Tess Diven is a member of Smith Anderson’s Real Estate Development and Litigation practice. Tess regularly represents owners, developers and general contractors in state and federal court litigation. Routinely, she helps clients navigate complex contract negotiations while working to mitigate risk and effectively achieve the client’s project goals. Tess also represents clients in multi-party dispute resolutions regarding a variety of public and private commercial projects. 

Prior to joining Smith Anderson, Tess practiced in the business litigation group of an international law firm, working with financial, construction and other clients in connection with internal investigations, compliance with financial, securities, banking and licensing regulations and evaluating risk of potential litigation. Prior to law school, Tess was an Environmental Consultant at Triangle Environmental in Durham, where her research focused on developing sanitation processes and water treatment systems to be used in economically developing nations.

Tess grew up on a small horse farm near North Carolina’s Hanging Rock State Park, and she enjoys hiking with her dogs, traveling and trying new restaurants.

Areas of Focus



  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., 2020
    • Executive Editor, Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum
    • 3L Board Representative and Project Manager, Environmental Law Society
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington, B.S., cum laude, Environmental Science, 2016

Bar & Court Admissions


  • Wake County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Alpha Gamma Delta - Theta Mu


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