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"Jim Theobald is 'one of the premier land use development lawyers. He has an innate ability to navigate his way through difficult waters.'"  Chambers USA

Former Hirschler chairman Jim Theobald is a developer’s lawyer.  He has assisted some of the nation’s largest developers and retailers in making their projects a reality for over three decades with Hirschler Fleischer.  From contract negotiations through rezoning and permitting, Jim brings a creative, aggressive advocacy to bear in finding a way to make a deal work.

Jim is currently involved in rezoning to repurpose a regional mall as well as a number of economic development opportunities for commercial/industrial and multi-use developments.

He has served Hirschler as a past chairman, past president, former chair of the Real Estate Section and as founder of the firm’s highly regarded Weinberg Land Use Forum.


Best Lawyers in America® for Land Use & Zoning Law, and Real Estate Law, 1993 - 2012, 2014 - 2024

Virginia Super Lawyers, Land Use/Zoning, 2006 - 2024

Honored as one of the "Top 100: Virginia" and one of the "Top 50: Richmond," Virginia Super Lawyers, 2013, 2021 - 2024

Named a “Leader in the Field,” Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, Southern Virginia, Chambers USA: Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2004 - 2015, 2017 - 2024

Named to “Legal Elite” (Real Estate/Land Use), Virginia Business, 2003 - 2004, 2006 - 2014, 2016, 2018 - 2022

Named to “Legal Elite” (Legal Services/Pro Bono), Virginia Business 2017

Received Chambers USA’s highest ranking, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2016

Named Richmond Lawyer of the Year, Land Use and Zoning, The Best Lawyers in America, 2015

Named a “Leader in the Law,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2014

Honored as one of the Top 100 Virginia Super Lawyers and one of the Top 50 Richmond, Virginia Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013 and 2021

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Real Estate Circle of Excellence

Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Fellow, The American Bar Foundation

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent®  - This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.

  • 2019 "Best Law Firms" Badge Artwork
  • American Bar Foundation Fellows
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Best Law firms 2021
  • Best Law Firms 2022
  • Best Law Firms 2023
  • chambers 2018
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Theobald Chambers 2019
  • theobald chambers 2020
  • Virginia Legal Elite



Represented various buyers and sellers in the structuring, contract negotiating and financing of merger and acquisition transactions.

Represented one of the nation’s largest discount appliance chains in acquiring sites throughout the country. Also structured sale/lease back transactions, including those with foreign investors, and other financing related to the acquisition and development of store locations.

Participated in the assembly, contract negotiations, rezoning, acquisition and financing for numerous mixed-use developments for a large Virginia based developer. Also participated in the preparation of the owner’s association/golf membership documents.

Has provided representation with regard to the formation of planned communities, including condominium documentation.





Professional Affiliations

Richmond Bar Association

American Bar Association (Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section)

Virginia State Bar (Real Property Section)

Home Building Association of Richmond (PAC)

Richmond Real Estate Group

Business and Civic Organizations

Richmond Goodwill Industries, Board of Directors

Past Yoga Instructor, Veterans Administration Hospital for PTSD Program and Richmond City Jail

ChamberRVA, Finance Committee

Venture Richmond, Board of Directors, Executive Committee

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Member, Board of Visitors

Beyond the Law

Beyond the Law

A certified yoga instructor, Jim provided volunteer instruction to the veterans in the PTSD program at the Veterans Administration Hospital and to men in the Richmond City Jail. 

From humble beginnings as a bass player with a junior high garage band, he has continued to play in a classic rock band for more than 30 years helping individuals and organizations raise funds for charity. In 2015, Jim and his wife Mary joined four other couples to create Valley Road Vineyards, an award-winning winery near the mountains of western Virginia.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D.

College of William & Mary, B.A.

  • Virginia
  • Ohio (Inactive)
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