(703) 369-4738

Karen L. Cohen

20.10.2016 vfn

Karen L. Cohen is a Shareholder with the law firm of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C (VF&N).  Her practice focuses on commercial real estate and business transactions, including real estate development, land use and zoning, commercial leasing, commercial lending, and purchase and sale contracts, as well as advising clients in negotiating a variety of business contracts such as operating agreements, supplier agreements, asset purchase and sale agreements, and shareholder agreements.  As an attorney with a prior career in architecture and a master’s degree in Real Estate Development, Karen’s legal knowledge is enhanced by her understanding of the business and financial aspects of commercial transactions.

Prior to joining VF&N, Karen was Of Counsel at The Coverage Law Firm and Counsel at Wilmer Hale.  She began her legal career as Clerk to the Honorable Leonie M. Brinkema of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Areas of Practice:

Land UseReal Estate, Business and Corporate

Experience Highlights and Representative Work:

  • On behalf of national retailer, obtained approval of Board of Supervisors of special exception amendment for site in Fairfax County
  • Representation of regional developer in joint venture transaction for future development of mixed-use project in Prince William County
  • Successful representation of Class A contractor in contested matter before Virginia Board for Contractors, avoiding threatened licensure penalties and obtaining reduced fines
  • Advise various jurisdictions regarding zoning ordinances, contracts and other municipal matters.
  • Negotiation and drafting of commercial leases, commercial real estate purchase and sale agreements
  • Advise clients in connection with transfers of stock or membership interests.
  • Negotiation and drafting of business contracts including teaming agreements, non-disclosure agreements, subcontractor agreements and supplier agreements.

Client Testimonials:

“We are grateful for Karen Cohen’s legal expertise in the commercial leasing of the Woodbridge ReStore. It was such a joy to work with her. She is smart, articulate, responsive, and her work impressed all of us. Because of her efforts, we are able to expand our services in the Prince William County community.”

Traci DeGroat – President/CEO of Habitat for Humanity Prince William County

“Karen Cohen provided spot-on advice to help my business negotiate an important contract.  She listened and made sure she understood my business so that the result was not only a well-crafted legal document, but one that reflected a unique business deal.  Due to Karen’s legal experience and her willingness to understand my business needs, I was able to avoid the cost of litigation and instead build a positive business relationship with a solid legal document as a foundation.”

Eric Winnings- Online Retailer

Professional Licenses, Awards and Civic Activities:

  • Board of Governors, Real Property Section Virginia State Bar
  • Chair, Land Use & Environmental Committee, Real Property Section Virginia State Bar
  • Chair, NAIOP Government Relations Prince William Subcommittee
  • Board of Directors, Legal Services of Northern Virginia
  • George Mason University School of Business Alumni Chapter
  • George Mason University School of Business Real Estate Development Industry Group
  • Member, Strategic Planning Committee, Mason Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship
  • Founder and Director, Mama2Mama,Inc. (non-profit)
  • Member, Virginia Women Attorneys Association
  • Featured in George Mason University Article on Real Estate
  • Member, Virginia State Bar
  • Member, Prince William Bar Association


  • George Mason University, MS Real Estate Developement, 2012
  • Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, 1994
  • University of Virginia, BS in Architecture, 1987