James L. "Jim" Chapman IV

James L. "Jim" Chapman IV

Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C.

Recognized since 2007

Norfolk, Virginia

Practice Areas

Admiralty and Maritime Law

Commercial Litigation

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2021 - Admiralty and Maritime Law
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Jim is Chairman of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. His primary practice areas include admiralty, business, cybersecurity, data privacy, railroad/transit, and unmanned systems. Jim has tried over 100 cases to jury verdicts for clients involving a broad range of legal disputes.

Jim advises governing boards and senior leadership regarding risks and resolution strategies in high-profile cases. His service as general counsel to companies, and as a director and officer of several non-profit organizations, helps clients resolve difficult challenges and plan strategically.

From 2013 - 2017, Jim served on the governing board of Virginia Tech, and was chair (Rector) of the board in 2016 - 2017. Virginia Tech is a leading research university with an annual budget of $1.5 billion, serving over 30,000 students. The University’s motto is Ut Prosim, Latin for “That I May Serve,” which is Jim’s passion for both his alma mater and his clients.

Contact & Links


  • 150 West Main Street, Suite 1500
    Norfolk, VA 23510

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, Virginia State Bar
  • North Carolina, North Carolina Bar Association


  • Virginia Bar Association - Member
  • American Bar Association - Member
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel - Member
  • Defense Research Institute - Member
  • Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International - Member
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute - Chairman, 1997
  • I'Anson-Hoffman American Inn of Court - President, 2010-2011
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States - Proctor
  • Housing Authority Defense Attorneys - Member
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel - Member
  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals - Member
  • Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association - Member
  • Virginia Law Foundation - Fellow, 2016

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
  • United States District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2021 - Admiralty and Maritime Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Admiralty and Maritime Law, Norfolk (2021)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Commercial Litigation

Special Focus

  • COVID-19


  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected as a Top Rated Lawyer in Transportation by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
  • Listed in Virginia Super Lawyers, Transportation/Maritime, 2006-2018
  • Listed in Virginia's Legal Elite, Civil Litigation, Virginia Business Magazine, 2011, 2014
  • Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission Award, 2003

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