With a focus on companies in the media and technology industries, Elizabeth provides comprehensive advice and strategic counsel related to mergers and acquisitions and regulatory matters involving these businesses.

She has significant experience advising television and radio stations as well as digital and online businesses. Her recent transactions include the following:

  • Lead counsel to seller of two Big-Four affiliated television stations in top 100 market.
  • Lead counsel to buyer in acquisition of Big-Four affiliated television station in top 75 market.
  • Lead counsel to buyer of two television stations in top 150 markets.
  • Counsel to buyer of four Big-Four affiliated television stations in divestiture transaction, including representation before the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Lead counsel to buyer of cluster of six radio stations.
  • Lead counsel to seller of Top-Six affiliated television station in top 100 market.
  • Counsel to seller of two Big-Four affiliated television stations in top 125 markets.

Elizabeth’s extensive experience includes representing broadcast media clients before the Federal Communications Commission. She regularly counsels clients on the full gamut of FCC regulatory issues, including political, EEO, children’s programming, contests and promotions, ownership, licensing and renewals, and online public file requirements. She routinely assists clients with critical business contracts such as network affiliation agreements.

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Elizabeth frequently works with digital media companies and other online businesses to provide advice and strategic counsel on privacy matters of concern. She works with clients to assess data collection and use practices and to craft responsive privacy policies.

Elizabeth is a member of the Privacy and Information Security Law Specialization Committee of the North Carolina State Bar. She was one of the first attorneys in the state to receive this specialization when it launched in 2018. She also served as founding chairperson of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Privacy and Data Security Committee and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US). 

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Recognized in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly's "Leaders in the Law" (2019)

Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) as a “Rising Star” in Communications (2011-2015)

Member, Umstead Act Unfair Competition Panel (2019-Present)

Co-Chair, Carolinas Chapter, Federal Communications Bar Association (2010-2014) 

Member, Federal Communications Bar Association 

Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals 

Member, Carolina Privacy Officials Network  

Member, American Bar Association 

Member, North Carolina Bar Association 

Member and Past Chair, Privacy and Data Security Committee, North Carolina Bar Association (2017-present)

Secretary, Treasurer, Section Council, Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section, North Carolina Bar Association (2007-2014)  

Member, Wake County Bar Association 

Volunteer Attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina Lawyer on the Line Program (2013 - present) 

Guardian ad Litem, Wake County, NC (2006-2009)

Co-presenter (with Sue Young), "Managing Risk in Contract Drafting and Negotiation," Association of Corporate Counsel CLE, Raleigh, NC, December 2018

Contributor, Brooks Pierce's Digital Media and Data Privacy Blog  

Presenter, The Digital Marketer’s Legal Playlist:  Greatest Hits, Internet Summit 2014, November 2014 

Presenter, "License Renewal in Broadcast: What To Do Now," Knowledge Congress Legal Series, November 2012 

I am a native of Concord, NC, in the Piedmont area of the state, but I found my home in the Triangle area in 2000. I enjoy being a lawyer because I view it fundamentally as a helping profession. I am proud to work with broadcasters and the news media in particular because of the important role they play in our democracy. When I’m not working with clients, I like to spend time with family and friends and on foot outdoors in the mountains, on the coast, or on Raleigh’s greenway system.

A successful outcome for my clients is how I measure my own success as a lawyer.

Recent Publications & Media

Speaking Engagements

April 16, 2015

Brooks Pierce Partners Discuss Cybersecurity at NCTA Event

Brooks Pierce partners Charles Marshall and Elizabeth Spainhour recently spoke to the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) about how to best prepare for a data breach and manage reputational damage and costs associated with a breach. The presentation, which also included insight into how...Read more
March 10, 2015

Spainhour and Hartzell Present to Triad's Largest PR Association

Stephen Hartzell and Elizabeth Spainhour presented "The Online Legal PR Playlist: Greatest Hits" to the Tarheel Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on March 10, 2015. The fast-paced and entertaining session, which featured its own Spotify playlist, examined the top legal concerns PR...Read more


Thirty-six Brooks Pierce attorneys have been recognized in the 2015 edition of North Carolina Super...(read more)
Brooks Pierce is pleased to announce that 39 lawyers, representing 46% of the firm’s attorneys,...(read more)
Brooks Pierce is pleased to announce that 38 lawyers, representing 43% of the firm’s attorneys,...(read more)

Recent Publications & Media