Raleigh Business Attorney.

Business law and Corporate law entails a broad range of services supporting businesses and business owners.  Whether you are forming a new business or own a preexisting one, we can help you accomplish your business and commercial law goals.

Our attorneys assist clients with all phases of their business, from planning and formation of business entities, to merger and sale transactions, and finally with liquidation and dissolution of the business.  We provide legal advise in all business law matters, including:

  • Drafting and review of contracts and leases
  • Drafting and review of business documents and agreements
  • Legal risk assessment
  • Business planning and consultation
  • Business formation and organization
  • Employment and contractor agreements
  • Litigation
  • Business succession planning
  • Asset protection

We also review, negotiate and draft various types of contracts including buy-sell agreements between owners or third parties, contracts for the purchase of goods and/or services, employment contracts, shareholder agreements, covenants and non compete agreements, confidentiality and non-solicitation provisions, independent contractor and consulting agreements, and contracts preserving intellectual property rights in deliverables.  We also assists clients with the procurement of trademark registration with the State of North Carolina and the United States Patent and Trademark office.

For the life of your business, from formation to succession, Harris & Hilton, P.A. can protect your rights and help your business achieve successful outcomes.  As our attorney’s are experienced litigators, we can better predict and avoid business risk and liability issues that may occur in the future.

Prior to taking any action, please consult with an attorney, accountant or your tax adviser.  Select on of the topic areas below for additional information.  Please contact us to discuss your business law needs.

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Privacy Policy for Harris & Hilton, P.A.

Harris & Hilton, P.A. assists both individuals and companies with all forms of business and civil litigation. Our attorneys are committed to helping  clients solve complex business problems and disputes, advocating our client’s interests through a broad range of dispute resolution and litigation services and assisting our clients in making smart business decisions with respect to litigation strategy. Recognizing the time and expense associated with litigation, our experience allows us to formulate appropriate litigation strategies that are both effective and cost sensitive.  The collective experience of our attorneys is extensive and includes trying cases across a broad spectrum of commercial litigation areas including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Breach of contract
  • Collection of funds due for services or goods
  • Shareholder and director deadlock
  • Unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Tortious interference with contract or prospective business advantage
  • Fraud and misrepresentation
  • Business defamation
  • Non compete and solicitation covenants and agreements
  • Temporary and permanent injunctions
  • Breach of warranty claims

Additionally, we assists clients with all forms of real property disputes including foreclosures, landlord tenant disputes, adverse possession, encroachments, partition actions, ownership and development, and lien lawsuits.

Harris & Hilton assists both landlords and tenants with the negotiation, drafting and preparation of leases for commercial properties. Commercial leases often include lengthy, complex, and intense negotiations.  This process may involve the identification and discussion of various issues including:

  • The proposed parties to the lease
  • Term of the lease
  • Rental amounts
  • Payment of percentage rent
  • CAM charges and taxes
  • The identification of the leased premises
  • Landlord and tenant work to be performed
  • HVAC systems
  • Whether the landlord is delivering a cold dark shell or vanilla box
  • Repair and maintenance obligations
  • Option periods
  • Assignment and subletting
  • Parking easements
  • Guaranty agreements
  • Subordination and attornment provisions
  • Default and remedies

There are characteristics unique to different types of commercial leases that should be addressed. For example, a restaurant lease raises issues relating to health department code, grease trap compliance, handicap access, exterior signs, ABC permits, and hours of operation.  In comparison, a shopping center lease may entail issues regarding CAM charges, percentage rent, cross access parking, insurance, taxes, exclusive and restrictive use provisions, dark provisions, and occasionally water and sewer allocations.

Our attorneys can structure even the most complex real estate transactions.  Please contact us to assist you with the negotiation and structuring of the terms of your lease.

