John F. Sawyer


John F. Sawyer represents businesses and individuals in federal and state courts throughout the Hampton Roads region.  His cases have involved multi-million dollar loan workouts for financial institutions, significant estate litigation involving real property and forensic accounting issues, Clean Water Act regulatory compliance and litigation, injunction hearings, and contract disputes.  Mr. Sawyer has an active creditors’ rights practice where he assists clients in the collection of accounts receivable and delinquent debt obligations.  Mr. Sawyer was selected for inclusion in the Virginia Super Lawyers listing for the last five years.  He is listed among Virginia’s Legal Elite, has an Avvo rating of 10, and he has been recognized as a Top Lawyer of Coastal Virginia by Coastal Virginia Magazine.  He sits on the Board of Trustees of Norfolk Collegiate School; he is a Trustee of Second Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, chairs the Professionalism Committee of the Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association, he is a board member of the Sertoma Club of Norfolk, and  enjoys coaching youth soccer.

Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2004


  • Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
    • J.D. – 2003
    • Law Review: Pennsylvania State International Law Review
  • The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
    • B.A. – 1997

Published Works

  • “Shipbreaking and the North-South Debate: Economic Development or Environmental and Labor Catastrophe?”, 20 Penn St. Intl. L. Rev. 535, 2002


  • Environmental Issues in the Foreclosure Process, NBI, 2010
  • Landlord Tenant Law Update, Sterling Educational Services, 2010
  • Judgment Enforcement: Post Judgment Collections, Lorman Education Services, 2008
  • Landlord Tenant Law: Surviving in a Difficult Economy, Sterling Education Services, 2012
  • Ethical Considerations in Landlord-Tenant Law, Sterling Education Services, July 2013
  • Collections: Seeking and Collecting a Judgment, NBI, May 2013
  • 9th Annual Landlord-Tenant Law, SES, September 2013
  • Landlord Tenant Evictions, Court and Litigation, Sterling Educational Services, 2014
  • Landlord Tenant Law: Lease Agreements, Defaults, and Collections, 2016

Honors and Awards

  • Selected as one of Coastal Virginia Magazine’s, “Top Lawyers”, 2015
  • Judgment Enforcement: Post Judgment Collections, Lorman Education Services, 2008
  • Listed as one of Virginia’s “Rising Stars in Super Lawyers Magazine” (Business Lit), 2008 – 2015
  • The Richard Reeve Baxter Award, Recognition of Excellence in Scholarship and Legal Writing in the Field of International Law, 2002
  • Avvo Superior Rating

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association, Professionalism Committee, Chair
  • Virginia Beach Bar Association, Member
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Bar Association

Pro Bono Activities

  • REACH Program Volunteer – Reading Enriches All Children
  • Sertoma Club of Norfolk
  • Second Presbyterian Church, Trustee, former Session Member
  • Norfolk United Soccer Club, Youth Coach


  • English
  • German


  • Sigma Phi Epsilon