Declan Leonard leads the Employment Law practice at Berenzweig Leonard, where he and his team work with companies and executives in the Washington Metropolitan area and throughout the United States to navigate the maze of employment and business laws with an eye towards minimizing legal risks in order for clients to maximize revenue.  He is admitted to practice law and actively represents clients in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.  Declan has achieved the highest “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell for legal ability and ethics. Declan has also obtained a Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) certification, the highest certification in the field of human resources. He is one of the few practicing employment lawyers in the D.C. region to have this certification.

Declan has consistently been named one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business Magazine, and has been selected a “Superlawyer” in the areas of employment and business law by Law & Politics Magazine.  Declan was selected by Smart CEO magazine as one of its Legal Elite based on client nominations. In 2016, he was named a Leader in the Law by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, and received the Centers of Influenced award by Washington SmartCEO. He was also named to the ranks of Virginia’s Top-Rated Lawyers as featured in The Wall Street Journal. In addition, he has been frequently quoted as an authority on employment law issues in such major publications as The Washington PostWashington Business JournalSHRM HR Magazine, and Lawyer’s Weekly.  Declan also lectures frequently to other lawyers and to members of the business community on employment and business law issues. Declan has served as Chair of the Fairfax Bar Association, Employment Law Section, and has been on the faculty of the Virginia State Bar Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course.

Declan regularly advises companies and executives in all facets of the employment relationship, from the hiring stage through the termination process.  He is intricately knowledgeable about the numerous federal and state laws and regulations affecting the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Declan also has extensive experience in handling non-compete and trade secret disputes that often arise during workplace transitions.

Declan has extensive experience in business litigation, including prosecution and defense of breach of business contracts, allegations of conspiracy to injure business, and collection of accounts receivables.  In addition, Declan has handled a multitude of corporate transactional work for the firm’s business clients, including the negotiation and preparation of asset purchase agreements, stock transfer agreements, joint venture/teaming agreements, and corporate formation documents.


  • Author of “Real World Employment Law” blog, 2010 to present.
  • “Joint Employer Doctrine Could Spell More Litigation Trouble,” DRI (2015)
  • Washington Business Journal featured employment law monthly columnist (2007)
  • “Keeping Up With Noncompete Law in Virginia,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly,  (September 25, 2006)
  • “Ex Parte Contacts With Employees: Rules Not Always Clear Cut,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly (February 27, 2006)
  • “Virtually Identical Job Duties Needed for Equal Pay Act Claim,” SHRM HR Magazine (February, 2005)
  • “Cell Phone Use While Driving Can Pose Legal Liability for Employers,” Atlantic Coast In-House Counsel publication (January, 2005)
  • “U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Constructive Discharge in Title VII Cases,” Atlantic Coast In-House Counsel publication (July, 2004)
  • “Workplace Monitoring: Balancing Business Interests with Employee Privacy Rights,” SHRM Legal Report (May-June, 2003)


  • “Current Issues in Labor and Employment Law,” American Bar Association presentation (May, 2002)
  • “Lawsuit-Free Hiring and Firing,” National Institute of Business Management presentation (June 9, 2004)
  • “Legal Issues for Starting a New Business,” Arlington Bar Association presentation (September 30, 2004)
  • “Arbitration: A Comprehensive Overview,” Virginia State Bar Continuing Legal Education presentation (April 12, 2005)
  • “Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Saving Accounts, and COBRA,” Lorman Education Services presentation (December 1, 2005)

Professional Memberships

  • Fairfax County Bar Association (former Chair, Employment Law Section)
  • Arlington County Bar Association (former Chair, Business Law Section)
  • Northern Virginia Technology Council
  • Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
  • Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Pro Bono Employment Law Volunteer