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Practice Areas
Education
  • B.A., Hampden-Sydney College, 1990, cum laude; Patrick Henry Scholar; Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award; Omicrom Delta Kappa
  • J.D., University of Richmond, 1993; Moot Court Board
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Supreme Court of Virginia, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 2004
  • Virginia, 1993
  • North Carolina, 2004

Alton (Larry) L. Gwaltney III

Member
100 North Tryon Street
Suite 4700
Charlotte, NC
28202-4003

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A member of Moore & Van Allen’s management committee and co-leader of its Litigation Practice Group, Larry Gwaltney parlayed a decade of extensive courtroom experience as a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s office into his current status as one of the region’s most sought-after commercial litigators.

While Larry counsels on, and litigates, a broad array of issues, he has particular experience in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). He routinely represents fiduciaries, sponsors, administrators, and service providers for a variety of ERISA plans, including ESOPs, 401(k) plans, stock plans and welfare plans, handling matters that often involve hundreds of millions of dollars. These cases include breach of fiduciary duty, prohibited transaction, and denial of benefits disputes, as well as cutting-edge issues such as plan fees, revenue sharing with investment advisors, and ERISA’s often confusing “other equitable relief” claims.   

Larry is particularly valued for his ability to help clients avoid ERISA and ESOP litigation through compliance advice, strategic planning, and proactive discussions and negotiations with plaintiffs' attorneys and the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Department of Justice.

In addition to ERISA, Larry's experience runs the gamut from class-action and multi-district litigation, to contract disputes, white-collar criminal defense, regulatory and internal investigations, whistleblower complaints to federal and state regulatory agencies, Sarbanes-Oxley matters, and representation of corporate directors in shareholder disputes.

As a trusted legal advisor, Larry makes it a priority to understand the inner workings of his clients’ businesses, so he can provide informed counsel leading to informed decisions aligned with clients’ goals. As a skilled negotiator and effective litigator, he employs a formidable array of strengths, including a keen analytical mind, a capacity for focused strategic thinking, and a warmly engaging personal style. Together these assets help him communicate the nuanced complexities of his arguments to judges and juries.

Larry is a prolific lecturer on cutting-edge ERISA litigation issues and has spoken across the country on a variety of topics, including Defendant Class Actions in the ERISA Context, “Vesting” in the Context of Retiree Welfare Plans, DOL Investigations of ERISA Fiduciaries, ESOP Fiduciary Obligations and Litigation Trends, Legal Issues in ESOP Valuation, and Indemnification of ESOP Fiduciaries.  Larry serves as a member of the ESOP Association’s Advisory Committee on Legislation and Regulatory Issues and on the Subcommittee for Civil Procedure of the ABA Labor Section’s Employee Benefits Committee.   

Of Note

  • Served ten years active duty as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army, prosecuting hundreds of criminal cases, including complex fraud and financial felonies, receiving numerous awards and recognitions for distinguished service.
  • Included in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, 2013-2014
  • Recognized in the 2012-2014 editions of Benchmark Litigation as a "Future Star" 
  • Selected for inclusion to the North Carolina Super Lawyers list in the primary areas of practice areas of  Employee Benefits/ERISA in 2012 and Business Litigation in 2013-2014.
  • Recipient of the 2008 Sally and Bill Van Allen Public Service Award

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Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar Association
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont: Board of Directors, Member, 2010-present
  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • The ESOP Association: National Legislative & Regulatory Advisory Committee, May 2012-2013
  • United States Institute of Peace Rule of Law Program
  • United States Army, Judge Advocate General's Corps, 1994-2003:  19th TAACOM, V Corps, 1st Infantry Division, The Judge Advocate General's School
  • Mecklenburg County Bar:  Chairman Volunteer Lawyer's Program Committee, 2007-2009