Mike Thornton is a commercial real estate lawyer with extensive experience representing owners and developers of retail, office, multifamily and hotel properties. Mike co-leads the Real Estate Development practice group at Smith Anderson. 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
- Best Lawyers®, Real Estate Law (2010-2022)
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Real Estate (2016-2021)
- 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.
- Represented a global solid state LED lighting and semiconductor manufacturing company in connection with the real estate aspects of its announced agreement for its $850 million sale of assets to a publicly traded German semiconductor company. The transaction was terminated before completion due to regulatory considerations.
News & Publications
- Hitting a New Milestone - 100 Members of Smith Anderson’s Legal Team Recognized by Best Lawyers® and Best Lawyers: Ones to WatchBest Lawyers, 08.19.2021
- Smith Anderson Shines in 2021 Chambers USA with Most Band 1 Practice Rankings of Any NC-Based Law FirmChambers USA, 05.21.2021
- 2021 Best Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Recognize Largest Group of Smith Anderson Lawyers in Firm’s HistoryThe 2021 Best Lawyers®, 08.20.2020
- Chambers USA, 04.23.2020
- Smith Anderson Leads “Best Lawyers®” Rankings with 71 Recognized Lawyers and 11 “Lawyers of the Year” - Most of Any Raleigh Law FirmThe Best Lawyers in America©, 08.20.2019
- Chambers USA, 04.29.2019
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2018
- Chambers USA, 05.03.2018
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2017
- National Rankings Guide Recognizes Smith Anderson’s Environment and Real Estate Development Practices and Seven Attorneys06.23.2017
- Chambers USA, 05.30.2017
- 2017 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Recognizes 62 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.15.2016
- Chambers USA, 06.01.2016
- 2016 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Lists 60 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.17.2015
- October 2013Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, Volume 26, Number 4
Flexibility and Financial Security: Retail Leasing in 2009 and Beyond, Retail Law Strategist - Volume 9, Issue 7, September 2009