John M. Mercer


Williams Mullen
200 South 10th Street
Suite 1600
Richmond, VA 23219

Tel: 804.420.6443


John Mercer has extensive experience with the acquisition, financing, leasing and development of commercial real estate throughout the Mid-Atlantic and other parts of the United States. John has assisted regional and national landlords and tenants with the negotiation and preparation of complex office, retail and industrial leases on a regular basis. He serves as outside real estate counsel for several publicly traded companies.

John has published numerous articles and conducted seminars on commercial real estate and financing topics. He is a member of the Commercial Leasing Committee of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the American Bar Association, and is former vice-chair of the ABA’s Office Leasing Subcommittee. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and a past president of the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate, where he serves on the board of directors.

He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America©  (2008-present) and was named the Best Lawyers® 2011 Richmond Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year.” He has been named to Virginia Business magazine’s list of “Legal Elite” (2010-2017, 2008 and 2020), listed in Virginia Super Lawyers magazine (2009, 2012-present), included in Chambers USA (2008-2010, 2015-present) and named to the 2021 Class of ‘Leaders in the Law’ by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. In addition, Martindale-Hubbell has rated John an AV attorney, its highest rating available.

John received his Juris Doctor degree in 1985 from Vermont Law School, where he was editor of the Vermont Legal Research Group, a member of the Moot Court Advisory Board and a contributing writer to the Vermont Law School Forum. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. John is a member of the Richmond, Virginia and Connecticut bar associations.

Awards & Honors
  • Chambers USA – Real Estate (2008-2010, 2015-present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© – Real Estate Law (2008-present)
  • Virginia Business magazine – “Legal Elite” (2010-2017, 2008, 2020)
  • Best Lawyers’® 2011 Richmond Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Martindale-Hubbell – AV-Rated
  • Virginia Super Lawyers – (2009, 2012-present)
  • Virginia Lawyers Weekly – 2021 Class of “Leaders in the Law”
  • Richmond Real Estate Group – Executive Committee, Secretary
  • American Bar Association – Real Property and Probate, Office Leasing Committee – Former Co-Chair; Emerging Lease Issues Committee – Former Vice Chair
  • Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate – Former Member, Board of Directors and Past President
  • Virginia Bar Association – Real Property Section
  • Virginia State Bar – Real Estate Section
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers – Fellow
  • VCU School of Business – Member, Real Estate Circle of Excellence
Williams Mullen’s Real Estate Practice includes more than 40 attorneys and is widely recognized for its experience and knowledge of commercial real estate law. Section attorneys counsel clients on all aspects of real estate, including land use and zoning, site plan approval, leasing, acquisitions and sales and complex financings. When appropriate our real estate team collaborates with attorneys in other practice areas such as environmental, construction, corporate, franchise, tax, bankruptcy, litigation, financial services and public finance.

Throughout Virginia, North Carolina and the United States, Williams Mullen’s Real Estate Group guides clients through the development of retail, office, residential, hotel, industrial and mixed-use projects in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We represent local, regional and national developers and investors as well as the end users of these types of projects. Our representation includes the negotiation of acquisitions, sales and leases; land use planning and permitting; construction and permanent financing; environmental due diligence; and the drafting of documents such as reciprocal easement agreements, covenants, conditions and restrictions and master condominium structures.

Representing buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of real estate, we provide innovative guidance and assistance to our clients necessary to close transactions in a cost-effective manner. We represent local, regional and national clients in a wide range of real estate acquisitions and sales transactions, including the acquisition and sale of shopping centers, raw land, office buildings, warehouse and industrial facilities and mixed-use projects, as well as section 1031 like-kind exchanges and the exchange of tenant-in-common interests.

Williams Mullen is a regional, full-service law firm with approximately 240 attorneys in offices across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Since our firm began in 1909, our goal has been to provide business and legal solutions to help our clients’ businesses thrive.

While we excel within our mid-Atlantic footprint, our clients find that they increasingly come to us for their legal needs across the United States and internationally. They tell us they appreciate our Am Law 200 big firm capabilities and experience without the big firm rates.

Our clients have peace of mind knowing we are responsive and act with a sense of urgency in today’s fast-moving business environment. We are committed to being clear, concise and transparent in our communications. We believe in being fair in the delivery of our services from pricing to scope of work to billing practices. And lastly, we make sure that we bring a team together that is excited to understand you and your business. This is our pledge to all clients.

At Williams Mullen, we don’t have offices located around the world, but we proudly offer the same quality of work that, combined with consistently excellent client service, creates a better value for our clients.