Closing a real estate transaction is always the primary goal for our clients, but sometimes disputes complicate issues and legal services may be needed. Closings may be delayed or disputes can arise after a sale is concluded or a commercial lease is signed. Smith Anderson’s experienced team of litigators and commercial real estate lawyers is available to protect our client’s interests and help find a timely solution at any stage of a dispute. With an unmatched depth of knowledge and range of expertise, our professionals are uniquely qualified to counsel clients when disputes arise. U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” ranks our Real Estate Litigation group as a Metropolitan Tier 1 practice group based on client and peer reviews. More than a dozen of our Real Estate Development Group attorneys are recognized by leading ranking publications as among the best lawyers in North Carolina, including Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America,® North Carolina Super Lawyers, U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms,” Benchmark Litigation and Martindale-Hubbell.® 

Read More

Smith Anderson’s state-wide Real Estate Litigation practice works closely with clients to analyze and manage risks and develop efficient, cost-effective strategies to meet their goals. We are adept at finding practical solutions to resolve real estate related problems, whether in court, through mediation or arbitration, or through a business resolution.

We represent clients across North Carolina, including a variety of buyers and sellers of real estate and commercial landlords and tenants. Our lawyers have litigated issues of title to land or leasehold interests and have used court procedures to either obtain specific performance of our clients’ contract rights, mandatory injunctive relief, or summary ejectment – or to defend such claims when asserted against our clients. We also represent property owners and condemning authorities in condemnation and eminent domain cases.

As a full-service business law firm anchored in the heart of North Carolina’s fast-growing Research Triangle Park area, Smith Anderson also offers expertise in related areas such as Construction, Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate Development, Debt Finance, Environmental and OSHA, Land Use and Zoning, Restructuring, Insolvency and Creditors’ Rights, Government Relations and Corporate Relocation and Expansion.

View Less


  • Pre-litigation risk analysis and risk management, including contract drafting, business negotiations and advice regarding contractual rights and obligations
  • Disputes arising from breach of purchase and sale agreements, including claims for specific performance and damages
  • Commercial lease disputes, including summary ejectment actions
  • Eminent domain and condemnation actions
  • Special proceedings, including partitions and cartway actions
  • Land disputes related to trust or estate litigation
  • Alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration)


Litigation Between Buyers and Sellers of Commercial Real Estate

  • Obtained an order granting specific performance requiring defendant seller to convey a downtown tract of land to client purchaser
  • Litigated buyers’ action for specific performance and obtained conveyance of disputed land via settlement prior to hearing on buyers’ dispositive motion
  • Successful defense of landowner sued by a buyer asserting a multi-million-dollar damages claim in connection with an agreement to sell a 17-acre tract to be developed as a shopping center
  • Successful defense of owner-seller of a two-acre tract sued for specific performance following expiration/termination of agreement, and obtained sanctions against plaintiff buyer and its counsel and an award of attorneys’ fees
  • Represented owner-seller of an apartment complex and, after purchaser’s termination of the contract, assisted seller with a negotiated resolution of the disputed earnest money held in escrow
  • Litigated plaintiff purchaser’s specific performance and damages claims resulting in favorable settlement
  • Action by seller for a declaratory judgment that contracts were invalid and/or terminated, and defense of a counterclaim by purchaser for specific performance
  • Defended intra-corporate shareholder lawsuits regarding development of two residential subdivisions owned by corporate entities, resulting in favorable settlement
  • Represented minority shareholder in intra-corporate dispute regarding numerous parcels of income-producing properties, resulting in favorable pre-litigation settlement 
  • Successfully defended owner-seller sued for recovery of earnest money deposit
  • Buyers’ unfair trade practices claim was dismissed and court ordered buyers to pay client’s attorneys’ fees

Litigation Involving Commercial Real Estate Leases

  • Represented national retail chain and obtained a mandatory injunction requiring its landlord to deliver documents to governing municipality so that it could issue a Certificate of Occupancy that was needed for plaintiff to open its retail store
  • Represented landowner in dispute concerning its tenant’s failure to construct a power plant on the leased property.  Negotiated termination of 60-year lease and power purchase agreement
  • Damages trial on behalf of plaintiff tenant regarding landlord’s breach of a pharmacy exclusive contained in a shopping center lease
  • On behalf of plaintiff landlord obtained summary ejectment of defaulting tenant at shopping center
  • Regularly represent commercial landlords and tenants in commercial lease and construction upfit, lien, and related litigation
  • Regularly represent owners, developers and contractors in construction lien claim disputes and litigation
  • Represented national developer and contractor in lien claim litigation related to construction of 290-unit condominium development

Land Use and Zoning Litigation

  • Represented developer-intervenor in defending commercial rezoning of property and resolution of issues related to the city's comprehensive plan
  • Represented developer-lessee in defense of approval of site plan for industrial facility

Special Proceedings

  • Litigated cartway action and obtained access for petitioner's landlocked seven-acre tract
  • Obtained partition of property owned by tenants in common

Eminent Domain/Condemnation

  • Represented several utility companies in acquiring by condemnation or settlement more than 1,000 miles of easements and fee-owned property for electric transmission lines and natural gas pipelines in more than 30 counties in North Carolina
  • Represented municipalities in acquiring by condemnation or settlement water and sewer easements





Publications & Alerts

Jump to Page

This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and improve functionality. To learn more, you may view our Privacy Policy. By continuing to browse Smith Anderson's website, you are accepting our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.