Brett is the head of the Commercial Litigation Section and an experienced trial lawyer with a wide-ranging commercial and civil litigation practice. Working with both small and large clients, he has handled a variety of matters at all levels in the state and federal systems in Virginia, as well as cases throughout the country. He primarily focuses on complex litigation, with an emphasis on business litigation, municipal law, First Amendment and media law, trade secret disputes, land use and other real estate litigation, and trusts and estates litigation. Brett also serves as the firm's risk management partner and general counsel, which includes advising other attorneys on a variety of ethical issues.

    • Education

      • J.D., University of Virginia, 1999
      • B.A., University of Virginia, 1995

      Professional Recognition

      • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2020-2024; Media Law, 2024
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    • Memberships

      • Virginia State Bar
      • Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
      • Federal Bar Association


      • Chair, Commercial Litigation Section

Business Litigation
Brett regularly represents corporate, governmental, and individual clients in all manner of business disputes, including litigation involving contractual rights, M&A transactions, intellectual property, shareholder rights, real estate litigation, theft of trade secrets, defamation and business torts.

  • Acted as lead counsel for an international heavy-equipment manufacturer in a multi-year case involving the theft of trade secrets.  After reaching a favorable settlement with one set of defendants, obtained a $121 million default judgment that was upheld in the Virginia Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court after the defaulting defendant appeared and challenged the judgment.
  • Following a week-long trial in Henrico County, forced a highly favorable settlement in a breach of contract action involving the development of commercial property.
  • Prevailed in a bench trial on behalf of an attorney challenging the split of a large contingent fee upon the dissolution of the partnership.
  • Successfully defended an international aviation company in a week-long arbitration against claims that the company had breached the terms of an M&A agreement.
  • Lead counsel for the plaintiff in a ten-day arbitration against Yahoo Sports that resulted in a favorable settlement prior to judgment.

  • Prevailed in a bench trial for a local city that resulted in establishing title to land that had been in dispute for over 100 years.
  • Successfully defended a city in a week-long bench trial concerning the title to platted, but unused streets.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a redevelopment and housing authority against claims brought by a developer.

  • Successfully defended a weekly news and entertainment magazine and obtained a directed verdict after a four-day jury trial on a defamation claim by a member of a county board of supervisors.
  • Successfully defended a television station in a defamation action brought by a former school system budget director which resulted in the court granting judgment as a matter of law after the plaintiff rested her case.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a Florida newspaper in a defamation action brought by a prominent local figure.
  • Successfully defended a local television station against a defamation claim involving a report over the plaintiff’s arrest.
  • Obtained a summary judgment in favor of a local newspaper, upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court, in a case brought by a former member of the local school board.
  • After a three-day jury trial, won a directed verdict in a defamation case against a newspaper brought by the owner of a home for mentally challenged adults.

  • Law clerk to the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Eastern District of Virginia, 1999-2000.

News / Publications


View More Brett A. Spain Member Willcox & Savage, P.C. (757) 628-5534 (757) 628-5566
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