James Todd is a member of Smith Anderson’s Real Estate Development practice. James is an experienced commercial real estate and land use and zoning attorney who frequently advises contract-purchasers seeking guidance on entitlements for mixed-use developments, shopping center owners looking to terminate their existing tenants and convey their holdings, and landowners seeking to acquire or convey real estate holdings. He has experience interfacing with local governments and state agencies on issues including stormwater and environmental regulations and ordinance interpretation, enforcement, and amendment issues.

Prior to joining Smith Anderson, James practiced commercial real estate law at a regional law firm where he represented buyers, sellers and developers on variety of land use and transactional issues.

James enjoys tennis and running.

Areas of Focus



  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch®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


  • 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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