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Leighton Lord


  • (T) 803.540.2013
  • (F) 803.727.1461

Leighton Lord practices in the areas of economic development, corporate, partnership and real estate law. His legal practice has a special emphasis on siting economic development projects, real estate financing, general business law, and formation and opinions on Delaware entities. Leighton is the current Chairman of Nexsen Pruet and serves as Managing Director of the firm's communications affiliate, NP Strategy, LLC.

Prior to joining Nexsen Pruet, Leighton clerked for the prestigious Delaware Chancery Court before practicing corporate litigation in Wilmington, Delaware. He served for three years as staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He formally served on South Carolina's Coordinating Council for Economic Development and is the former Chairman of Santee Cooper, South Carolina's electric and water utility.

  • Vanderbilt University, J.D., 1989


  • University of Delaware, B.A.A.S., 1986
Bar Admissions
  • South Carolina
  • Delaware
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • Delaware Bar
  • South Carolina Bar
  • Santee Cooper – Former Chairman
  • Palmetto Economic Development Corporation – Former Chairman
  • Heathwood Hall Episcopal School – Past Board Chairman, current Foundation Board Chairman
  • Liberty Fellow
  • Riley Institute Diversity Fellow
  • Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Baruch Foundation - Board of Directors
  • Achieve Columbia - Chairman
  • Columbia Business Magazine's "Legal Elite of the Midlands", 2016 and 2019
  • Recognized by Chambers USA, Real Estate, South Carolina in 2019 & 2020
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer-Review Rated AV Preeminent
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate Law, Since 2009.
  • Led legal and communications team that sited an appliance manufacturing facility
  • Led legal team that sited a bottled water production facility for an international producer
  • Led negotiations for a commercial aircraft manufacturing facility located in South Carolina. 
  • Successfully re-zoned over 4,000 acres for a commercial gold mine. 
  • Negotiated the Development Agreement for the largest redevelopment project in Columbia’s history.

Stakeholder Engagement In Environmentally Sensitive Economic Development Projects (co-author) South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 66, Spring 2015

A Case for Coordinating Economic Development Planning and Energy Planning (co-author) South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business, Vol. 7, Spring 2011

Panelist at Summer “Law of Solar Energy in South Carolina” seminar.

"Being a part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network has allowed me to connect with and learn from leaders from all over the world.  

The most fun I have is doing anything with my children that they can talk me into doing or I can talk them into doing.  On our last vacation, this included mountain biking, rock climbing and “tubing” down a white water creek!"

Leighton Lord Main Bio 2017Leighton Lord outside NP photo

"My goal with every client and every project is to find the best path to success and then stay on that path until success is achieved.  I pride myself on being a highly organized problem solver."