Harris & Hilton assists clients in the acquisition, construction, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial real estate.  Commercial property transactions entail many issues that normally do not arise in residential transactions.  When negotiating and entering into a commercial transaction, it is important that every aspect is thoroughly examined and carried out so that your interests are protected as such transactions entail many issues that normally do not arise in residential or other forms or business transactions.  Examples include:

  • Whether the property is zoned for the intended use
  • Site plan requirements
  • Restrictive covenants and easements
  • Environmental and hazardous substance analysis
  • Local governmental regulations, including the health and building departments
  • Existing tenants and their respective leases
  • Parking
  • Direct or indirect access
  • Driveway and entrance permits
  • Debt and equity financing
  • Synthetic leasing and sale leasebacks
  • 1031 Exchange requirements
  • Railroad corridor and easement

Undesirable consequences can easily be avoided by meticulous and prudent preparation. Harris & Hilton, P.A. attorneys and staff have decades of experience with commercial property and can ensure you avoid transactional problems while assisting you with the acquisition, construction, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial real estate.  Such services include, without limitation, the following:

  • The negotiation and drafting of letters of intent and contracts to purchase or sell real estate
  • Due diligence investigation of the title to the property
  • Securing title insurance
  • Consulting on land use regulations and zoning issues
  • Review of current leases and license agreements
  • Survey review
  • Easement issues
  • Financing of the purchase price of the property
  • Preparation and review of all required closing documents to consummate the transaction
  • Ownership and development entity formation

Our real estate practice is also fully integrated with the related disciplines of construction contracts, contract disputes, financing, leases, estate planning, Federal and State tax planning, land use and corporate/LLC formations.  An overview of a commercial project may entail some or all of these disciplines as the following example depicts.

Preliminary Issues Site Control
Ownership Entity
Tax Issues
Due Diligence
LEED/Sustainability Consideration
Financing Equity
Approvals Land Use
Building Requirements
Closing Title Clean-Up
Title Transfer
Complete Financing
Construction Contract Negotiation
Contract Management
Construction Disputes
LEED/Sustainability Legal Issues
Post Completion Sale or Lease Management
Ongoing Legal Maintenance

Our attorneys can also assist you in carefully planning the formation of your company to maximize benefits and avoid unnecessary burdens.  In addition, we are experienced with more complex structures and financing for commercial projects including 1031 Exchanges, synthetic leasing and sale leasebacks, Tenancy-in-Common (TIC), Federal and State historic tax credits.

Let us help ensure that your transaction is quick, seamless, and satisfactory.

Harris & Hilton, P.A. assists owners, architects, engineers, general contractors and sub contractors with construction law and litigation arising from services rendered or breach of construction contracts.  Services include reviewing and drafting contract documents for construction projects, negotiating settlements of disputes, preparing and filing liens, and implementing civil actions for breach of contract and collection of funds due.  We file liens on property and funds and prosecute claims against performance and payment bonds in order to obtain payment for work performed.

While our experienced lawyers draft specialized contract documents, we also have extensive experience with all industry association documents, including AIA documents. We also counsel clients on business practices, including project management and documentation, compliance with state and federal laws, dispute avoidance and other matters.  In addition, the firm provides legal services to its clients in the areas of  business law, corporate law, as well as complex commercial and business litigation.

Raleigh Estate Planning Lawyer.

Estate planning involves formulating a plan to provide for the transfer of your assets during your life and upon your death in order to accomplish various goals. These goals may include the transfer of property to designated beneficiaries, maintenance and support of your spouse, children, parents or other loved ones, the minimization of costs and taxes, to ensure the transfer of closely held business interests, or the reduction of probate and other administrative expenses at death. Tools to accomplish these goals include the drafting and execution of a Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Power Of Attorney, Desire For A Natural Death, lifetime gifting, the creation of revocable and irrevocable trusts, creation of family limited partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies, drafting buy sell agreements, signature cards, designating beneficiaries on retirement accounts, the purchase of life insurance plans and annuities, and charitable gifting.

We assist clients with coordinating, drafting and implementing an estate plan, which may utilize many of the tools referenced above, or may consist just of a simple will. Additionally, we assist individuals who have lost loved ones with probate and the administration of the deceased’s estate. This can entail the valuation of assets, disposition of property, probate court filings and appearances, and the preparation and filing of tax returns.

