James Downey, Attorney at Law, Warrenton, VA

James Downey is a well-known land use, tax assessment appeal, and commercial real estate litigator. He has over forty years of experience in representing property owners and municipalities, both in private practice and as County Attorney for Fauquier (1980 – 1989), and Assistant County Attorney for Fairfax (1974 – 1978). He has represented large corporations as well as individual landowners, before government boards, commissions and courts, including the Supreme Court of Virginia. He has practiced in thirty different Virginia jurisdictions in cases involving property tax, agricultural, commercial and industrial land use, zoning and subdivision issues, and environmental law.

Jim received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University and his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees from George Washington University. He has distinguished himself for his knowledge and experience in cases involving environmental impact issues, complex zoning appeals, regional land use concerns and real estate transactions.

Jim is particularly well known for his expertise in tax assessment appeals. He is the co-author of the Virginia chapter of the American Bar Association’s Property Tax Desk Book, and receives considerable referrals for his skill and knowledge in state and local property tax appeals.

Jim Downey is a lifelong resident of Virginia and has practiced for his entire legal career, beginning in 1974, in the Commonwealth. He served as County Attorney for Fauquier County, and has been counsel or Board Member of many civic organizations including the chairman of the Fauquier County Commission on the U.S. Bicentennial, Town of Warrenton Architectural Review Board and Planning Commission, Fauquier Community Action Agency, The Fauquier Community Theatre, Fauquier Fire and Rescue Association, Boys and Girls Club of Fauquier County, and Warrenton Rotary Club. Jim was recognized for his community service activities as a charter member of The Virginia Bar Association’s Community Servant Program and served one term as chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Jim is counsel to John W. Sudduth American Legion Post 72. He served in the 69th Infantry Regiment and the Army Security Agency during the Vietnam era. He is an active member of the Veteran’s Corps of the 69th Infantry Regiment.

He recently received the Certificate in Financial Planning from the Georgetown University Center for Continuing and Professional Education, to provide enhanced service to the firm’s estate planning and elder law clients.


Virginia State and Local Property Tax and Permitting

  • Tax practice before 30 different Virginia city, county or town governments/boards and state agencies, including Virginia State Corporation Commission.
  • Numerous Special Exceptions and rezoning applications in Northern Virginia.

Major Tax and Other Municipal Law Litigation

Jim has represented many clients in such areas as tax assessment, property condemnation and conservation easement issues for such clients as:

  • Residential subdivision developers
  • Commercial real estate developers
  • Championship Golf courses
  • Insurance companies
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Defense Contractors
  • Major multinational corporations
  • Shopping complexes
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Hospitals and other health care establishments
  • Hotels
  • Banks and other financial institutions