Henry L. Kitchin Jr. Partner

Hal Kitchin concentrates his practice on business, commercial and real estate litigation and regulatory matters. In both the federal and state court systems, he represents both plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust, land use permitting, eminent domain, and breach of contract cases.

He has experience in complex commercial, product liability, construction and real estate litigation, as well as zoning, permitting, and land use matters and regulatory administrative law. He represents creditors in creditor’s rights and bankruptcy cases, and defends lenders in lender liability suits.

He has represented landowners and developers in disputes over land ownership, breaches of sales contracts, development rights and architectural control. He has prosecuted and defended against foreclosures of commercial properties, and has litigated lien claims and other construction disputes. He has advised and assisted property owners and businesses in complex zoning, permitting, and other land use entitlement matters, as well as infrastructure development and utility service territory matters.

On behalf of Fortune 100 manufacturing firms, he has defended against antitrust and unfair trade practice claims in several suits brought by competitors, as well as by classes of consumers. In those cases, he and his colleagues have obtained early dismissals or summary judgment in favor of their clients.

He has handled complex intracompany business disputes among directors, shareholders, partners and officers, including defense of derivative claims brought by shareholders against officers and directors. He has also represented companies in suits against former employees for theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, breaches of fiduciary duties, and outright fraud and embezzlement.

In addition to his law practice, Hal is active in bar and community affairs. In 2013, he served as Chairman of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as Chairman of both the Cape Fear Future Foundation and the Greater Wilmington Chamber Foundation.  Since 2013, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and he currently serves as the Board’s Chairman.

Hal attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a John M. Morehead Scholar. While attending Wake Forest School of Law, Hal served on the Wake Forest Law Review as a Notes & Comments Editor, and also served as a member of the Moot Court board.

Experience

Represented energy company in obtaining multiple local land use and other permits for facilities which are part of complex multi-state infrastructure project

Represented client in defense of claims by dozens of individuals asserting personal injury and property damage claims arising out of allegedly contaminated groundwater

Assisted client with analysis of rights and responsibilities in connection with multiple real estate acquisition and development projects

Represented real estate developer in negotiating public-private partnership with municipality and nearby landowners to accelerate completion and decrease cost of certain highway improvements

Represented remote manufacturer of door system in defense of express and implied warranty claims by condominium owners’ association regarding suitability of such door system for particular beachfront environment

Represented client in dispute with subcontractor over the parties’ responsibilities to each other arising out of a complex environmental remediation project on military base

Represented public utility in dispute with a local government over operation and maintenance of regional wastewater transmission and treatment facilities

Represented airline in purported class action brought on behalf of class of curbside baggage handlers for wage-and-hour and similar claims based on allegation that airline was “joint employer” of handers

Represented large retail chain and operator of nationwide, multi-event professional fishing tournament in defense of claims by professional fisherman that his team was damaged by tournament operator’s failure to apply tournament rules to disqualify fisherman’s competitor

Represented unsecured claimants in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of high-income individual, in which very favorable plan treatment was obtained for clients and other members of unsecured class

Part of a team of attorneys who obtained a dismissal of a price-fixing class action lawsuit filed against several international chemical producers; court’s dismissal was the first reported North Carolina decision in which so-called “indirect purchasers” were denied antitrust standing-to-sue under North Carolina antitrust law

Represented dealer of advanced radiography equipment in defense of claims by customer alleging that goods were defective; negotiated favorable settlement after proving that responsibility for defects in goods belonged with manufacturer and compelling manufacturer to cover losses suffered by customer

Represented of a purchaser of large golf and retirement community in disputes with minority shareholders, and defense against claims of an alleged secured lender with respect to purported lien on numerous undeveloped lots

Part of a team of attorneys who obtained summary judgment for a Fortune 100 manufacturer of consumer goods in a multibillion-dollar antitrust suit brought by the client’s major competitors

Represented national lending institutions in several restructurings and several liquidations of multimillion-dollar troubled loans, including real estate-based loans

Defended North Carolina county against claims asserted by plaintiffs alleging that the county’s courthouse was contaminated with toxic mold

Prosecuted claims of commodities futures investor against brokerage firm before Commodities Futures Trading Commission, obtaining a positive outcome for client

Represented two commercial construction firms in defense of class action lawsuits involving claims of toxic mold exposure in several public schools

  • Wake Forest University School of Law, JD, Notes & Comments Editor, Wake Forest Law Review, 1996
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA, John M. Morehead Scholar, 1993

American Bar Association and North Carolina Bar Association, Member

Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Section, North Carolina Bar Association, Chairman, 2004-2005

Young Lawyers Division, New Hanover County Bar Association, Past President

Civil Subcommittee of Local Rules Committee for U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Member, 2013-2015

North Carolina State Bar’s Local Bar Candidates Interview Committee for Judicial District 5, Member, 2009-Present, Chairman, 2014-Present

Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Board Member, 2009-2015, Chairman, 2013

Cape Fear Future Foundation, Chairman, 2012-2017

Greater Wilmington Chamber Foundation, Chairman, 2016-2017

Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (NC BASE), Board of Directors, 2016

City of Wilmington Vision 2020 Implementation Committee, Member, 2012-2014

Coastal Horizons Center, Inc., Board of Trustees, 2007-2013

Lower Cape Fear Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network, Member, Advisory Board, 2016-Present

Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, Inc., Member, Board of Trustees, 2009-2012

Wilmington Business Development, Inc., Board of Directors, 2013

University of North Carolina Wilmington, Member, Board of Trustees, 2013-Present; Secretary, 2016-2017; Vice Chairman, 2018-2019; Chairman, 2019-Present

  • North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, Woodward/White, Inc., 2009-2020

Named “Legal Elite - Lawyer of the Year,” Antitrust Law, 2019, Business North Carolina

Named to "Legal Elite," Antitrust Law, 2008-2019; Litigation, 2019, Business North Carolina

Named to "North Carolina Super Lawyers," 2012-2019; "North Carolina Rising Stars," 2009-2011, Business Litigation, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters

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