The first step in creating an estate plan is to gather information and create an overview of your current estate. To get the ball rolling, Email David and we will forward you an Estate Planning Questionnaire or call for an appointment.

For additional information, please select a topic area below or contact our office for a consultation.  Prior to taking any action, consult with your attorney, accountant and financial advisor.

Immigration law is complex and often unforgiving of mistakes. Regardless of whether you are a company desiring to transfer executives, managers or hire foreign employees; or an individual simply wishing to apply for a green card or extend your stay in the United States, we can help.

Harris & Hilton assists clients in obtaining both immigrant and non-immigrant visas, changing or adjusting status while in the United States and obtaining employment authorization cards, green cards or citizenship. We create and follow an immigration plan that’s tailored to the client’s needs and circumstances, and we ensure that the process is as quick and efficient as possible.  Based on our experience, we are able to offer our clients immigration services at a flat fee for immigration matters, so you know the costs up front.

Contact us today to find out how we can assist you with the following visas/status categories:

• H-1B (Professional Workers);

• L-1 (Intracompany Transferee Executives/Managers/Specialized Knowledge Workers);

• EB-1 (Priority Workers/Executives);

• EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waivers often used by post-doctorate researchers);

• E-2 (Investor);

• B-1 (Business);

• B-2 (Tourist);

• J-1 (Exchange Visitors);

• R (Religious Workers);

• Family member petitions and applications for green cards;

• Deferred Action; and

• Other immigrant/nonimmigrant benefits.

Raleigh Residential Real Estate Lawyer.

Harris & Hilton, P.A. represents clients in the acquisition, construction, financing, leasing, and disposition of residential real estate.  We routinely act as the closing attorney for residential properties in all areas of the Triangle including Wake, Durham, Granville, Franklin, Chatham, Orange and Johnston Counties.

Whether you are buying or selling a house, condominium or townhouse, our goal is to make the transaction smooth and worry free while protecting your interest.  We accomplish this by working closely with your Realtor, lender and other professionals that you retain, and also by being available to answer any questions that you may have along the way.

Additionally, our real estate practice is fully integrated with the related disciplines of land use, construction contracts, municipal approvals, real estate financing and contract disputes, business and corporate law, and estate planning and administration.  This unique blend of talent and experience ensures that we can address and manage every aspect of your real estate transaction.

The purchase and sale of a home is one of the biggest investments and transactions that you may ever enter into.  This process starts with the negotiation and execution of a written contract for the property.  During this process, we are available to counsel clients any answer any questions they have concerning the terms, nature and conditions of the contract.  After the parties have entered into a written contract, we perform a title examination on the property to determine if the seller has good title to convey and whether such title is subject to any liens and/or encumbrances.  As part of the title examination process, we assist in discovering and resolving any title issues that may be discovered which may include, without limitation, the following:

  • Lost heirs, which are people who are not accounted for at time property was probated
  • Outstanding mortgages which are of record and must be canceled prior to the client’s purchase of the property
  • Liens on the property, such as tax liens, mechanics’ liens, and health care liens
  • Litigation actions and attachments

Any and all title issues must be resolved prior to closing so the seller can deliver a clear title to the buyer.  In addition to the title examination, we will review your survey to ascertain whether there are any encroachments onto the property such as a fence or driveway.

We also work closely with your lender to establish a time and date for the closing and to make sure your lender has everything needed to finalize the loan documents.  The loan documents are then forwarded to our office where we review and prepare the documents for execution along with a final settlement statement.  The closing itself normally takes about an hour to review, explain and execute all of the documents.

For questions or assistance in scheduling a closing, please contact Julie or David by phone at 919.848.6164, or by email to  You may also select a buyer or seller information form  below  (PDF and Word format) and forward to our office once completed. 


Residential Closing Request and Information For Seller (Word file)

Residential Closings Request and Information for Buyer (Word file)

STEP: Seller Title Examination Program

Revisions To The NC Residential Property Disclosure Act