Based in the Port City, Charles Baldwin uses his broad experience in cross-border transactions to advise businesses on international law, venture capital and transactional matters. He also serves as Village Attorney for the Village of Bald Head Island, providing counsel on contract, construction, environmental, municipal and regulatory issues.
Based in Wilmington, N.C., Charles has diverse experience in international and transportation law and is recognized as one of the state’s leading attorneys in these areas. Charles represents corporations on a variety of cross-border issues, including imports, exports, cargo claims and Federal Maritime Commission matters. Charles has always had an interest in international business and cultures, and continues to be a frequent speaker on topics related to business law and international trade.
Charles has a diverse corporate practice, advising businesses in the technology, pharmaceutical, health care, medical device, manufacturing, port facility, and transportation industries, among others, and on a wide range of venture capital and transactional issues. He regularly counsels his clients on matters related to start-ups, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions. He is an angel investor and executive committee member of Wilmington Investor Network, LLC. Charles enjoys helping his clients achieve their goals by solving and simplifying complex legal issues. He is a frequent speaker and writer on business law.
"Over the past five years, I have had the pleasure of working with Charles on several strategic business and investment activities. He has proven invaluable on countless occasions with his legal brilliance and his ability to provide strong, strategic counsel." - Kevin Schimelfenig, SalesForce4Hire, LLC and McGeever Family Office
Charles’ unique practice includes serving as Village Attorney for the Village of Bald Head Island in North Carolina. Bald Head is the southernmost of North Carolina’s cape islands, and 10,000 of the island’s 12,000 total acres have been set aside as nature preserves. Given the island’s diverse environment, Charles counsels island leaders on the numerous environmental and regulatory issues that arise.
Honors & Recognitions
Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) designation from the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators
Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in International Trade and Finance Law (2012-2021)
AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Permanently recognized by his peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” Hall of Fame in Business Law (2019)
Georgetown University Law Center, LLM., 1996, with distinction, international and comparative law
American University, M.A., School of International Service, 1995, international law and affairs
American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., 1993; Note and Comment Editor, Law Review
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 1990, English
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle and Eastern District of North Carolina
- RecognitionTwenty-Six Brooks Pierce Attorneys Named to Business North Carolina’s 2021 “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”Business North Carolina Legal Elite, 01.03.2021
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.20.2020
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2019
- Press Release06.18.2019
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2018
- RecognitionTwenty-five Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s 2018 “Legal Elite” and "Hall of Fame"Business North Carolina, 01.02.2018
- Media MentionGGI Insider, 12.18.2017
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2017
- Press Release06.15.2017
- Media MentionGlobal Trade Magazine, 04.27.2017
- Media MentionBaldwin and Fairchild Quoted in Greater Wilmington Business Journal Article on the Future of International TradeGreater Wilmington Business Journal, 01.17.2017
- RecognitionNineteen Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”Business North Carolina, 01.03.2017
- Media MentionGlobal Trade, 12.08.2016
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2016
- Press Release03.11.2016
- RecognitionNineteen Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s 2016 “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”01.07.2016
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.17.2015
- Media MentionTriad Business Journal, 04.16.2015
- RecognitionTwenty-one Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite" and "Hall of Fame"Business North Carolina, 01.04.2015
- Press Release12.31.2012
- Speaking Engagements05.15.2019
- Speaking Engagements12.12.2018
- Speaking Engagements03.21.2018
- Speaking Engagements10.20.2016
- Speaking Engagements04.27.2016
- Speaking EngagementsBrooks Pierce Partners to Host Roundtable Discussions at the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship09.14.2015
- Speaking Engagements05.21.2015
- Speaking Engagements03.04.2015
- Speaking Engagements02.09.2015
- Speaking EngagementsBrooks Pierce Partner Charles Baldwin Serves as Panelist for North Carolina Foreign Trade Promotion Council Conference10.06.2014
- Speaking EngagementsBaldwin Presents at National Institute of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Regional Innovation Conference09.21.2014
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center: Timely Counsel for your Business, 06.17.2020
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center: Timely Counsel for your Business, 05.08.2020
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center: Timely Counsel for your Business, 03.31.2020
- Client Alert09.04.2015
- Client Alert01.14.2015
Professional & Civic
Professional & Civic Activities
Member, Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina (2019-present)
The following Q&A was adapted from Charles Baldwin’s profile in Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite 2015.
Why you chose to specialize in your particular field:
Family, friends and classmates of different nationalities and occupations interested me in international business and cultures. Those experiences, plus a desire to help people, led to law and an international transactional and business practice. Some of the best advice I received was from former Sullivan & Cromwell Managing Partner Jack Stevenson, a family friend. Jack offered to speak with me and we sat on the porch of his mountain cottage, “No Deer” (his wife was an avid gardener). He told me that if I wanted to practice international business law, I should forget about international business law. Instead, he said I should study as hard as I could and focus on bedrock legal principles (contracts, torts, real property, equity, litigation). Then, I should join the best law practice I could. When an international business issue arose, I should let it be known that I was interested and offer to work on it. After law school, I joined an established business and admiralty law practice that I believed would encounter international issues. That led to a diverse business practice, including international transactions including work on international port terminals, technology, pharma, health care, angel and venture capital, transportation and regulatory matters.
Family: Wife, Devon; daughter, Davis; son, Selden; and Kinston Yard Dog
Memorable case: A project to establish a new maritime port terminal. It involved working through the business and legal issues with national and international companies and seeing the project move from paper to implementation. Seeing the ships, cranes, conveyors, trucks and trains moving cargo was most rewarding. Note: Kudos to my childhood time with Lionel trains.
Passions: Reading, writing, guitar, running
If you didn't practice in your current location, where would you live and work? Winston-Salem or Asheville
What would you do if you were not an attorney? Book editor. The editor of a book I co-authored on international litigation and arbitration said she would like to hire me. I would enjoy learning new subjects and structuring and revising works of authorship.
Favorite place: Wilmington, N.C.
Hero: Henry Frye, North Carolina’s first African-American Chief Justice—a great person, author, poet and fellow Brooks Pierce attorney. He loves people, regardless of time or circumstance.
What is your favorite book or one that you are now engrossed in: Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life, by Carlo D’Este
Don’t ask me to: Fix a computer problem