Contact Us

Renowned Virginia Land Use Attorney Art Walsh Dies

Nan and Art Walsh at the JDRF Hope Gala in 2016. Art Walsh was a recipient of the JDRF Rapaport Lifetime Service Award.

Art Walsh, founder and longtime leader of prominent Northern Virginia land use law firm Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, died on Monday, the firm announced. He was 78.

The longtime attorney founded the firm, also known as The Land Lawyers, in 1983 with Thomas Colucci, Nicholas Malinchak and Jerry Emrich.

Walsh handled development law in a variety of applications, seeing projects large and small to fruition, his firm said in a statement. He had a hand in remaking Tysons into a dense, urban area and assisted with major projects like the Silver Line and the Arlington and Fairfax government centers, according to the Washington Business Journal.

An Arlington native, Walsh, whose first name was Martin, attended Bishop O'Connell High School. He earned his bachelor's degree from the College of William & Mary before serving as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969 and the Army Reserve from 1969 to 1976, earning an Army Commendation Medal during his service. 

Walsh returned to William & Mary and earned his law degree in 1973. He was president of the Student Bar Association and returned often as a professional to lecture on zoning, land use and commercial real estate. In 2015, his alma mater awarded Walsh the Alumni Medallion Award, the highest honor given out by the William & Mary Alumni Association.

In addition to his professional career, Walsh organized an annual golf outing for the past 23 years and raised more than $1.5M for JDRF in honor of his brother John, who died from complications of Type 1 diabetes in 2000. 

Walsh is survived by his wife, Nan, and children, Ada-Marie Aman and Sarah-Nell Walsh. 

"Of his many accomplishments, Art was most proud of the firm’s success, which he began with four friends," the firm's release says. "His commitment to integrity, generosity, and congeniality shaped the personality of the firm and its professionals."