Trent is the quintessential deal lawyer; helping his clients acquire, finance, develop, lease, manage and sell commercial real estate. His clients call on him because he has a proven record of helping them structure and close their most important deals. Trent’s attention to detail and ability to manage large projects, combined with his extensive legal experience and practical approach to solving problems, enables his clients to achieve their goals and close their deals on target.

Trent represents brand name clients within the institutional investment and private-equity arenas, national and regional big-box retailers, public companies, sophisticated developers and real estate sponsors and investors. He has extensive experience negotiating build-to-suit leases, long term ground leases and joint venture arrangements for real estate acquisitions involving retail, office, multi-family, industrial and mixed-use projects. He also represents landlords and tenants with Class A office leases throughout the US.

In addition to serving as leader of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, Trent heads the Firm’s US Timberland and Agricultural Resources Team. He has significant experience representing institutional timberland and agricultural investment managers with acquiring, financing, managing, and selling large timberland and agricultural investment properties along the east coast and in the southwestern US. He has been the lead real estate attorney on several of the largest timberland transactions in the country. He also regularly advises timberland owners in negotiating supply agreements with public company pulp, paper, log, and wood chip mills.


CLE Presenter and Author, A Tenant’s Perspective on Hot Topics in Ground Leases, North Carolina Bar Association Hot Topics in Commercial Real Estate CLE, February 2009

Civic and Professional Activities

  • Member of International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Member of NAIOP
  • Member of Real Property Council for Real Property Section of North Carolina Bar Association (2006-2009); Editor of Real Property Section Newsletter (2007-2009)
  • Bar Associations: North Carolina State Bar Association, Real Property Section
  • Forsyth County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Board Chair, Crosby Scholars:  Vice-Chair, Community Partnership
  • Board Member, Goodwill Industries of Northeast North Carolina
  • Board Member, The Winston-Salem Rotary Club
  • Member, Centenary United Methodist Church
  • Volunteer for Samaritan Ministries of Winston-Salem

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Real Estate Law (2013 - Present) and Land Use & Zoning Law (2023 - Present)
  • Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer, Real Estate, North Carolina, 2015 – Present
  • Ranked in the IFLR1000 United States for Real Estate Law, 2019
  • Selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Real Estate Law, 2011 – 2013, 2015
  • Recognized in Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite, Commercial Real Estate
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rating


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 institutional timberland manager with the sale of 295,000 acres of investment timberland properties located in Arkansas and Texas.
  • Represented private equity real estate investment firm with acquiring the largest suburban office park located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Represented regional grocery anchor with build-to-suit leases, ground leases, acquisitions and development of properties located throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
  • Represented Shopping Center REIT with acquiring and developing property in Florida for a new 350,000 outlet center.
  • Represented institutional timberland manager with the acquisition of 100,000 acres of investment timberland properties in Florida from a public forest products company.

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