AA Contact info

Celeste Kelliher
Phone: 919.838.2004
Fax: 919.821.6800

Practice Areas

Bar & Court Admissions

  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York


J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, 1994

B.A., University of North Carolina, with honors, 1991

Find Professionals
Photo of Michael R. Thornton

Michael R. Thornton

  • 150 Fayetteville Street, Suite 2300
    Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
  • Phone: 919.821.6695
  • Fax: 919.821.6800

Mike Thornton is a commercial real estate lawyer with extensive experience representing owners and developers of retail, office, multifamily and hotel properties. His practice consists of a broad range of real estate matters, including finance, leasing and joint ventures. 

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • International Council of Shopping Centers, Member & Board of Editors, The Retail Law Strategist
  • Midtown Raleigh Alliance, Executive Committee & Board of Directors
  • Wake County Real Property Lawyers Association, (President, 2001)
  • LEED Accredited Professional

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Real Estate (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Real Estate (2010-2017)
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite, Real Estate 


  • Represents publicly traded-REITs and institutional owners of shopping center and mall portfolios on a national basis for acquisitions & dispositions, leasing and financing matters
  • Represented an owner of 300,000 square-foot office tower in sale and retention of ownership stake through implementation of new joint venture structure
  • Formation of condominium ownership structure for mixed-use retail and residential building in connection with the sale of 409 apartment units
  • Represented a hotel management company in the disposition of a multistate portfolio of twenty hotels valued at over $350 million
  • Represented a developer of a residential leasehold condominium project within a community of commercial and governmental research facilities located on a state university campus
  • Represented a municipality in connection with the long-term ground leasing of town-owned property to a private developer for mixed use retail and residential development incorporating public open space for art and cultural events
  • Represented developers in successful rezoning cases involving a 179-acre mixed-use development, including retail, office, residential and hotel uses, and a mixed-use in-fill development located on eleven acres