Robert Chappell’s practice focuses on commercial bankruptcy, bankruptcy litigation, creditors’ rights insolvency, and business. He represents lenders in all facets of commercial credit transactions from origination to work-out and recovery. Recently, he has represented asset purchasers in complex bankruptcies, represented debtors in Chapter 11 cases selling real properties, helped restructure the finances of a continuing-care-retirement-community and assisted in the resolution of major credit issues involving real estate developments, condominium developments, title litigation, hotels, and golf courses. He also provides counsel to local businesses, with a focus on community banks.

Following law school, Robert served as a law clerk to the Honorable Hal J. Bonney, Jr., a United States Bankruptcy Court Judge in Norfolk, Virginia. Robert is a Director of Froehling & Robertson, Incorporated and a Director of the Shirley Plantation Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Richmond Bar Association and is a past Chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the Richmond Bar Association. He volunteers his time for various local charities, including The Doorways.


  • The College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, Williamsburg, Virginia (J.D., 1990)
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (B.A., English and History, 1987)

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit


  • Hon. Hal J. Bonney, Jr., U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge, Norfolk, Virginia, Law Clerk, 1990 - 1991

Representative Experience

  • Co-counsel to a coal company purchasing material assets of Patriot Coal and affiliated entities in debt refinance transaction through confirmed plan of reorganization in chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. See In re Patriot Coal Corp., et al. (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2015), Case # 15-32450-KLP.
  • Counsel to affiliated Chapter 11 debtors selling 29 apartment buildings through section 363 bankruptcy sale process to purchaser for $37.3 million. See In re River City Renaissance, LC, et al. (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2014), Case #14-34080-KLP.
  • Co-counsel to a coal company purchasing material assets of James River Coal and affiliated entities in $50,000,000.00, section 363 sale transaction in bankruptcy proceeding. See In re James River Coal Co., et al. (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2014), Case # 14-31848-KRH.
  • Counsel to sponsoring entity whose wholly owned subsidiary, a continuing care retirement community, successfully restructured $133,000,000 of existing debt to $85,725,000 in reissued debt through a 91 day, prepackaged Chapter 11 proceeding.
  • Counsel to lead lender of $19,000,000 participated loan secured by hotel property, obtaining out-of-court workout/recovery.

Representative Cases

  • Parker v. N.C. Agric. Fin. Auth., 341 B.R. 547 (U.S. District Court E.D. Va. 2006)
  • Phillips v. Rinehart, 352 B.R. 427 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Va. 2005)
  • Richards v. Rapid Funding, LLC, 336 B.R. 722 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Va. 2004)
  • In re Ahearn, 318 B.R. 638 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Va. 2003)
  • In re Herndon, 218 B.R. 821 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Va. 1998)

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America 2011-2016 for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation: Bankruptcy
  • Virginia Super Lawyers 2008-2015 for Bankruptcy: Business
  • Virginia Business magazine's Legal Elite for Creditors' Rights

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia Creditors Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Bar Association of the City of Richmond, Member, Board of Directors, 2003-2004
  • Bar Association of the City of Richmond, Chair, Bankruptcy Section, 2003 - 2004

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Hot Topics in Business Bankruptcy Law Seminar, March 21, 2014 in Fairfax, Virginia. Robert spoke on a panel discussing Issues and Strategies in Health Care/Continuing Care Retirement Community Bankruptcy Cases.
  • Guide to Revised Article 9 - Changes in the Law of Secured Transactions and Selected Bankruptcy Issues, Atlantic Agricultural Credit Conference, 2003

Birth Information

  • 1965, Richmond, Virginia