H. Aubrey Ford III
Prior to his formal retirement from active litigation practice effective January 1, 2020, Aubrey had a distinguished forty-year career during which he was recognized as one of the pre-eminent trial lawyers in Virginia. He successfully handled an exceptionally diverse array of federal and state cases during his career. He served as lead trial attorney in cases involving legal malpractice; first amendment rights; religious, race, and age discrimination; sexual assault and harassment; class actions; wrongful death; personal injury; breach of contract; business conspiracy; wrongful employment termination; toxic torts and construction disputes. He tried over 125 civil trials to verdict.
Aubrey’s skills as an advocate were repeatedly recognized by his peers and the public. He was honored to be inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a strictly invitation-only organization of the most respected trial lawyers in the U.S. and Canada in the opinion of judges and fellow practitioners. Membership is limited to the top one percent of attorneys in each state. He currently serves on the College’s Virginia State Committee. In 2017, he was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Membership in the Academy is by invitation only and is limited to 500 fellows from the United States.
Aubrey was named by his peers as one of the Top Ten Virginia Super Lawyers® for three consecutive years. He has been included in Best Lawyers in America® since 1999 and in 2019 was listed in five separate litigation categories. His work in employment law has also been widely recognized. In 2016 and 2014, his peers honored Aubrey with a designation as “ Richmond Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law” from Best Lawyers in America®. In 2021, Aubrey was honored to be inducted into the Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly Hall of Fame.
Aubrey also had experience in the legislative arena. Aubrey is the author and primary proponent of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (Virginia Code § 8.01-216) passed unanimously by the Virginia General Assembly in 2002. This Act allows Virginia citizens with knowledge of fraud involving public funds to bring a civil action on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Aubrey has also been invited to speak frequently on a variety of litigation topics to many legal and business groups. He has spoken to lawyer organizations on topics of general civil litigation, civil rights, commercial litigation, legal malpractice, False Claims Act, and employment law.
Aubrey was married in 2019 to Angie Rowton, and he has two sons now living in Denver, CO and Washington, DC. He travels extensively internationally and is currently training to become a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher.
J.D., University of Virginia 1979
B.A., University of North Carolina – Chapel Hil 1975
Phi Beta Kappa
- Virginia (1979)
- All Virginia Courts
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
- U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Cantor Stoneburner Ford Grana & Buckner, Partner (operated with Breit, Drescher & Imprevento as Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci2019 -2021)
- Cantor Arkema, P.C., Partner (1991-2009)
- Browder & Russell, Partner and Head of Litigation Section (1979-1991)
Honors & Awards
- Virginia Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame Member (2021)
- American College of Trial Lawyers (2007-present)
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers (2017-present)
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards
- Best Lawyers in America®, in the categories of Legal Malpractice Law, Civil Rights Law, Commercial Litigation, and Bet-the-Company Litigation (1999-present)
- Best Lawyers in America® “Richmond Employment Law – Individual’s Lawyer of the Year” (2016, 2014)
- Virginia Super Lawyers® (2006-2013, 2017-2018), selected by Law & Politics
- Top 10 Virginia Super Lawyers® (2011, 2012, 2013, 2018)
- Top 50 Virginia Super Lawyers® (2010, 2011)
- Top 50 Richmond Super Lawyers® (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- Top 100 Virginia Super Lawyers® (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018)
- “Legal Elite” for the state of Virginia, named by Virginia Business magazine
- Faculty, Virginia State Bar Mandatory Course on Professionalism (2000-2003)
- Virginia Bar Association
- Virginia State Bar
- Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
- Professional Liability Section Chair (2007-2009)
- Employment Law Section Chair (1999)
- Constitutional Law Section Chair (1998)
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- Chrysalis Institute (2010-present)
- Current President
- Coalition for a Greater Richmond, Co-Chair (1995-2006)
- American Friendship Library Project, Board of Directors (1993-1996)
- Richmond Ballet, Board of Directors (1986-1994)
- Chair, Virginia Bar Association statewide project to establish law libraries in Poland and Estonia (1998)
- Volunteer, numerous civic associations
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