Catherine E. Thompson Senior Counsel

Catherine has broad-based litigation and trial experience, with special emphasis on business and commercial litigation. Her experience includes defending class actions and certification of class actions, as well as litigation involving unfair trade practices, antitrust, securities, fraud, trade secrets, and corporate governance claims.

Following law school, Catherine served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sam J. Ervin, III, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit and is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. An active contributor to the North Carolina legal community, Catherine has served as President of the Mecklenburg County Bar and is an Emeritus Member of the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners, having served a Member of the Board from 2001-2008.


Representation of a national company in a series of commercial disputes and an arbitration proceeding, opposing the attempted dissolution of a joint venture. The company obtained a favorable monetary and commercial settlement that preserved hundreds of millions of dollars in investment capital and various contractual rights.

Counsel to a publicly-traded company in connection with risk analysis for settlement purposes of a series of putative class actions alleging state law antitrust violations.

Representation of officers and directors of a Fortune 500 company in shareholder derivative actions alleging unlawful backdating of stock options.

Defense of general partner of limited partnership in parallel state and federal protective class action proceedings involving alleged breaches of securities law and fiduciary duties, including appeals to North Carolina Court of Appeals and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Representation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in various contested administrative and litigation matters.

Defense of a national chemical company in a federal putative national class action alleging antitrust claims, including vertical price fixing.

Representation at trial and on appeal of a national automotive after-market franchisor and its British parent company in a nationwide class action brought by franchisees asserting fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and breach of contract claims, which continues to define the law in the Fourth Circuit on class certification.

Defense of a national electronics and engineering company in trade secrets federal litigation involving memory chip design.

  • North Carolina

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Securities, 2014; Bet-the-Company Litigation, Charlotte, Best Lawyers, 2017

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2010-2020; Commercial Litigation, 2009-2020; Securities Litigation, 2012-2020 Woodward/White, Inc.

Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference

Master, Chief Justice Walter H. Bobbitt American Inn of Court, 1990-1998

  • Yale Law School, JD, 1980
  • Duke University, BA, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1976

President, 1991-1992; Secretary-Treasurer, 1985-1988; Member, Executive Committee, 1984-1985, 1988-1989; Chair of various Committees, including Professionalism Committee, Civil Litigation Committee and Nominating Committee, Mecklenburg County Bar

Member, North Carolina Bar Association

Chair, Symposia Committee for 25th Anniversary of Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, 2017; chair, “Access to Justice” Campaign for Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, 1993

Advisor, Moot Court and Mock Trial Teams at Charlotte County Day School, 2008-2010

Board of Directors, Sharon Towers (Presbyterian Retirement Home), 2007-2009

Law Examiner, North Carolina Board of Law Examiners, 2001-2008

Board of Directors, Community School of the Arts, 1996-2002

Chair, Attorneys’ Division of Arts and Sciences Council Annual Fund Drive, 1999

Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA)

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