Commercial Division

The Commercial Division provides legal services, advice, and advocacy related to numerous core governmental functions, including the procurement of essential goods and services and acquisition of real estate, the support of economic development efforts, preservation of affordable housing, government property management, and the financing of government operations through bonds and collection of taxes.

Equitable Land Use

The Equitable Land Use (ELU) Section advocates for the public interest in the District’s zoning, land use, planning, historic preservation, housing, and real estate processes. ELU provides training for ANCs, community groups, and District residents on zoning and land use planning literacy. In addition, ELU intervenes in individual cases filed with the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Zoning Commission and proposes amendments to the Zoning Regulations to further the public interest, particularly advancing affordable housing, racial equity, environmental sustainability and justice, and procedural equity, ensuring that all District residents have the tools to participate fully in the planning and zoning processes.

Government Contracts

The Government Contracts Section reviews proposed contracts that the Council must approve pursuant to the Home Rule Charter. The Section also provides legal advice to the District’s Chief Procurement Officer and agency contracting officers regarding procurement laws and regulations as they apply to the award of District contracts and other related procurement issues. The Section represents the District before the Contract Appeals Board in challenges to the terms of solicitations or proposed contract awards by District agencies and in contract disputes. The Section represents the District before the Superior Court in petitions for review of protest decisions of the Contract Appeals Board.  

Tax and Finance Section  

The Tax and Finance Section advises the District on the issuance of bonds and notes used to finance various capital projects of the District government, nonprofit entities and for-profit entities located in areas specifically targeted by the District for economic and commercial development. The Section also defends real property and other tax assessment appeals, and represents the District as a statutory defendant in tax sale foreclosure actions filed in Superior Court.

Land Acquisition and Bankruptcy Section

The Land Acquisition and Bankruptcy Section acquires land through condemnation proceedings and judicial foreclosure of District tax liens for public purposes such as the creation of affordable housing, the construction of government office buildings and other economic development projects. The Section also represents District agencies in bankruptcy court in personal and commercial bankruptcies in which the District may have an interest.