Burnett & Williams

Burnett & Williams

Burnett & Williams is one of the oldest and most experienced personal injury law firms in Virginia.

Firm Overview

With more than two decades of experience in personal injury litigation and insurance law, we have built our reputation on hard work and thorough advocacy for every client. For us, professionalism is a personal commitment. That means no detail can be ignored, and every legal option must be evaluated on every case.

We are always committed to a negotiated settlement, but our experience shows that insurance companies pay fair compensation only when there is no other way to avoid the expense and risk of a jury trial. With that in mind, we put every case on two tracks, negotiating patiently and carefully towards settlement, while also laying the groundwork to go to trial if necessary. On both tracks, we are served by the diverse backgrounds of our partners who carry a wide range of knowledge and years of courtroom experience:
Jim Williams, a former in-house counsel for a large insurance company.
Donald Culkin, an attorney with an advanced degree in mechanical engineering.
Peter Burnett, honored as one of the best trial lawyers in America.

The attorneys at Burnett & Williams have received many honors in recognition of outstanding work, and the firm was recently named one of US News' 'Best Law Firms' in Virginia. We have produced notable verdicts, settlements, and appellate results in cases arising from wrongful deaths, medical malpractice, tractor trailer accidents, traumatic brain injuries, defective products, and serious orthopedic injuries. With offices in Leesburg, Midlothian, Hopewell, Winchester, and Reston, our firm continues to build on its successes by providing expert attention to detail and personal attention to every client on every case.
Main Office
Main Office
105 Loundoun St SE
Leesburg  VA  20175
  • (703) 777-1650

Office Information

Office Hours
9am-5pm, M-F
Emergency After Hours

Other Offices

224 North Main St
Suite 100
Reston,  VA  20191
1527 Huguenot Rd
Suite 201
Midlothian,  VA  23113
1900 Campus Commons Drive
Suite 100
Reston,  VA  20191
14 S. Kent Street
Winchester,  VA  22601
6 West Broad Street
Richmond,  VA  23220

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Every client's loss is uniquely personal. At Burnett & Williams individual attention and legal excellence are the hallmarks of our representation. Maximum recoveries are the result of careful fact investigation, thoughtful legal analysis, and experienced advocacy. Insurance companies low-ball the unprepared; they pay fair compensation when there is no other way to avoid the expense and risk of trial. We do the hard work of being ready, willing, and able to try our client's case if necessary, because it gets the results our clients deserve.

Peter C. Burnett

Peter C. Burnett is a graduate of Hobart College and the Antioch School of Law. He has been licensed to practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia for over 35 years, and was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Initially Peter served Loudoun County as a general practice lawyer, but in 1988, he decided to limit his practice to personal injury law. In the 25 years since, he has established an impressive track record, building Burnett & Williams into one of the most experienced personal injury firms in the state.

Peter has guided the firm through a number of noteworthy cases including multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for wrongful death, medical malpractice and automobile accident cases. He has earned a reputation as a relentless advocate who is always willing to negotiate carefully and creatively on behalf of his clients if a fair outcome can be achieved. In cases large and small, Peter works closely with clients to uncover every important detail and to convey a full understanding of their claims to the insurance adjustors and attorneys on the other side.

For his dedicated service to his clients and the legal system in Virginia, Peter has received numerous accolades and honors. He has served in leadership positions for the Virginia State Bar, including a term as chairman of the Diversity Conference, and chairman of the Judicial Nominations Committee. Governor Mark Warner appointed Peter to the Virginia Racing Commission in 2003, where he served five terms as its chairman until 2010, helping to ensure the integrity of the horse racing sport for its participants and the public. He has also been active in several local bar associations, and in 1998, the State Bar's Conference of Local Bar Associations recognized Peter's leadership by naming him Local Bar Leader of the Year for the entire state.

