Steve joined the firm in 1988. He began practicing banking law as a member of the General Counsel’s office of NCNB Corporation, which is now known as Bank of America. During his tenure at Bell, Davis & Pitt, he has represented many national and state-chartered banks, finance companies, mortgage companies, credit unions, and other companies providing financial services.
Within the broad field that comprises financial institutions law, Steve handles transactional documentation for secured and unsecured commercial and consumer loans, workout and recovery matters, bankruptcy, litigation, regulatory compliance (state and federal), deposits and collections, electronic banking, and bank operations. Additionally, Steve consults with bank officers on a wide variety of credit-related matters, including the structuring of commercial loans, real estate finance, construction lending, asset-based lending, tax-exempt loans, and letters of credit.
Steve has been active in both professional and community activities through the bar association and many non-profit organizations. Giving back to and trying to improve both the profession and the community has always been a priority in his life.
Steve grew up in Charlotte in a large family with a lawyer father, so his interest in law came very naturally. Both parents also instilled a strong sense of community service in their children. He has been married to his wife, Jane, for nearly 40 years and has two grown daughters, one of whom is a lawyer and the other is married to a lawyer. His outside interests include golf, travel, and reading.
Wake Forest University, B.A., cum laude, 1973
Additional study: University of London, London, England
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D., 1976
Additional study: Oxford University, Oxford, England
Bar & Court Admittance
1976, North Carolina State Bar – 1976
United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
United States Supreme Court
Professional & Community Activities
Director, Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce
Member, Board of Advisors, University of North Carolina School of Law Center for Banking and Finance
Vice Chair, Staff & Parish Relation Committee, Centenary United Methodist Church
Director, DataMax Corporation and the DataMax Foundation
Chair, Hospice Foundation of Winston-Salem
Chair, Staff / Parish Relations Committee, Centenary United Methodist Church
Adjunct Professor of Banking Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
President, Reynolda Rotary Club
President, SciWorks (the Forsyth County Environmental and Science Museum)
Member, Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Utility Commission
Chair, Business Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association
Chair, Board of Trustees, Centenary United Methodist Church
Martindale-Hubbell AV rating (2000 – 2021)
Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite” in Business Law – 2000
Lawyer of the Year 2019 and 2020 in Financial Services Regulation Law
Best Lawyers in America ® (2009 – 2021) being recognized by his Greensboro-based colleagues and again by his colleagues in Winston-Salem
Banking and Finance Law; Corporate Law; Financial Services Regulation Law; and Litigation – Banking and Finance
Top financial institutions attorney in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad (2014 & 2017)
Documented and closed many millions of dollars in commercial loans for both financial institutions and borrowers. These loans have included everything from standard commercial and industrial loans, to real estate development and construction loans, to loans to public and tax-exempt entities, to tax credit-supported loans for solar power installations.
Handled the workout and recovery of millions of dollars of defaulted loans, including a large part of the commercial loan portfolio of a troubled North Carolina commercial bank.