Of Counsel

Adrianne is an attorney with a passion for representing her primary client base: architects, engineers, and other design professionals.

In addition to her broad-commercial litigation background, she has experience in all types of construction law disputes: from ones involving single-family residences to those arising on multi-million dollar commercial, industrial, utility, roadway, and healthcare projects. She also has deep knowledge of most construction industry standard form contracts and regularly advises her clients in the drafting and negotiation of their standard form agreements and project-specific contracts.
Not only a trusted counselor to many large and prestigious design firms, she also enjoys serving as a resource for smaller firms and young designers as they grow their businesses.

Adrianne is a strategic litigation planner with a thorough understanding of the needs of her clients. That understanding includes the ability to educate clients about the process of litigation; to budget fees and expenses accurately; to assess client risk and exposure with precision; and to develop and execute sound resolution strategies designed to minimize that risk.

Adrianne handled appeals that resulted in North Carolina decisions confirming the enforceability of limitation of liability clauses in design professional contracts and clarifying limitations on derivative claims by contractors against design professionals.

Prior to joining HSSM, Adrianne practiced in the bankruptcy and financial restructuring groups of Moore & Van Allen, PPLC in Charlotte and Pillsbury Winthrop, LLC (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) in New York, New York. She is admitted to practice in the New York and North Carolina state courts as well as the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Western District of North Carolina.

Adrianne is a North Carolina native and a “Double Heel,” having attended both undergrad and law school at Chapel Hill, the former as a Morehead Scholar. She is also a busy wife and dedicated mother to her 8 year old son and 4 year old daughter.

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Practice Areas

Education

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Law, JD with honors, 2001, North Carolina Law Review, comments editor
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA with distinction, honors in English, 1998, Morehead Scholar

Experience

REPRESENTATIVE CASES
• Blaylock Grading Co. v. Smith, 658 S.E.2d 680 (N.C. App. 2008). Successful representation of design professional appellant, with reported decision confirming the enforceability of limitation of liability provisions in design professionals’ contracts under North Carolina law.

• Frye Reg’l Med’l Ctr. v. Hostetter & Keach, Inc., 753 S.E.2d 741 (N.C. App. 2013) (unpub.). Successful representation of design professional appellees, with decision clarifying limits on contribution and indemnity claims in construction law cases based upon the contractual relationship of the involved parties.

  • Representation of contractors and design professionals in cases arising from design and construction defects, personal injury and wrongful death. Exemplary cases have involved roadway construction, water intrusion, mold and mold remediation, fire damage, structural design, geotechnical issues, retaining walls, zoning disputes, catastrophic industrial failures, wastewater treatment facilities, dams, utility damage, personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from occurrences in highway construction zones and on other construction sites.
  • Representation of owners, contractors and design professionals in contract, payment, and lien disputes. Exemplary cases have involved contract scheduling, critical path methodology, unforeseen site conditions, licensing issues, non-conforming work, materials disputes, liquidated damages, claims analysis, warranty issues, claims of lien, payment, and termination analysis.
  • Drafting, review and negotiation of contracts for owner/developers, contractors, architects and engineers on commercial and residential construction projects, including modification and interpretation of AIA and EJCDC standard contract documents to suit needs of specific clients and projects.
  • Coordination of appeals process and drafting of appellate briefs.  Exemplary appeals have involved personal jurisdiction, arbitration clauses, contract interpretation, contribution and indemnity, necessity of expert testimony to prove breach of design professional’s standard of care, and enforceability of limited liability provisions in design professionals’ contracts.
  • Representation of business entities and individuals in cases involving business dissolution, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information, fraud, Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices, breach of employment contract and covenants not to compete.

Honors + Activities

  • Martindale - Hubble® AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating
  • Past co-chair, North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Government Action Committee
  • Member, CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Charlotte, Communications Committee
  • Past director, National Association of Women in Construction, Charlotte Chapter
  • MemberNorth Carolina Bar Association & Construction Law Section
  • Member, Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • Member, Women Lawyers of Charlotte