Allen began his career as a litigator focused on business and real estate disputes, and he continues to focus his practice on representing those who own, develop, manage, and work the land. Although litigation and dispute resolution remain core parts of Allen's practice, he also enjoys advising clients on a broad range of general legal and regulatory matters. He leads the Firm's Agribusiness Practice Group, and he co-leads its Hemp Law and Community Associations Practice Groups. Allen also serves as the co-Geographic Team Leader for the Firm's Wilmington Office.
Allen devotes a significant portion of his time to the Firm's diverse base of agribusiness clients, which include farming and timber operations, crop storage facilities, equipment suppliers, and agritourism ventures. He coordinates the Firm's resources to address the specialized issues facing these clients, such as bona fide farm designations, farmland leases, crop insurance, corporate organization and succession planning, equipment financing and leasing, environmental concerns, and regulatory compliance and permitting.
Allen is also passionate about the hemp and cannabidiol ("CBD") industries and the people who participate in them. He works with clients from all sectors of the hemp and CBD markets, both in North Carolina and beyond, and he helps guide the Firm's practice in those efforts. Allen regularly partners with hemp farmers, processors, extractors, product manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers to address their unique legal needs. He also assists indirect industry participants, including brokers, consultants, marketing agencies, lenders and financial institutions, and other suppliers and vendors.
In addition to Agribusiness and Hemp Law, Allen also works with North Carolina real estate developers and the community associations that they create to handle a wide range of issues, including the preparation, amendment, interpretation, and enforcement of restrictive covenants and governing corporate documents, declarant control transition and disputes, fiduciary concerns, and collections. His work with real estate developers also embraces land use and zoning matters and commercial property management concerns.
- J.D., Campbell Law School, 2009. National Moot Court Team; Chief Articles Editor, Campbell Law Review.
- B.S., Political Science, East Carolina University, 2005
Honors and Distinctions*
- "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2014-2021
- "40 and Under Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2020
- "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2012 and 2014-2015
Professional and Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association — Forum: Construction Industry
- American Bar Association — Sections: Antitrust Law; Dispute Resolution; Intellectual Property Law; Litigation
- Cape Fear Museum of History and Science (member, Associate Board 2016-present; co-chair Development Committee, 2016-17; member, Advisory Board 2010-2016; chair 2013-2015; member, Strategic Planning Committee 2013-2014)
- Community Associations Institute, North Carolina Chapter (member, Coastal Regional Advisory Council 2014 - present)
- Defense Research Institute — Committees: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Appellate Advocacy; Commercial Litigation; Construction Law; Electronic Discovery; Lawyers' Professionalism and Ethics; Trial Tactics; Young Lawyers
- Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Wilmington Alumnus, Class of 2012; Education Session co-Chair 2013)
- New Hanover County Bar Association, Inc. (member, board of directors 2010-2014; president 2013-2014; vice president 2012-2013; secretary-treasurer 2011-2012)
- North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
- North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law; Appellate; Construction Law; Intellectual Property Law; International Law & Practice; Litigation (co-chair, membership committee 2014-2015; co-editor, newsletter committee 2014-2015)
- St. James Parish (member, Vestry 2015-2017)
Admitted to Practice
- North Carolina, 2009
- All state and federal courts in North Carolina
- United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.
Highlights + Insights
Common Ground for Hemp in an Uncertain World
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.