Brooks Pierce Celebrates 125 Years of Providing Innovative Solutions to Complex Legal Issues


Known for its prominent practitioners, the firm looks forward to its next century.

When the law firm now known as Brooks Pierce first opened its doors in Greensboro, the passing traffic was horse-powered. The founders built a firm that became one of the most prominent in corporate law and litigation—fields in which the Firm remains a leader in the state.

Brooks Pierce now maintains offices in Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington, advising clients in a comprehensive range of practice areas, including: business and corporate, environmental, litigation, media and entertainment, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, white collar criminal defense, education, and labor and employment law.

The Firm has been home to some of North Carolina’s most outstanding practitioners, including Henry Frye, former Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, the first Black person to serve on it. Represented among its current ranks are former Secretary of the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bill Ross; former chair of the North Carolina Business Court Rules Revision Committee, Jennifer Van Zant; and past president of the North Carolina Bar Association, Kearns Davis. The Firm’s education practice includes one of the most recognized and seasoned practitioners in the industry, Jill Wilson, who serves as counsel for the North Carolina School Board Trust.

The Firm is known for devising innovative solutions for complex legal problems, as well as a history of significant pro bono service. With a focus on attracting and retaining lawyers from a diverse range of backgrounds, it has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion as a strategic objective. Brooks Pierce has devoted significant time and resources to creating a workplace open and inviting to people from diverse backgrounds, with diverse experiences, and with diverse identities. The Firm maintains a Gender Inclusion Committee to continue the trend.

Brooks Pierce lawyers have received overwhelming recognition for excellence by professional organizations and peer groups, including The Best Lawyers in America©, Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” Chambers USA and others.

“Brooks Pierce has a long and distinguished history, and I am proud of all we have accomplished on behalf of our clients and in our communities,” said Reid Phillips, the Firm’s managing partner, who joined Brooks Pierce in 1977. “However, I am even more excited about what our future holds and the impact current and upcoming generations of attorneys will have in shaping North Carolina and the practice of law.”

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