GWB_Charlotte_2018_ Chris Kelly


Chris Kelly is the Partner-In-Charge of the firm’s Charlotte office.  He focuses his practice on commercial transportation law and a broad range of complex litigation, including business and commercial litigation, serious personal injury litigation, insurance law, professional negligence, and appellate representation.  Chris is licensed in both North Carolina and South Carolina.  Chris is also GWB’s Commercial Transportation Team Leader and currently chairs the firm’s Associate Committee.

Chris’ own experience includes the handling of commercial disputes, catastrophic personal injury cases, and significant Carmack Amendment or cargo loss claims.  Additionally, Chris has significant experience in professional negligence, insurance issues, and claims and real estate litigation involving title disputes, restrictive covenants, easement disputes, condemnation of property, and right of way.  Chris regularly coordinates motor carrier and railroad accident investigations and emergency response to accident scenes.  He has tried transportation cases to verdict in both state and federal court.

As the Commercial Transportation Team Leader, and a transportation lawyer, Chris is involved in handling, and trying to verdict if necessary, matters which include:

  • Transportation Contract Disputes
  • Significant Cargo and Property Damage Claims
  • Catastrophic Injury Cases
  • FELA and Crossing Accident Cases
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Software Licensing Disputes and Discovery Management
  • Freight Charge Disputes and Collections
  • Warehousing Disputes
  • Regulatory Disputes and Appeals

As the designated national counsel for the locomotive video evidence preservation programs for two national Class I railroads, Chris works with counsel in 22 different states to coordinate discovery and handle software licensing and data issues as well as assist in resolving related discovery disputes.  As a result, he works with and learns from some of the best lawyers throughout the northeast and southeast.

Chris’ wide range of experience insures that his clients receive the benefit of sound counsel.  Whether involving decisions made in the boardroom or judgment calls made in the courtroom, Chris’ over 20 years of involvement in complex legal matters provides him with the knowledge needed to effectively and economically represent his clients throughout the Carolinas.





Articles, Presentations & Publications

Support Staff

Associations & Memberships

  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
    • Service Committee Member, 2012-2015
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
    • Vice Chair General Liability Practice Group, 2017-2018
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Transportation Lawyers’ Association
    • Executive Committee At Large Member, 2012-2014
    • Transportation Law Institute, Los Angeles, CA, Program Chair, 2013
    • TLA Annual Conference and Meeting, Santa Fe, NM, Program Chair, 2017
    • Secretary/Treasurer 2018-2019
  • Trucking Industry Defense Association
  • Conference of Freight Counsel
  • South Carolina Bar
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • Peer Review Rated “AV” – Preeminent for Highest Level of Professional Excellence by Martindale-Hubbell, 2018
  • Peer Review Rated “AV” – Distinguished for High Professional Achievement by Martindale-Hubbell, 2018
  • Peer Review Rated “AV” – Preeminent for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Transportation Lawyers Association’s Distinguished Service Award, 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, Railroad Law, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • E. McGruder Faris Memorial Award for Character, Leadership and Scholarship
  • Editorial Staff, Wake Forest Law Review
  • Greenville First Bank’s Best & Brightest Under 35

Notable Cases

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina, 1997
  • North Carolina, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2007
  • United States District Court
  • District of South Carolina, 1998
  • Western District of North Carolina, 2000
  • Middle District of North Carolina, 2000
  • Eastern District of North Carolina, 2000


  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 1997
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1994

Testimonial - Person

Abraham Lincoln


I will prepare and someday my chance will come.

Community Involvement

  • Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools (MACS) Annual Education Fund
    • Council Member, 2015 to Present
    • Grant Committee Chair, 2016-2017
    • Council Vice Chair, 2017 to Present
  • Leadership Charlotte
    • Class 34 Graduate
    • Alumnus
  • Notre Dame Club Charlotte
  • Mecklenburg County GOP
    • Precinct Chairman

Articles, Presentations & Publications

Attacking the Notice, Preparing for and Defending the Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys 41st Annual Meeting & Spring Program, June 14-17, 2018, Hilton Head Island, SC


What do you do when, despite all your best preparation, you’re thrown a curveball at trial?, 2018 TLA Annual Conference and Meeting, May 2-5, 2018, Orlando, FL.