments Based on Tariffs
•Trade Secrets And Proprietary Information - Recent Changes To Virginia Law
•BUSINESS RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR
•Counting Down to Deadline for DoD Requirements for Safeguarding Covered Deference Information and Cybersecurity Incident Reporting
•Federal Contract Blacklisting Rule Repealed
•OSHA’s Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica
•Court Questions Teaming Agreement
•Public-Private Partnerships: Conflicting Interests Between Design-Builder and Designer
and Past President Norfolk Area Chapter;
•Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association - Former Executive Committee Member and Founding Member and Former Chairman of Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution;
•Tidewater Association of Service Contractors;
•Virginia Bar Association - Joint Committee on ADR, Local Government Law Section, Construction and Public Contracts Law Section Past Chairman;
•Virginia Beach Bar Association;
•Local Government Attorneys of Virginia;
•Virginia State Bar - Construction Law and Public Contracts, and Local Government Law Sections; and,
•Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance. Fellow: and Past President Norfolk Area Chapter;
• Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association - Former Executive Committee Member and Founding Member and Former Chairman of Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution;
• Project Management Institute College of Scheduling;
• Tidewater Association of Service Contractors;
• Virginia Bar Association - Joint Committee on ADR, Local Government Law Section, Construction and Public Contracts Law Section Past Chairman;
• Virginia Beach Bar Association;
• Local Government Attorneys of Virginia;
• Virginia State Bar - Construction Law and Public Contracts, and Local Government Law Sections; and,
• Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance.
• Martindale Hubbell, peer-rated AV
• Best Lawyers In America 19th & 20th Editions - Construction
• Virginia Business Magazine's Legal Elite -- Construction, Mediation, Arbitration
• Virginia Super Lawyer -- Construction
• A Best Lawyer in Hampton Roads -- Construction
• A Top Virginia Attorney in Corporate Litigation -- Construction
• A Virginia Top Rated Lawyer -- Construction
• American Arbitration Association Mediator and Arbitrator
• Security Services - Counsel to firms performing international, national and local security services, and construction of related facilities.
• Supplies - Counsel to firm's seeking supllies on international, national and local markets.
• Football Stadium - Counsel for steel fabricator in connection with dispute involving alleged defective design and delay, disruption and cost impact during construction and renovation of college football stadium.
• Cable Stay Bridge Construction - Co-counsel for international construction company in dispute regarding bridge and approach design.
• Multi-story Retirement Complex - Counsel for general contractor in dispute with owner and architect concerning design defects in building envelope, as well as disputes with various subcontractors.
• State Courthouse - Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.
• Hotel - Counsel to architect in defense of claim of alleged design error in light gauge metal steel frame leading to building collapse during construction, and pursuit of third party claim against structural engineer.
• International Airport - Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.
• Oceanfront Condominiums - Co-counsel for various condominium associations in disputes with developers and builders related to building envelope defects.
• Communications Facility - Counsel for general contractor in dispute with DoD regarding design defects related to standing seam metal roof on structure intended to house top secret communications equipment, and claims against surety arising from default by electrical subcontractor.
• Hospital - Counsel for masonry subcontractor in connection with claim for design defects and insurance coverage related to building envelope failure.
• Child Development Centers -- Counsel for general contractor in connection with design, supply and installation of modular child development centers throughout the United States, and related litigation with team member, subcontractors and others.
• Wastewater and Water Treatment Plant Construction - Counsel to locality in conjunction with the financing, planning and construction of new wastewater and water treatment plants.
• Local Government -- Counsel to various localities and public authorities in connection with public-private-partnerships, contracts, protests, building code, land use and administrative law issues.
• Historic School Renovation - Counsel for general contractor in dispute with owner concerning claims of delay, disruption and other damages arising from the discovery of extensive lead, asbestos and other contamination and owner responsible design defects.
• Paper Plant - Counsel to international steam turbine manufacturer in dispute related to design and performance of turbine-generator set.
• Sterling Named Managing Partner for Vandeventer Black LLP
• The Best Lawyers in America 2014 Lists 23 Vandeventer Black Attorneys
• Court Questions Teaming Agreement
• Public-Private Partnerships: Conflicting Interests between Design-Builder and Designer
• Sterling Selected to Executive Board for Vandeventer Black LLP
• SBA FINAL RULE ON SUBCONTRACTORS MANAGEMENT DUE IN MARCH