Dennis R. Hughes practices in the Washington, D.C. office as part of the Mid-Atlantic Land Use Group, representing private developers, institutions, trade associations and individual landowners on a broad range of land use, zoning and historic preservation matters. Mr. Hughes regularly obtains variance and special exception zoning relief, drafts and secures amendments to the District of Columbia Zoning Regulations and Map, processes planned unit developments and university campus plans, negotiates development agreements and prepares analyses and opinions relating to zoning, building code and historic landmarking issues. Mr. Hughes' work with the District of Columbia Council on behalf of the firm's local and national clients has included public alley and street closings, real estate tax abatements and exemptions, and transfers of jurisdiction of property. Another active part of Mr. Hughes' practice is the documentation and processing of transferable development rights and combined lot development allocations in the District of Columbia.

Also an architectural historian, Mr. Hughes has been qualified as an expert in the field by the District of Columbia's Mayor's Agent for Historic Preservation and the Rockville, Maryland, Historic District Commission. His experience has included legal advocacy and archival research for the Historic Charleston Foundation in South Carolina and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation in Virginia. Mr. Hughes counsels clients on matters involving federal historic preservation law, including the Section 106 review process and federal rehabilitation tax credits. 

Mr. Hughes graduated cum laude from Tulane University School of Law, where he concentrated his studies in environmental and land use law. He earned a Masters Degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia, focusing his studies in historic preservation and American architecture. 

Mr. Hughes maintains an active membership in the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Society of Architectural Historians, the American Institute of Architects and the D.C. Preservation League. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Preservation Action.

Mr. Hughes is an active participant in the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Community Economic Development (CED) Project. His contributions include editing D.C. zoning manuals for nonprofit and community organizations, as well as assisting in the project's efforts to secure zoning approvals for home-based daycare facilities.


  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., Certificate in Environmental Law, cum laude
  • Vanderbilt University, B.A., Political Science and History
  • University of Virginia, M.ArchH, Certificate in Historic Preservation
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Society of Architectural Historians
  • D.C. Bar's Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section
  • District of Columbia Building Industries Association
  • Preservation Action, Board of Directors
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • American Institute of Architects
  • District of Columbia Preservation League
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Real Estate Law, 2018-2020


Speaking Engagements