Derek J. Allen

P: 828.348.6012
F: 828.348.6077

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.


82 Patton Avenue, Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28801
Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 2020
Asheville, NC 28802-2020

Professional Experience

Mr. Allen is leader of both the Alcoholic Beverage Law Practice Group and the Zoning and Land Use Practice Group.  He primarily practices in the area of government relations with representation of craft brewers and distillers in a wide range of permitting, regulatory, and trade issues.  Mr. Allen also has extensive experience with assisting commercial and residential developers with their development, land use, and zoning needs.  He routinely appears in front of city and county governmental bodies.  Mr. Allen is an experienced civil litigator who has represented businesses and individuals in a broad range of sophisticated corporate and related issues at the trial and appellate levels.

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 1997 
  • All state courts in North Carolina 
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

Honors and Distinctions*

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2014
  • The Business Journal of the Triad, 40 Leaders Under Forty Award
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2007-2008, 2010-2013
  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2009-2011
  • "Super Lawyer," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2010-2011

Education

  • J.D., The University of North Carolina School of Law, 1997
  • B.A., Political Science and History, magna cum laude, with distinction, The University of North Carolina Asheville, 1993. Tennis Scholarship.

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association — Sections: Litigation; State and Local Government Law
  • Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Asheville Alumnus, Class XXIX)
  • Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission (board member)
  • Brewers Association Associate Member
  • Diana Wortham Theatre (member, board of directors)
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Committee: Arts, Entertainment & Sports Law Committee (past chair)
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Division: Young Lawyers (executive council)
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Litigation; Zoning, Planning and Land Use (council member)
  • North Carolina Creditors Bar Association
  • North Carolina Economic Developers Association
  • The University of North Carolina at Asheville Foundation Board (member, executive committee)

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; www.businessnc.com/legalelite; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.