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Keith Burns

Member, Raleigh Office Managing Partner


I’m a real estate attorney in Raleigh-Durham, where I represent clients in matters involving lending, business transactions and general contracts.

I’m particularly experienced in delivering counsel on original loans, refinances, and restructuring; the formation of LLCs, corporations, and partnerships; and real estate purchases, leases, supplier and customer contracts, acquisitions, and dissolutions.

In my 20+ years of experience practicing law, I have developed a firm belief that the difference between good and great outcomes lies at the intersection of details and business goals. My legal strategies reflect that philosophy of meticulousness combined with pursuit of practical solutions and my record further underscores my fine-tuned approach to helping clients mitigate risk and capture return.

  • Wake Forest University, J.D., 1993
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 1989
Bar Admissions
  • North Carolina
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • Board Chairman, Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), 2018-19
  • Fellow, American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA), 2017
  • Management Committee, Triangle Chapter Urban Land Institute (ULI), 2015
  • Chair, Sponsor Committee, Triangle Chapter Urban Land Institute (ULI), 2015
  • Executive Committee, Research Triangle Regional Partnership, 2014-present
  • Trustee, North Carolina Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees, 2014-2016
  • Executive Committee, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, 2007-2015
  • Legal Advisor, Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, Chatham Counties, 2004-present
  • Chair, Hope Valley Country Club, 2015
  • Chair, Durham District of the Boy Scouts of America, 2012-2013
  • Chair, Duke-Durham Campaign, 2012
  • Chair, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, 2009
  • President, Braxton Craven Inn of Court, 2004 – 2005
  • Chair, Durham County Habitat for Humanity, 1999 – 2000
  • Chair, Durham County Meals on Wheels, 1999 – 2000
  • Representation of lenders in a number of loans for acquisition, development or refinance of properties, ranging in size from $1 million to $29 million.
  • Representation of homebuilders in multiple acquisitions of raw land, ranging in size from approximately 65 to 150 acres and including assemblages that require multiple simultaneous closings, and related development activities.
  • Representation of regional and local developers in the acquisition of raw land, ranging from approximately 20 to 220 acres and including assemblages that require multiple simultaneous closings, related development activities and sales to regional and national homebuilders.
  • Representation of national and local investors in the acquisition of shopping centers.
  • Representation of a local developer in the acquisition (which included multiple simultaneous closings), development, negotiation of public/private partnership agreements, and sales for a 500-acre business park.
  • Representation of a regional developer in the acquisition, development, and sale of a 200+ acre mixed use development manufacturing facility.
  • Representation of purchasers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of various businesses, including a commercial outdoor lighting contractor; commercial flooring and acoustical contractor; commercial millwork company; a retail and mail-order company; a security installation and monitoring company; an electrical transformer repair and service company; a multi-location restaurant business with related franchise and development rights, and a state-wide storage company/franchise.
  • Representation of various landlords and tenants in the preparation and negotiation of commercial leases.
  • "Setting Policy for Loan Closings," Bank Director's Assembly, March 2, 2015.
  • North Carolina Bankers Association Management Team Conference, Oct. 20, 2013.
  • “What Now? What You Need to Know Regarding North Carolina’s New Lien Law & Bond Laws,” webinar, March 26, 2013. Economic Development Financing in North Carolina, Sept. 14, 2012.
  • "Enhancements for Public/Private Developments: How to Obtain Economic Assistance and Grants," Economic Development Financing in North Carolina, Sept. 14, 2012.
  • “Under Fire in the Trenches,” North Carolina Business Association, Feb. 9, 2012.

There's something magical about the moment I pull back on the yoke and the wheels of the plane leave the runway. In that moment there is a sense of freedom and all the possibilities of the trip to come.

Burns, Keith main bio photoKeith Burns Outside NP photo

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