Dunlap Law's business law practice serves as a partner to emerging and established privately-held companies, Fortune 500-1000 companies, municipalities or local governments, small businesses, and non-profits.
Because business can be a force for good
"At its best, business in America has always been an expression of freedom, a path to wealth and prosperity for yourself and your family, and a force for good for the larger society." - Tricia Dunlap
In our cynical era, that idea might seem old-fashioned, but at Dunlap Law we believe it and rally to defend it. Just like the visionaries in history books – the Ben Franklins or Maggie Walkers – today’s dreamers and doers will change their own lives and our world for the better.
Maggie Walker was born in the shadow of slavery right at the end of the Civil War. From the age of 14 , she honed her entrepreneurial skills and ultimately created the first bank chartered by a black woman in America. Using her businesses, Maggie built wealth for herself and her family. She also improved the lives of African Americans and women, even though Jim Crow laws stacked the deck against her.
At Dunlap Law, we guide small businesses, our nation’s heart and backbone, and help larger companies thrive by being more sustainable in their environmental, social, and governance performance.We take a holistic view of your mission and challenges and build practical approaches you can actually use. Our teams values the enduring and genuine relationships we have with our clients.
As your strategic thought partner, we help you make ethical, well-reasoned judgments every day.
Founding Principal & Attorney
“Ma’am? We’re here to evacuate you. Your house is about to flood.”
I was 34 years old and five months into a divorce. In another context, I might have welcomed a fireman at my front door. But on that morning, when I turned and looked toward Swift Creek, instead of 200’ of grass, I saw a violent filthy river swallowing my deck.
You find out who your friends are when you call at 7:30 AM on Memorial Day.
And so began a dark and uncertain stretch of my life. For the next two and a half years, it felt like I fought everyone – even Mother Nature, though you never win against her. Her second swipe at me came with Hurricane Isabel that September. My house was under water again for days. After Isabel, I vowed that I would never again put my children in that house. I contemplated bankruptcy and foreclosure. I lobbied Chesterfield County, my Congressman, and my Senators for the help my neighbors and I needed. I argued with FEMA over disaster aid. I disputed the pitiful values insurance adjusters assigned to my damages. My ex-husband declared he wouldn’t sign our mediated agreement and we headed to court. When insurance denied Serv-Pro’s claim, they sued me and I found myself back in court. At every turn, I had no choice but to make high-stakes decisions on imperfect information.
In hindsight, I am deeply grateful for all of it. It made me.
I call on the skills I learned every single day. In partnership with my clients, I prevent mistakes, solve problems, teach, and counsel. I listen. We make hard decisions together. And when the creek rises, I’m there to take the call.
Founder, Pike IP Law
Bernie is a registered patent attorney. With a degree in chemical engineering from Drexel University, he began his career as a process engineer for Bayer, and then continued developing his engineering skills and knowledge at several other sophisticated manufacturing businesses, such as Rhodia and Albright & Wilson. Over time, he developed an interest and passion for the IP aspect of manufacturing. He followed his entrepreneurial spirit to law school at the University of Richmond and graduated in 1999. After law school, Bernie practiced intellectual property law for two highly respected global law firms -- K &L Gates and Troutman Sanders.
In 2012, Bernie launched Pike IP Law. At Pike IP Law, Bernie blends his business experience and engineering skills with the sophistication and experience he gained at the big law firms into a unique, personalized, and simplified approach focused on practical, down-to-earth legal counsel.
Heather Hormel Miller
Like Tricia, Heather also worked in one of the world’s biggest law firms before charting her own path. While there, Heather learned federal government contracting from leading attorneys in this niche practice.
Later, as in-house counsel for a global electronic health records software company, Heather worked on legal compliance and reporting requirements for massive federal government projects for the Coast Guard, the DoD, and the VA. She will happily worry about your FARS and DFARS compliance, IP risks, and subcontractors so that you don’t have to.
Heather is also an expert in legal issues involved in oversight of clinical trials. As part of handling a high volume of Clinical Trial Agreements between pharma companies and their global research sites, she has navigated foreign regulations and negotiating styles in other cultures.
A well-rounded attorney, Heather’s experience in a small town general practice also makes her adept at finding practical and useful solutions for small businesses.
Cathy recently retired from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit where she served as motions deputy from 2009 to 2017. Before that, she was a corporate paralegal at Williams Mullen in Richmond where she handled a wide variety of client needs from simple matters such as corporate resolutions or minutes to complex projects involving highly detailed and exhaustive due diligence scrutiny for mergers or acquisitions.
Cathy’s dedication to her profession shows – she has earned leadership roles on the Continuing Education Council of the National Association of Legal Assistants (“NALA”), served as President of the Richmond Paralegal Association, and as Alumni President of the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies.
How Dunlap Law Started
"I always knew, deep down, that I’d start my own firm someday and build into its DNA the sense of purpose that has always driven me.
I started Dunlap Law in 2015 with a mission to help businesses thrive and an emphasis on empowering clients by educating them.
I am still a teacher and everyone at Dunlap Law applies that ethic to our mission. Today I teach my clients so they can understand risks, weigh pros and cons, and protect what they’ve built while spending their legal budget wisely.
We understand what keeps you up at night because we’re a small business too. Maybe you have an amazing logo that needs trademark protection. Or your executives need advice on spotting and managing risks, and communicating that to stakeholders. Perhaps you’re growing and need to lease or buy new space. We can help." - Tricia Dunlap