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Kent F. Christison

Of Counsel
Fax +1.919.516.2003
Mr. Christison is of counsel in the Raleigh office and focuses his practice on business law including corporate and partnership/LLC law, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, strategic alliances and finance. He has served as outside general counsel for numerous business clients, as well as tax exempt entities, and coordinated their operational and transactional legal service needs in such capacity.

In addition to his responsibilities as a partner, Mr. Christison served as interim general counsel and secretary of MCNC (formerly known as Microelectronics Corporation of North Carolina) during 2001-2002. He has managed, negotiated, and closed multiple complex transactional matters, including business entity formation and capitalization, mergers and acquisitions, private debt and equity investments, strategic alliances, credit facilities, and tech transfer. He has also worked with licensing transactions in a variety of industries, including banking, manufacturing, plastics, and information technology.

Mr. Christison served as the managing partner of the Raleigh office of Kennedy Covington from 2003 until its merger with K&L Gates in 2008 and thereafter as the K&L Gates Raleigh office managing partner and a member of its Management Committee until March 2013.


  • Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Corporate Governance Law - Raleigh, 2018, 2020
  • Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisition Law, and Venture Capital Law - Raleigh, 2015-2020
  • Best Lawyers’ 2013 Raleigh Corporate Lawyer of the Year
  • North Carolina Top Attorneys, 2010-2013
  • Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Venture Capital Law, 2007-2016, 2018
  • Business Leader Magazine, Top Impact Business Leader, 2007-2008
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate Law, 2006-2018
  • Legal Elite, Business North Carolina Magazine, Business Law, 2003-2005, 2008-2013

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Council for Entrepreneurial Development (formerly served on Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Secretary)
  • North Carolina Bar Association (Business Law Section; Business Law Section Council)
  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (formerly served on Board of Advisors)
  • Raleigh-Crabtree Rotary Club (Past President)
  • Association of Corporate Growth (Raleigh/Durham) (formerly served on Board of Directors)
  • Midtown Raleigh Alliance (formerly served on Board of Directors)
  • Lead counsel representing real estate subsidiaries of a pension fund in all aspects of the reorganization of the subsidiaries and their affiliated entities and the subsequent disposition of their real estate portfolio comprised of shopping centers, office buildings, apartment buildings, and raw land and partnership interests therein valued in excess of $100,000,000.
  • Lead counsel representing tax exempt research and development organization comprised of six divisions with aggregate assets of approximately $160 million in restructuring transactions to form two tax exempt organizations and a venture capital fund dedicated to economic development through follow-on and initial investments.
  • Lead counsel representing multiple companies involving structured bid acquisitions as seller's counsel including companies engaged in metal fabrication, food distribution, and funeral services.
  • Lead counsel representing manufacturing company in the spin-off and subsequent debt and equity capitalization of an operating division.
  • Lead counsel representing a University in the negotiation and restructuring of material industrial licensing arrangements.
  • Lead counsel representing manufacturing company in the negotiation, structuring, and capitalization of strategic alliances adding in excess of $90 million to operating revenue.
  • Lead counsel representing an international holding company and its operating subsidiaries in numerous acquisition and strategic alliance transactions.
  • Lead counsel representing an international holding company in the restructure and recapitalization of a manufacturing subsidiary involving private and rollover equity and subordinated debt.
  • Lead counsel representing a pharmaceutical company in the acquisition of FDA facilities and the licensing of products and manufacturing processes positioning client for global distribution.
  • Lead counsel representing an international holding company in equity and debt financing facilitating the take out of a majority owner of a global manufacturing affiliate with an enterprise value of 200m positioning the client affiliate for strategic acquisitions and alliances within the industry supply chain.