Ken leads the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. His practice experience encompasses various areas of employment-related litigation. He advises clients and litigates cases involving all forms of employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and breach of employment contracts from small start-up companies to Fortune 500 corporations.
Additionally, Ken regularly navigates complex complaints and conducts sensitive internal corporate workplace investigations, including sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, and malfeasance.
Ken is a frequent lecturer on employment discrimination, workplace retaliation, and wage and hour issues. He also serves in leadership roles with various legal and civic organizations. He is a former president of the Craven County Bar Association, a former two-term president of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Coastal Carolina, and Chairman of the Deacons of First Baptist Church of New Bern.
- J.D., magna cum laude, Campbell Law School, 1993. Business Editor, Campbell Law Review.
- B.S., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1990. Dean's List. Johnston Scholar.
Honors and Distinctions*
- The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers®, 2009-2017, 2019-2024
- "Labor and Employment Star," Benchmark Litigation, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
- "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2010, 2012, 2013-2017, 2022
Professional and Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association — Sections: Labor and Employment Law; Litigation
- Craven County Bar Association (secretary/treasurer 1998-1999; president 1999-2000)
- North Carolina Bar Association — Committee: Quality of Life (co-chair 1995)
- North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Labor and Employment Law; Litigation; Workers' Compensation
Admitted to Practice
- North Carolina, 1993
- 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
My motto is "work hard and play hard."
The best thing about Ward and Smith is that we always put our clients first in anything we do. We try to look at the big picture for each client even if the particular client is only focused on the short term goal. Often, we demonstrate that the short term goal may not be in the client's best interest, and the client is thankful that we are not afraid to say things that the client initially may not want to hear.
* 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
The EEOC Issues a Proposed Rule Regarding the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act
NLRB Turning Up the Heat Over Employee Handbooks
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