Thomas S Berkley

Thomas S Berkley: Attorney with Pender & Coward A Professional Corporation


Tom has litigated cases before Virginia trial courts, the Virginia Court of Appeals, the Virginia Supreme Court, federal trial courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and administrative agencies along the East Coast. He has successfully advised and defended maritime and construction clients on numerous matters, including, but not limited to marine terminal operations, maritime contracts, seaman injuries, cargo claims, oil spills, federal and state workers' compensation claims, fisheries disputes, and recreational boating accidents. He also represents surety companies in probate and a mutual fund established by the Commonwealth of Virginia to defend Virginia companies entangled in products liability, personal injury, and premises liability actions during the insolvency of their insurance carriers.

Tom earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia, which provided him the opportunities to complete programs at the University of London and the McIntire Business Institute. He earned his J.D. from The College of William & Mary School of Law. Tom served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Lydia C. Taylor, Norfolk Circuit Court. He is licensed to practice in Virginia and is a member of the Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Bar Associations, the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Maritime Association, the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, and the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Virginia and federal administrative forums along the East Coast.

Tom serves on the board of Colonna's Shipyard, Inc. and also volunteers his time as a Sunday school teacher for the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepard and as a member of the Parent Advisory Committee of the Norfolk Academy. He was selected as one of Hampton Roads' Top Forty Under 40 for 2008 by Inside Business magazine. He is the 2008 recipient of the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association's prestigious Walter E. Hoffman Community Service Award, and completed the Leadership Hampton Roads program in 2004.

Notable Accomplishments

• Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association's Walter E. Hoffman Award - 2008

• Inside Business's Top 40 under 40 - 2008

• Leadership Hampton Roads - 2004

Representative Matters

• Represented marine terminal operator in multiple multi-million dollar actions concerning operations of Virginia's ports.

• Represented several vessel owners in multi-million dollar Jones Act and unseaworthiness claims.

• Represented commercial fishing association in several National Marine Fisheries claims.

• Represented marine construction company in several federal and state workers' compensation claims.

• Represented state created insurance mutual fund in products liability, personal injury, and premise liability claims.

• Represented estate surety in multiple probate matters.

• Represented landlord in defense of multi-million dollar lead paint claim.

Professional & Community Activities

• Serves on the board of Colonna's Shipyard, Inc.

• Maritime Law Association of the United States

• Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute

• Virginia Maritime Association

• Virginia State Bar

• Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association

Select Publications

• The Best Lawyers in America 2014 Lists 23 Vandeventer Black Attorneys


Areas of Practice (7)

  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Maritime Contracts
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
  • General Litigation
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Workers Compensation
  • Surety and Fidelity Law

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
757-392-4748  Phone
(757) 502-7344  Phone
(757) 502-7399  Fax
University Attended:
University of Virginia, B.A.
Law School Attended:
College of William and Mary, J.D.
Year of First Admission:
1996, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; 1996, Virginia; 1997, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; 2006, United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa and MasterCard

Peer Reviews

  • 4.7/5.0 (11 reviews)
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience

  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Attorney on 03/30/18 in Litigation

    I have an extremely high opinion of Tom Berkley and his legal abilities. He is foremost a person a strongly-held ethical standards. He simply will not deviate from those standards. He is a superb litigator and advocate for his clients. He is comf... Read more

    Read more

    I have an extremely high opinion of Tom Berkley and his legal abilities. He is foremost a person a strongly-held ethical standards. He simply will not deviate from those standards. He is a superb litigator and advocate for his clients. He is comfortable in the courtroom and exhibits a thorough knowledge of the relevant law. He is always well-prepared. He often achieves very good results for his clients. There are few, if any, attorneys, I hold in higher esteem than Tom Berkley. Read less

    Read less
  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Member on 03/26/18 in Insurance

See All 11 Reviews »

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Client Reviews

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Virginia Beach, Virginia

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