Edward J. "Trip" Coyne, III

Ward and Smith, P.A.
Email ejcoyne@wardandsmith.com
Post Office Box 7068, Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

Trip is actively serving as the Chief Executive Officer of an international consumer products company.  He remains associated with Ward and Smith in order to assist limited clients and serve the community. 

Trip's legal practice is varied, as he is both a business attorney and a litigator. He has significant experience in corporate, lender liability, construction, commercial, class action, maritime, and real property litigation, and appears as lead or local counsel throughout the state and federal courts of North and South Carolina, and in other jurisdictions. He also provides general business counsel to domestic and international clients with a focus on growth and multi-national companies.

Prior to joining the firm, Trip practiced in the Wilmington office of a large, regional law firm and served two terms as law clerk to the Honorable John R. Jolly, Jr., of the North Carolina Business Court.  He has been rated by his peers as being "preeminent" in his fields of law.


  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 2005. Editor in Chief, Wake Forest Intellectual Property Law Journal, Full Academic Scholarship Recipient.
  • B.S., Appalachian State University, 2002. Omicron Delta Kappa.

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "40 and Under Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2016-2021
  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2013-2019

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Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Cameron Art Museum (past Chairman, Board of Trustees)
  • City of Wilmington Municipal Services District Task Force (member)
  • GLOW Leadership Academy Foundation (board member)
  • Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Wilmington Alumnus,Class of 2012)
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Business Court Rules Advisory Committee (member)
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (member, Port Captain, past presenter)
  • Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law (Board of Advisors)
  • Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (past officer and director)

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2005
  • Florida, 2008
  • Georgia, 2007
  • South Carolina, 2008
  • All state and federal courts in North Carolina
  • All state courts in Florida
  • All state courts in Georgia
  • All state and federal courts in South Carolina
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of 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.

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