Michael Lee

Zoning & Land Use | Commercial Real Estate

Michael focuses his practice on commercial real estate and land use matters, representing clients in a broad variety of matters, including the acquisition, disposition, financing, development, leasing and management of real property across the United States. He has represented clients across the country on transactions involving traditional areas of student housing, senior living, hotels, retail development, and large mixed-use development projects as well as in public-private partnerships. Further, he has assisted clients in the negotiation of incentive and development agreements with municipalities and counties in connection with large real estate development projects. When working on real estate transactions, Michael also assists his clients with the formation and negotiation of various business organizations.

Michael is the father of four children, one dog and has been a resident of the Cape Fear Region for over 20 years. Michael is a graduate of UNC-CH and obtained his law degree, with honors, from Wake Forest University.

Michael serves on the Board of Directors for The Hunt Institute and is a Hunt Kean Fellows member. He has received numerous superlatives through the years such as being included in The Best Lawyers of America directory, Business North Carolina Magazine’s Legal Elite, and Law & Politics Magazine Super Lawyer designation.

Finally, Michael has served as a North Carolina State Senator from 2014-18 and was re-elected in 2020 and is currently serving his fourth term.  Prior to his service in the NC Senate, Michael served on the NCDOT Board of Transportation and Chaired the NC Port Authority.

  • Wake Forest University School of Law JD, cum laude,1997
    Order of the Barristers Honor Society 
    National Trial Team Member 
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill BA, 1991 
  • North Carolina Senate, 2014-2018
  • Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, Real Estate
  • Law & Politics Magazine, North Carolina Super Lawyers, Real Estate
  • Best of the Best, Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2014
  • Best Lawyers® – The Best Lawyers of America
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s top (“AV”) Peer Review Rating*
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • United States District Court
  • Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Middle District of North Carolina
  • Western District of North Carolina
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • New Hanover County Bar Association
  • Legislative Committee of Zoning, Planning & Land Use Section
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church, Member
  • Rotary Club, Member
  • North Carolina Courts Commission, Member
  • Park Sterling Bank, Advisory Board Member