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An immersive litigator who connects with clients, as well as judge and jury

When she represents clients in litigation, Rachel Adams immerses herself in her clients’ businesses to become part of their team.

“When you’re representing an organization, you have to know the day-to-day life of your client’s business to represent them effectively,” Rachel says. “I enjoy embedding myself with clients and connecting to them on a one-on-one basis. You can’t get that depth of information from reading documents — you have to sit down with your clients and gain an understanding of their world.”

It’s this immersion mentality — “knowing the facts backwards and forwards” — she brings to clients across an array of industries in her passion as a litigator, where she represents clients in complex civil litigation and arbitration matters, including administrative law disputes, constitutional officer actions, shareholder derivative suits, wrongful death and premises liability actions, construction defect arbitrations, and more. As a litigator, she has served on large case teams, where she has coordinated large-scale document productions and drafted dispositive motions.

Prior to joining ThompsonMcMullan, Rachel was a commercial litigation associate for an AmLaw 100 firm in Washington D.C.  There, she mastered the fundamentals — and on-your-feet art — of trial and arbitration litigation in high-stakes, bet-the-company cases. “Being a successful litigator means not only being aggressive and zealous in representing your client, but having the ability to connect on a personal level with judge or jury,” she explains. “You want to be in tune with your audience.”

And, she notes, while litigators are seen as advocates, rather than counselors, she appreciates taking the next step with clients after litigation has been resolved. “It’s important,” she says, “that we are there to help our clients take the next steps to analyze lessons learned, comply with judge’s orders, and equip them for success in the future.”

Prior to her time in private practice, Rachel served as a judicial intern for the Hon. David J. Novak in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and as a deputy clerk for the Fairfax County Circuit Court, which sparked her interest and catapulted her into law school.

During her time at the University of Richmond School of Law, Rachel served as editor-in-chief of its Law Review. It’s a position that not only honed leadership skills, but gave her access to and close discussions with the school’s Dean. It also kept her on cusp of topical, timely legal trends. “I felt like I was contributing to the law school as whole, not just the Law Review,” she explained. “I really loved leading that team of sixty fellow students to make a meaningful mark on Virginia legal scholarship.”

Representative Experience

  • Represented commercial customers in Virginia State Corporation Commission proceedings
  • Assisted in seeking regulatory approvals for certificates for competitive telecommunications services
  • Represented developer of high-end condominium project sued in arbitration by condominium unit owners’ association and individual unit owners alleging breach of contract, breach of warranty, misrepresentation, and consumer protection act violations.
  • Successful first chair defense of automotive repair company against claims for breach of contract, fraud, and violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act
  • Represented officer of a closely held corporation in shareholder derivative suit in federal court; drafted dispositive motion resulting in the court dismissing claims brought pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1964 (RICO)
  • Represented a national hospitality company in nationwide class action in which plaintiffs alleged privacy and discrimination claims; drafted memoranda in support of motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement and joint motion for final approval of class action settlement
  • Defended student loan servicer served with a confidential investigative demand (CID) by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; drafted petition to set aside or alternatively modify the CID and an appellate brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© “Ones to Watch,” in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Government Relations Practice (2023)
  • Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite,” Young Lawyer (Under 40) category (2021-2022)
  • Virginia Lawyers Weekly Up & Coming Lawyers List (2022)


  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2017

    • Editor-in-Chief, Richmond Law Review
  • American University, B.A., 2012


  • All Virginia Courts including the Supreme Court of Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


  • Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference
  • Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
  • Women in Cable Television (WICT), Secretary
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
    • Virginia Finest Honoree (2021)
    • Young Professional Leadership Council, Virginia Chapter
  • My Princess Project
    • Board Member (2021)
  • Former Head Coach, Girls on the Run of Greater Richmond (2015-2017)
  • Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
    • Associate Trustee (2019-2021)

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