Tyler J. Russell

Business and Creditors' Rights Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Email tjr@wardandsmith.com
919.277.9122 Fax 919.277.9177
Post Office Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009

Tyler's practice experience includes a broad range of corporate and transactional matters, including drafting and negotiating corporate agreements and documents, managing all aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions for a variety of companies, and assisting privately held companies in all aspects of their business needs, from corporate governance and transactions to business structuring, development and expansion opportunities, and succession planning.

Tyler is passionate about the hemp and cannabidiol ("CBD") industries, their products, and their people.  He co-chairs the firm's Hemp Law practice group, and he represents clients in all aspects of the hemp and CBD industries – both in North Carolina and beyond.  His clients include farmers and growers, processors, extractors, product manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.  He also assists clients who are involved in the industry but do not directly "touch the plant" – including brokers, consultants, marketing agencies, lenders and financial institutions, and other suppliers and vendors. 

In his hemp and CBD practice, Tyler regularly provides advice and counsel to his clients on Federal, state, and local legal and regulatory compliance matters, and he regularly represents clients in all types of agribusiness, transactional, and corporate deals and agreements within the industry.  He is also actively engaged in state-level lobbying and public activism efforts in support of the industry, its companies, and their products.  The hemp and CBD industries are unique, and Tyler and the firm's Hemp Law team are committed to helping the people and businesses within them.

Tyler also works with other regulated industries – including breweries, distilleries, and wineries – to address permitting needs, compliance issues, distribution and supply chain matters, and negotiations and interactions with local, state, and federal governmental and regulatory agencies.  Tyler has also represented financial institutions and other creditors in bankruptcy cases and litigation in state and federal court, including workouts, reorganizations, collection cases, and other contested matters.  


  • J.D., summa cum laude, North Carolina Central University School of Law, 2010. Senior Editor, North Carolina Central University Law Review.
  • B.A., Virginia Military Institute, 2007

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "Rising Star," Super Lawyers, 2020-2022
  • "Go-To Thought Leader," The National Law Review, 2021
  • "The Best Lawyers in America," Best Lawyers®, 2020-2023
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Bankruptcy, 2018

Legal Elite  National Law Review "Go-To Thought Leader" Badge

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association — Division: Young Lawyers
  • Capital City Clauses, Inc. (former board member)
  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (Member; Young Professionals Network; Leadership Raleigh Alumnus, Class of 2018)
  • Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Greenville Alumnus, Class of 2013)
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Section: Bankruptcy, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair
  • Wake County Bar Association

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2010
  • All State Courts in North Carolina
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • Virginia, 2021
  • All State Courts in Virginia

* 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.

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.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234
  • 2024 Chambers USA

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