Thomas C. Watkins


General Corporate | Private Equity | Lending and Finance

Tom Watkins’s practice focuses primarily on closely held businesses and investment vehicles. He has extensive experience in representing investors, borrowers and lenders in a broad range of complex transactions, including debt and equity investments, financings, mergers and acquisitions and restructurings. Mr. Watkins spends significant time representing private equity funds and other investors in connection with their investments and related matters, including negotiating investment terms, exit transactions and private equity fund management. His private equity clients have been involved in transactions throughout the United States and internationally.

Mr. Watkins represents clients in a broad range of industries. His clients, for example, include private equity investors in the real estate, energy and technology fields and the owner of a regional portfolio of radio stations. He is frequently involved in structuring relationships among business owners and is often engaged in connection with limited liability company operating agreements and other stakeholder arrangements. He also regularly provides advice on a broad range of contractual matters.

Mr. Watkins's practice includes the area of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC's). His representations include an NMTC allocatee that has participated in NMTC transactions on a national basis.

Mr. Watkins has spent significant time over the years with the North Carolina Bar Association and is a past member of its Board of Governors. He is a past Chair of the Bar Association's Business Law Section.

Mr. Watkins serves as Chairman of Schell Bray’s Executive Committee.

Mr. Watkins is married and has three grown daughters and five grandchildren. He enjoys salt water activities and golf and is an avid fan of college sports. He is also actively involved in a variety of civic and charitable activities.

Best Lawyers Award Badge


University of North Carolina, B.S., 1973, Beta Gamma Sigma

University of North Carolina, J.D., with honors, 1978, North Carolina Law Review

Bar Admissions
North Carolina, 1978
Professional Activities

North Carolina Bar Association, Board of Governors, past member

North Carolina Bar Association, Business Law Section, past Chair

Community and Civic Activities

Piedmont Triad Charitable Foundation (Wyndham Championship), member of the Board of Directors (PGA Tour Event)

Greensboro Country Club, President 2017-2018

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, past member of the Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors, UNC Children's Hospital and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Greensboro Sports Council, President and Chairman, 2011-2013

First Tee of the Triad, past member of the Board of Directors

Greensboro Rotary Club, past member of the Board of Directors

Wheels4Hope, member of the Board of Directors

Awards and Publications

Woodward/White, Inc., The Best Lawyers in America, Greensboro Banking and Finance Law "Lawyer of the Year", 2013

Woodward/White, Inc., The Best Lawyers in America, banking and finance, corporate 2001-2023

Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, business law, 2003-2008, 2010, 2012-2015, 2019

North Carolina Super Lawyers, business/corporate law, 2006-2014

Chambers USA, Corporate/M&A, 2012, 2015, 2018

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated