Christian has practiced law in Charlotte for more than twelve years. He focuses on building long-term relationships with clients through his advocacy, responsiveness and candor. Christian is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. He has received a rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell through his fellow lawyers ranking him at the highest level of professional excellence.
Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration
Christian has substantial experience advising individuals, families and institutions on estate planning, business succession planning, asset protection, tax, and estate administration and probate law issues. Christian’s experience in litigating trust and estate disputes adds value to this practice area by helping him anticipate potentially ambiguous language or situations that can arise when clients are planning their estate, establishing trusts, or going through the post-mortem probate administration process. Christian was selected by his fellow North Carolina attorneys as one of Business North Carolina Magazine’s “Legal Elite” in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Estate and Trust Litigation
Christian represents beneficiaries and fiduciaries in trust and estate related disputes, including breach of fiduciary duty claims, matters of will and trust construction, will caveats, actions for removal of trustees and executors, actions for trust modification and termination, and actions involving power of attorney abuse. Christian was chosen for the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars List in the field of Estate and Trust Litigation. Christian served as the Managing Editor of the inaugural edition of the North Carolina Fiduciary Litigation Manual published by the North Carolina Bar Association.
Christian serves as counsel to entrepreneurs and companies in a broad spectrum of matters relating to the on-going operation of their businesses, including negotiating and closing commercial real estate transactions and advising on legal issues relating to the operations, governance, taxation and ownership of a business.
- Represented one of three beneficiaries of an eight-figure estate in fiduciary litigation regarding the judicial construction of a last will and testament
- Represented beneficiaries of multi-million dollar estate in fiduciary litigation involving will caveat and breach of will contract cause of action
- Represented disabled victim in lawsuit involving abuse of power of attorney
- Defended trustee in lawsuit alleging of breach of fiduciary duty and conversion
- Represented charitable beneficiary in judicial trust proceeding involving trustee’s misallocation of assets
- Represented elderly respondent in contested guardianship proceeding involving multi-million dollar estate
- Represented UTMA Beneficiary in special proceeding involving custodian’s misuse of assets
- Drafted hundreds of estate planning documents on behalf of high net worth individuals, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, and powers of attorney
- Counseled numerous trustees, personal representatives, beneficiaries and heirs regarding trust administration and probate administration
- Negotiated and drafted several premarital agreements on behalf of high net worth clientele
- Represented several trustees and beneficiaries in post-mortem judicial modifications of multi-million dollar trusts
- Represented faith-based institution in modification of cemetery trust
- Represented beneficiary of multi-million dollar trust from which attorney serving as trustee misappropriated funds
- Represented individual in competing application to qualify as administrator of estate
- Drafted dozens of operating agreements and shareholders’ agreements governing the management and ownership of closely-held businesses, including buy-sell provisions
- Represented financial services company in acquisition of competitor
- Represented closely-held company in successful applications for Woman Owned Small Business and Historically Underutilized Business certifications
- Represented closely-held company in implementing long-term incentive and benefit packages for employees
- Represented entrepreneurs in acquisition of SouthEnd commercial real property
- Represented entrepreneur in acquisition of franchised business and associated real property
Service, Publications & Licensure
Christian previously served as co-Chair of the Fiduciary Litigation Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law section. He served on the Grievance Committee of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and is the former Chair of the Estate Planning & Probate Section of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association. Christian has authored several articles for Probate & Property, a legal magazine published by the American Bar Association. Christian often speaks on legal issues at conferences and seminars for attorneys, accountants and wealth advisors. Christian is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Christian grew up in southern Louisiana and continues to perfect his recipe for duck and sausage gumbo. Christian and his wife, Katie, delight in raising their two small children in Charlotte.