• University of North Carolina, J.D., 2003
  • Duke University, Doctoral Studies, 1997-2001; Master of  Environmental Management, 1996
  • Union College, B.S., 1991
Bar & Court Admissions
  • North Carolina
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District, North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District, North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Western District, North Carolina
  • Certified North Carolina Superior Court Mediator

Alexander Elkan

Photo of Alexander  Elkan
2000 Renaissance Plaza
230 North Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
T: (336) 271-3134
F: (336) 232-9034

Alex focuses his practice in the areas of environmental, land use and natural resources law, and complex litigation. He provides strategic counsel and represents clients in all manner of disputes before state and federal administrative, trial, and appellate courts.

Among other honors and awards, he has been recognized in "The Best Lawyers in America" in Environmental Law (Woodward/White), as one of North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” in Environmental Law by Business North Carolina magazine, and as a “Rising Star" in Environmental Litigation by North Carolina Super Lawyers.

Alex regularly handles a wide range of environmental, health and safety, natural resources, and land use matters including: water, air, and waste permitting, regulatory compliance, and government investigations and enforcement; land use zoning and permitting; health and safety issues; property and groundwater contamination; water use rights; "green" building and manufacturing issues; and other science and regulatory issues of importance to his clients.  Alex's clients include mining and other natural resources sector companies, manufacturers, property developers, waste management and disposal companies; environmental remediation and consulting firms, educational institutions, municipalities, and a range of other businesses.

Alex enjoys providing efficient legal counsel and services to effectively achieve his clients’ goals.  He is an accomplished litigator and has successfully litigated numerous cases through trial and appellate courts.  Alex litigates all manner of disputes before state and federal administrative, trial, and appellate courts. His litigation experience ranges from complex environmental and business matters to straight-forward real property and land use disputes to defending against government fines and penalties.  His experience includes: corporate derivative actions; securities litigation; embezzlement, fraud and unfair trade practice claims; construction litigation; commercial contracts; professional malpractice; real property and land use disputes; property and groundwater contamination claims; CERCL; toxic torts; environmental permit challenges; and government fines and penalties. In his appellate practice, Alex has represented clients before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Sixth Circuits.  Alex's successful litigation practice has resulted in significant published cases:

  • Successful defense of coastal wetlands permit allowing for 35 years of operations by mining company client.  North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, Environmental Management Commission, and Wake County Superior Court.
  • Successful defense of manufacturing company and property owner clients sued by neighborhood residents in a case that is now a seminal state court case on groundwater contamination and toxic tort claims.  Alamance County Superior Court and North Carolina Court of Appeals.
    Curl v. American Multimedia, Inc., __N.C.App.__, 654 S.E.2d 76 (2007) 
  • North Carolina Supreme Court judgment in favor of developer client in a seminal state case on government environmental enforcement and third-party intervention.
    Holly Ridge Associates, LLC v. North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, 361 N.C. 531, 648 S.E.2d 830 (2007) 
  • Successful defense of landowner in commercial lease and contract dispute in Guilford County Superior Court and North Carolina Court of Appeals.
    Kennedy v. Gardner, 170 N.C. App. 118, 611 S.E.2d 480 (2005) 
  • Successful defense of business client against real estate, business tort, and securities fraud claims in federal district court for the Western District of North Carolina.
    Synergy Financial, L.L.C. v. Zarro, 329 F.Supp.2d 701 (W.D.N.C. 2004)

Alex is a certified Superior Court mediator and also provides mediation services. 

He regularly lectures and develops courses on environmental, natural resources, and land use law topics for audiences comprised of attorneys, engineers, and other professionals. He is active in the litigation and environmental sections of the North Carolina and American Bar Associations.

Alex's background includes work as a commercial fisherman, as a congressional fellow with the U.S. Senate, as a research biologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as a research and teaching associate with Duke University, and as an environmental science and policy consultant. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, his Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, and his Bachelor of Science degree from Union College. Alex was honored to have been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in support of his doctoral studies at Duke University.

Selected Seminars, Speaking Engagements, and Publications

Honors & Awards

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Bar Association - Litigation and Environmental Sections
  • North Carolina Bar Association - Litigation and Environmental Sections; Environmental Section Council and Sustainability Committee Chair
  • Defense Research Institute - Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation Committee
  • Greensboro Bar Association
  • Greensboro Bar Association - Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors
  • United Way of Greater Greensboro - Community Grants Committee
  • Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro Future Fund - Grants Committee
  • Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art Board of Directors - Past President
  • Youth Athletics Coach