New law firm lays downtown foundation

Carter, Eberhart and Bowser are bringing their startup law firm to Richmond.Photos courtesy of Innovista Law.

From left: David Carter, Christina Eberhart and Joe Bowser are bringing their startup law firm to Richmond. Photos courtesy of Innovista Law.

A fledgling law firm from Capitol Hill is putting down roots in downtown Richmond.

Innovista Law, a three-attorney firm that was started in Washington, D.C., in September, has leased a space at 115 E. Broad St. that it plans to turn into its new home base later this year.

Founded by attorneys Joseph Bowser and David Carter, Innovista is still in the process of setting itself up to practice in Virginia. Bowser and Carter studied law at the University of Virginia and William and Mary, respectively.

Bowser said they were drawn to Richmond by the local business scene, particularly the area’s entrepreneurial firms.

“It just ticked a lot of boxes for us; we’re a telecommunication and technology-based law firm, practicing for entrepreneurs,” Bowser said. “Richmond has a developed entrepreneurial scene.”

Bowser and Carter previously worked for Arent Fox, a firm with about 400 attorneys. Bowser said they found it difficult to work for such a big firm when their clients were small companies.

“It was a big leap,” Bowser said of striking out on their own.

The firm’s new 3,100-square-foot Richmond office is in the Atrium on Broad, a mixed-use project that redeveloped the old Jefferson Bank building into apartments and ground-floor commercial space.

Innovista’s office will undergo about $200,000 worth of renovations before the firm makes the move. Countryside Construction is the general contractor.

Innovista will be the building’s first commercial tenant. Justin Paley of Dodson Commercial has handled leasing on the building’s commercial space for the past three months.

Bowser said he hopes Innovista will move in by May, but it could take some time for the firm to get approval to practice in Virginia.

In addition to Bowser and Carter, their associate and COO Christina Eberhart will join them in Richmond.

The Richmond legal scene has been busy in recent months. LeClairRyan and McGuireWoods, two of the city’s largest firms, are preparing to jump to a new offices downtown.

Plus, McCandlish Holton opened an office in Fairfax last year, and Williams Mullen announced the appointment of a new CEO in January.

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