News and Information
December 12, 2018

Virginia State Bar Announces Recommendation of New Bar Counsel

A Virginia State Bar search committee is recommending Deputy Executive Director Renu M. Brennan of Richmond to succeed Edward L. Davis as bar counsel. The recommendation is expected to receive the required approval of the Virginia Attorney General and the Virginia State Bar Council at its next meeting on February 23, 2019, with the appointment to become effective immediately.

The bar counsel supervises the VSB Department of Professional Regulation, which investigates and prosecutes lawyers in professional misconduct matters. Bar Counsel reports to the VSB executive director and the Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline.

Ms. Brennan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Boston University. She was in private practice for four years in California before returning to Richmond, her birthplace, in 1998 to engage in the private practice of law until she was hired by the VSB as a bar prosecutor in 2008.  

Ms. Brennan served as an assistant bar counsel from 2008 to 2016 and successfully prosecuted many complex matters. In addition to prosecuting matters before VSB district disciplinary committees, she also prosecuted before the VSB Disciplinary Board and three-judge circuit courts. Since 2016, she has served as deputy executive director of the VSB, managing multiple departments of the bar, serving as primary media spokesperson, overseeing FOIA compliance, and carrying out other duties.

Ms. Brennan is married to Mark S. Brennan, a trial lawyer with Vandeventer Black. Together, they have four children.  

VSB Executive Director Karen A. Gould said, “The search committee made an outstanding choice in Renu for the position of bar counsel. She takes the mission of public protection very seriously and strives for excellence in everything she does. She has a proven record of prosecuting cases in the bar’s disciplinary system, as well as extensive management experience in her role as deputy executive director. Her years of experience at the bar in both positions will be of great value to the Department of Professional Regulation.”

VSB President-elect Marni E. Byrum, who chaired the search committee, also expressed her satisfaction at Brennan’s selection. “While we were fortunate to have several very qualified candidates, Renu is an excellent choice for this position. I am confident she will move the Professional Regulation Department forward to being an even better team than it is now. We must never lose sight that the bar’s mission is to protect the public while handling cases against lawyers fairly and expeditiously,” Byrum said.

Updated: Dec 12, 2018