Whether searching for a creative business solution or actively litigating a case, James Derrick provides clients with thoughtful and pragmatic strategies to achieve the clients’ goals. James is an experienced litigation and dispute-resolution partner who advises clients in complex disputes in federal and state courts across the United States as well as cross-border arbitrations. His practice focuses on the construction, energy, and financial services industries, though he has represented clients in a wide range of matters over the last 15 years, including cases involving intellectual property rights, high-value contract disputes, business torts, RICO claims, insurance coverage and bad faith disputes, and rights secured by the United States Constitution.  

James’s construction experience includes representing project owners, developers, general contractors, and subcontractors on all manner of issues, including delay and inefficiency claims, construction defects, mechanic’s liens, and pre-dispute project management matters.  

Practicing in one of the largest banking cities in the country, James routinely represents financial institutions in matters relating to fiduciary duties and consumer financial services, including mortgage-related litigation and cases involving consumer protection laws. 

Understanding all stages of the dispute resolution process, including trying cases to verdict or a final arbitration award, James is especially adept at navigating the complexities that come with large commercial cases.

Professional Activities

  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry


Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Represented a large food-service company against a Swiss heating-technology company regarding intellectual property and contractual matters in an international commercial arbitration seated in Zurich and administered by the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution.
  • Represented prominent domestic and German automotive manufacturing companies in a construction dispute arising from the design and construction of a one million square-foot manufacturing facility.
  • Represented large institutional lender in dozens of interrelated cases arising from the 2008 financial crisis that related to investments in resort developments. Obtained favorable written decisions in North Carolina federal court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Represented North Carolina governmental agency in First Amendment challenge to professional licensing requirements in publicized federal court litigation.
  • Represented biomaterials developer and manufacturer in lawsuits alleging patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. Obtained dismissal of all claims following successful oral argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • Represented subcontractor in disputes relating to nine-figure heavy civil construction projects.
  • Represented publicly traded energy company in mass action involving operation of a federally licensed hydroelectric project.

Thought Leadership

  • Panelist, "Early Stages: From the Arbitration Clause to Preparing for the Preliminary Hearing", ABA 2024 Arbitration Training Institute, June 6, 2024