Peter's resume details numerous other career and professional achievements. For those who know him, though, his resume is inadequate to describe him. Peter has so many interests and pursuits that a friend once asked him: "When do you sleep?" He works tirelessly on behalf of his local community, helping to found the Leesburg Downtown Improvement Association, and serving for many years on the board of Loudoun Cares, an organization that helps steer resources to the underserved residents of Loudoun County.

Peter is an avid woodworker, and for decades he has helped his wife Diana manage a thoroughbred horse stable on their farm in Hamilton, with their two daughters Abigail and Elizabeth. In 2009, an electrical fire burned his home in a restored barn to a total loss. The Burnetts rebuilt, adapting their original floor plan to include technological advancements such as geo-thermal HVAC and winning a Design Excellence award in the process. Peter was involved in every step, from design to construction, always working to improve the outcome by scrutinizing every detail along the way.
  • Bar Number: 17222
  • Hobard College
    Bachelor of Arts , 1972
  • Antioch School of Law
    Juris Doctor , 1977

C. James Williams III

Jim Williams is a summa cum laude graduate of George Mason University School of Law who began his legal career with a prestigious assignment as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Glen M. Williams in Roanoke, Virginia. He practiced at Gentry, Locke, Rakes, and Moore in Roanoke and at Morris & Morris in Richmond before becoming litigation counsel for Progressive Insurance Company. With Progressive, he gained extensive experience as a trial attorney, giving him wide-ranging expertise in the complexities of Virginia insurance law, and knowledge of how the defense side approaches litigation.

In 1999, Jim left defense and coverage work and began representing injured plaintiffs. A veteran litigator, he has tried more than one hundred personal injury jury cases and was appellate counsel in Virginia's leading scientific evidence case, Tittsworth v. Robinson. Jim Williams joined Burnett & Williams in 2006 as the lead partner in the Richmond area, with offices in Midlothian and Hopewell, Virginia. He is a regular contributor of law journal articles on personal injury law and litigation issues. Jim's wealth of experience in insurance coverage matters provides invaluable expertise in an insurance-driven legal environment that becomes more complex each year.

Born in France and raised in Germany, Jim grew up speaking German, French, and English. He still speaks French with such a pure accent that native Frenchmen can't tell he is American. He has recently taken up Spanish, delighting in discerning the differences linguistically between Spanish, French and English. Jim has passed his love of languages on to his five children. Ranging in age from mid-teens to mid-twenties, his children are his main focus and his primary source of joy. Over the years he has been an active participant in the Midlothian PTA and a leader of the Evergreen Athletic Association.

In 2006, Jim founded The Beth Williams Field of Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit organization named after his late wife, whom he lost to cancer. The foundation is dedicated to bringing people together to make sure children have the best facilities possible to play the sports they love. Partnering with the community, the foundation recently helped transform a 3-acre tract adjacent to the Watkins Annex from an eyesore into a multi-use athletic facility that will serve the entire Midlothian community.

Jim enjoys being outdoors, whether he is running with his dogs, playing golf, skiing, camping, or fishing. His most relaxing diversion, however, is flying airplanes: like his father and uncle before him, Jim is a licensed pilot.
  • Bar Number: 27612
  • George Mason University
    Bachelor of Science , 1982
  • George Mason University Law School
    Juris Doctor , 1987

Donald C. Culkin

Don Culkin is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining Burnett & Williams, he had a general law practice that included a wide range of civil and criminal litigation matters, real estate, and land development. Since coming to Burnett & Williams, Don has covered cases in the Leesburg, Winchester and Reston offices, establising an impressive track record in various personal injury matters including medical malpractice, premises liability, products liability, and automobile accidents.

In nearly 20 years with Burnett & Williams, Don's outstanding analytical skills, along with his experience as a licensed professional engineer, have been invaluable to the firm. His lifelong interest in machinery led to undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. Don worked for several years as an engineer at a large architect-engineering firm in Roanoke, designing HVAC systems with an emphasis on energy conservation. After five years as an engineer, Don realized he wanted to find a way to help people more directly, and he enrolled in law school at the University of Virginia.

For Don, the primary role of a lawyer is to provide access to justice. He takes pride in making sure insurance companies live up to their obligations. For every client, every day, Don endeavors to ensure the system treats them fairly. He has participated in numerous cases before the Virginia Supreme Court and has been critical to successes in several substantial medical malpractice and wrongful death cases.

When Don is not concentrating on legal work, he enjoys attending baseball games at Fireman's Field in Purcellville, Davenport Field in Charlottesville, and Nationals Park in Washington. He also enjoys tinkering with old equipment on his horse farm in Hamilton, and converting his 1959 Massey Ferguson MF65 from gas to diesel is one of his proudest mechanical achievements.

Don is active in various community-related Bar Association activities and is on the Boards of Directors of Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Inc. In 2001, Don was elected President of the Loudoun County Bar Association. In 2004, he received the Justice Harry L. Carrico Award for exceptional contribution in providing pro bono legal services to the poor.
  • Bar Number: 30140
  • University of Virginia
    Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering , 1979
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering , 1982
  • University of Virginia
    Juris Doctor , 1989

Seth R. Lindberg

Seth Lindberg joined the firm's Leesburg office in 2014. Seth graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University in 2006 with a degree in international relations and political science. Seth also received his Juris Doctor from Syracuse Law in 2010. While at law school he was a Lead Articles Editor for the Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce and is published in the area of international financial regulation. Seth was also a member of the Securities Arbitration and Consumer Clinic, a clinic that helps small investors in the Syracuse area with problems in the financial and consumer markets.

Seth is an active member of the Virginia State Bar and is certified by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission to handle a variety of court-appointed cases involving juvenile and adult misdemeanors and felonies.

Born in Fairfax, Virginia and a graduate of Oakton High School in Fairfax County, Seth met his wife Rashi while at Syracuse; Rashi currently works in Arlington, Virginia for a defense contractor. Seth's sister Mary is completing her medical degree from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Seth and Rashi are avid travelers and have visited Spain, Morocco, India, Canada, and Germany. Seth is also an avid fan of the Syracuse University football and basketball teams, as well as the Washington Nationals and the Washington Redskins.
  • Bar Number: 80620
  • Syracuse University
    Bachelor of Science , 2006
    Magna Cum Laude
  • Syracuse University
    Juris Doctor , 2010
    Lead Articles Editor for the Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce.

Matthew E. Bass

Matt is a native of nearby Berryville, Virginia, and graduated Clarke County High School before attending the University of Virginia, where he received degrees in anthropology and archaeology. In 2012, Matt received his Juris Doctor from the University of the District of Columbia's David A. Clarke School of Law, graduating summa cum laude, at the top of his class.

While in law school, Matt dedicated more than 750 hours to the Housing and Consumer Law Clinic and Community Development Legal Clinic, helping indigent clients in the Washington, D.C. area. For his outstanding legal clinic work, Matt received The Olender Foundation's Earl H. Davis Advocacy Award. He was also winner of the LeClerq Best Brief Award, and served as Publications Editor of the U.D.C. Law Review.

Matt is an active member of the Virginia State Bar. Prior to joining Burnett & Williams to focus exclusively on personal injury law, Matt's practice included a wide range of civil and criminal litigation in Northern Virginia.

Outside the law, Matt has a broad range of interests. He is an avid sports fan of all the local professional teams, and though he has been known to play baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf, these days he mainly sticks to golf and softball. Matt also enjoys producing music as a hobby both his father and twin brother are classically-trained professional musicians. Community service and engagement is equally important to Matt, and he currently serves as an appointed member of the Berryville Area Development Authority.

Matt and his wife Kelbi, who is also a Clarke County native, live in Berryville with their daughter Sadie, and enjoy spending time there with family and friends.
  • Bar Number: 83631
  • University of Virginia
    Bachelor of Science
  • University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clark School of Law
    Juris Doctor , 2012
    Summa Cum Laude

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