The PWHD Business Law Group represents a wide range of clients, from start-up companies to Fortune 500 corporations. These lawyers have a broad range of experience in providing sound advice to corporate clients, forming new business entities, selling and acquiring businesses, acquiring, developing and selling real estate, prosecuting and defending commercial litigation, drafting wills and trusts, and administering estates. Attorneys in the Business Group frequently work with and appear before local, state and federal governmental entities, boards and commissions. We focus on providing effective, efficient representation to assist our clients in understanding all their options and to achieve the clients' goals.


The Business Group successfully handles cases on behalf a wide range of clients including:

  • Commercial Banking & Finance (borrowers and lenders),

  • Commercial Litigation and Appeals,

  • Mergers & acquisitions,

  • Non-profit organizations,

  • Local governments,

  • Sports and entertainment companies,

  • Business groups,

  • Commercial and residential real estate development,

  • Hospitality industry, and

  • Start-up entity formation


Our Business Law attorneys will discuss your business and goals with you then help you select the form of entity appropriate for your situation. Here are some of the types of entities available in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company (“LLC”) is an entity that contains a combination of features from both corporations and partnerships. The individuals that own and make up an LLC are called its “members” that may be individuals, another entity or a trust. An LLC limits the liability of its owners/members to the amount invested in the LLC and the LLC’s total assets, in normal circumstances. This means an owner’s personal assets are not subject to attacks by persons dealing with the LLC. We refer to this as a “limited liability shield” and is a defining characteristic of and contributes to the name of each LLC.


A corporation is another distinct legal entity with formal requisites for ownership and operation. Advantages of the corporate form include the following: (1) the shareholders or owners have the same type of limited personal liability for corporate debts and obligations as found in LLCs, owners may transfer their ownership rights to others (within certain limitations); (3) the corporation may have perpetual life; and (4) the corporation generally has a regular process for management decision-making.


A partnership is an association of two or more individuals with the intent to carry on a business as co-owners. A partnership is considered to be a separate entity distinct from the partners themselves. Real or personal property can be purchased in the partnership name, or a partnership can sue and be sued in the partnership name. A partnership may be a general or limited partnership and now includes variants such as Registered Limited Liability Partnerships.

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)

LLP stands for limited liability partnership and the major benefit of operating as an LLP is that the partners are not personally liable for the negligent acts of other partners or partnership employees nor for the contractual obligations of the LLP.

Limited Partnerships

A limited partnership consists of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. This type of partnership differs from a general partnership primarily because the liability of a limited partner for partnership debts is generally limited to the investment that he/she contributed to the partnership.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business if you’re going to be the only owner, and if all of the income generated from this venture will go to you. The tax consequences are simple, in that you’ll only need to file one return, but the downside is that you are also personally liable for any tort or contractual liability you incur.

We value our role as counsel to start-ups and small businesses. We realize that many small businesses have genuine concerns about the expense of lawyers; we are sensitive to that concern and actively work with you to control legal costs by discussing the scope of work and the costs involved before we provide any legal services. We can provide estimates or fixed pricing plans so that you have greater cost certainty.

The following attorneys provide services to clients with needs in this area:

Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C. also has broad experience in various aspects of procurement and construction projects: from bid documents to financing, financial support arrangements, joint ventures, construction contracts, subcontracts, technology supply and license agreements, technical service agreements, project management agreements, operational management agreements, contract administration, claims, disputes, alternative dispute resolution techniques and, where necessary to resolve disputes, arbitration and litigation.

Please contact us with questions or to obtain legal services in the construction law area.