James Todd is a member of Smith Anderson’s commercial real estate and land use and zoning groups. He counsels clients on a broad range of development issues including construction and real estate financing, as well as commercial real estate matters such as acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures. James also represents clients on zoning and entitlement issues ranging from rezonings to development permitting. He has experience interfacing with local governments and state agencies on issues including stormwater and environmental regulations, ordinance amendments and development agreements.

James lives in Cary with his wife, son, dog, cat and three chickens.

Areas of Focus



  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America, Real Estate Law (2024)


  • Campbell Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, 2017
    • Chief Submissions Editor, Campbell Law Review
  • Rhodes College, B.A., 2013
    • All-American Mock Trial Attorney

Bar & Court Admissions


  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Urban Land Institute (2023-present)
  • Triangle Community Coalition (2021-present)
  • Raleigh Chamber, Leadership Raleigh, Class 47


  • Advised the owner and operator of a petroleum marketing, convenience retailing, and quick service restaurant business and the owners of related real estate on sale to a private equity firm.

Prior to joining to Smith Anderson, James:

  • Assisted in the sale of a $75 million dollar golf course as part of a national legal team.
  • Represented several mixed-use and multi-family projects from initial concept through to full entitlement and development.
  • Assisted on the redevelopment of an urban shopping center into a mixed-use development.
  • Represented numerous commercial real estate transactions including assisting with financing, refinancing, and tax advantaged dispositions.
  • Helped clients obtain a variety of land developer ordinance amendments, variances, and zoning permits.


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