Practice Areas


  • Honorable Ross W. Krumm, Chief Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia


University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., cum laude

Richard S. Reynolds Graduate School of Business University of Richmond, M.B.A.

Virginia Tech, B.A. in Political Science, Additional Major in History

Bar & Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland 
  • Virginia 
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia 
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland 
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia 
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
Photo of John T. Farnum

John T. Farnum

ph: 301-961-5275
7200 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20814
News & Publications
Speaking Engagements

John T. Farnum is an attorney in the Firm’s Bethesda office and a member of its Commercial Litigation/Bankruptcy practice group.  Mr. Farnum concentrates his practice on litigation involving bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, business disputes and real estate.  Mr. Farnum has substantial experience representing financial institutions, commercial landlords, developers, investors, asset purchasers, creditors’ committees and other parties in bankruptcy proceedings across the United States.  In addition to his bankruptcy practice, Mr. Farnum also regularly appears in federal and state courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia representing clients in a wide variety of matters, including partnership and shareholder disputes, breach of contract suits and construction-related disputes. 

Mr. Farnum currently serves as Vice President of the Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association, on the Executive Committee of the Walter Chandler American Inn of Court and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (Washington).  He also serves as a member of the Eastern District of Virginia Local Bankruptcy Rules Committee.  Mr. Farnum regularly speaks at various bar and trade association meetings and has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine (2010-2016).  Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Farnum served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ross W. Krumm, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia. 

Significant Projects

Selected Bankruptcy Experience

  • Counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors of major hospital group.
  • Counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors in one of the largest real estate mortgage fraud and Ponzi scheme cases in the D.C. metropolitan region.
  • Counsel to secured lenders and suppliers in bankruptcies of several large construction companies in the mid-Atlantic region.  
  • Represented national, regional and local lenders regarding remedies under the Uniform Commercial Code, loan modifications and workouts, foreclosures, and various asset recovery actions under state law.
  • Defended numerous preference and fraudulent transfer actions and claims.
  • Counsel to sellers, buyers, and other parties-in-interest concerning tangible and intangible asset sales under Bankruptcy Code.
  • Advised clients regarding complex commercial agreements and commercial borrowing in distressed environment.
  • Litigation counsel in several large bankruptcy trusteeships with emphasis on fraud, real estate, and defaulted obligations.

 Selected Litigation Experience

  • Engaged in all aspects of federal court and state court pre-trial and trial practice, including research and analysis, discovery, and motions practice, and deposition and hearing preparation and participation throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  
  • Extensive litigation experience in state and federal courts and experience representing clients in avoidance actions, dischargeability proceedings and other complex adversary proceedings and contested matters in bankruptcy court.
  • Regularly represent developers, financial institutions, government contractors and other businesses in various lending, commercial, complex financial, construction, landlord/tenant and mortgage disputes.
  • Defended publicly traded corporation against the multi-million customer tort claim.
  • Represented regional bank in multi-million dollar fidelity bond claim litigation.
  • Represented public utility in complex breach of contract and accounting matter.
  • Defended national bank against claims related to mortgage fraud in state court.
  • Represented construction firm in breach of duty case involving former business partner.
  • Counseled government contractor concerning fraud claim involving terminated employee.
  • Represented pro bono clients on matters ranging from criminal appeals before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to wrongful eviction proceedings. 


Speaking Engagements

Affiliations & Community Involvement

Eastern District of Virginia Local Bankruptcy Rules Committee

  • Member (2015 - Present)

American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Technology and Intellectual Property Committee

  • Co-Chair (2015 - Present)
  • Education Director (2013 - 2015)
  • Newsletter Editor (2012 - 2013)

Congressman Walter Chandler American Inn of Court (Bankruptcy Specific Inn)

  • Executive Committee (2011 - Present)
  • Counselor (2016 - Present)
  • Secretary/Treasurer (2014 - 2016)
  • Program Chair (2013 - 2014)

Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association, Board Member

  • Vice President (2016 - Present)
  • Secretary (2014 - 2016)
  • Co-Chair, Young Lawyers' Division (2012 - 2014)

Virginia State Bar, Bankruptcy Law Section

  • Bankruptcy Law News Committee (2013 - Present)

NAIOP Northern Virginia Chapter, Member

Virginia Tech Alumni Association, National Capital Region Chapter

  • Treasurer and Executive Board Member (2011 - 2013) 

Urban Land Institute

  • Young Leaders Group – Community Service Committee