Schell Bray PLLC’s Thomas C. Watkins Receives Distinguished Service Award

Schell Bray PLLC is proud to announce that Thomas C. Watkins recently received the N.C. Bar Association Business Law Section’s highest honor, its Distinguished Service Award. The NCBA presents the Distinguished Service Award to recognize extraordinary service to the Business Law Section, the legal profession and the public.

In making the nomination, Schell Bray Executive Committee member April Kight said of her colleague, “Tom Watkins is a wonderful teacher and leader. He is an excellent lawyer and advocate for his clients, with the best combination of knowledge and practical application. He has given much of his time to managing our firm, the North Carolina Bar Association and the community. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient.”

Mr. Watkins is a past member of the Board of Governors of the N.C. Bar Association and served as Chair of the Bar Association’s Business Law Section when that organization launched NC LEAP, now known as NC Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program. Under this initiative, NCBA members volunteer their time and expertise to support low-wealth entrepreneurs.

In addition to his active engagement with the NCBA, he has served the community and the state in many leadership roles. He is a past member of the Board of Visitors of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a past president and member of the Board of Directors of the Greensboro Sports Council, a member of the Board of Directors of the Piedmont Triad Charitable Foundation (Wyndham Championship/PGA Tour Event), a past member of the Boards of Visitors of UNC Children’s Hospital and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and a past president of Greensboro Country Club.

At Schell Bray, he is a former chair of the firm’s Executive Committee and focuses his legal practice 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.

In addition to the 2024 Distinguished Service Award, Mr. Watkins’ professional recognitions include:

  • The Best Lawyers in America, named 2023 Piedmont Triad “Lawyer of the Year” in Corporate Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America, named 2013 Greensboro “Lawyer of the Year” in Banking and Finance Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America, listed for banking, finance and corporate law, 2001-2023
  • Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, business law, multiple prior listings
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, business/corporate law, multiple prior listings
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated