Mike shepherds clients through real estate controversies. Whether mired in controversy involving a piece of real estate, or controversial real estate development proposals. Mike’s far flung experience as a federal judicial clerk in Wyoming, a commercial litigator in Manhattan, and a real estate lawyer with Womble Carlyle in Raleigh equips him to bring formidable, representation and creative perspectives to bear for his clients. 

Throughout North Carolina, clients have called on Mike to both obtain land use entitlements for potentially controversial real estate development, and to prevent the entitlement for controversial development. He prosecutes and defends lawsuits involving real estate, and advises clients on business transactions or early-stage real estate disputes. Mike’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, smaller publicly-traded and privately-held companies, individual property owners, and local governments. Mike is deeply vested in both the business and personal goals of his clients, and in each controversy, specifically focuses his representation to help achieve those outcomes.

Mike is a widely published authority on real estate controversy issues in North Carolina, and is frequently called upon by television stations and, newspapers, to shed light on complex legal concepts, and routinely presents real estate controversy courses to North Carolina lawyers. Mike’s practice is branded and recognized throughout the State as the North Carolina Land Use Litigator, intentionally weaving long-form Blogging and short-form Tweeting to add his depth of knowledge to the legal, political, and business issues facing landowners, developers, and local governments.

    Experience

    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.

    Mike’s fully versed in the land use entitlement process, helping corporations and individuals to obtain or prevent land use entitlements using local ordinance interpretations and appeals, rezonings, special and conditional use permits, subdivision plat approvals, site plan approvals, annexations, planned unit developments, and others. His representation not only extends to the local government level, but to State or federal court, if necessary.

    Mike litigates all manner of business disputes involving elements of real estate, from land boundary matters, to lease matters, to land purchase or land security matters, to partnership agreements, and beyond.

    He drafts critical, operative real estate documents as well, including lease transactions, real estate transactions, and covenants.

    He represents corporations in negotiating local government incentives in the development of real estate, including obtaining drafting and infrastructure and development agreements.

    Mike also represents property owners in controlling eminent domain projects and maximizing compensation in eminent domain matters, whether a taking by the State, a utility, or a local government.

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    Contact information

    +1 919.755.2154
    michael.thelen@wbd-us.com
    +1 919.755.6090

    Bar admissions

    2007, North Carolina

    2003, New York

    Admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
    The Court of International Trade
    The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    The United States District Court for the Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina