Cowden Rayburn’s practice focuses on a variety of transactional fields, including complex commercial transactions, public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and general business issues.


Cowden’s practice also includes drafting and updating corporate governance documents for public and private companies, commercial contracts, and acquisition agreements.

Cowden has represented a variety of companies in complex mergers and acquisitions, including Fortune 150 corporations and private equity firms. He also advises clients on international commercial transactions and joint ventures.

Representative Experience

  • Assisted regional manufacturing company in strategic corporate reorganization to separate and streamline business units

  • Represented client in $66.5 million strategic acquisition of new business line

  • Assist various startup clients in initial formation and early business planning

  • Represented client in the formation of a Mexican manufacturing joint venture with a Japanese counterparty
  • Represented private equity clients in initial platform investments and tack on acquisitions involving complex regulatory compliance and earn out obligations
  • Represented client in purchase and subsequent sale of joint venture investment in Brazilian technology company
  • Represented client in negotiation of commercial contracts with various Brazilian, Canadian, Middle Eastern, Russian, and Swedish counterparties
  • Represented technology innovation client in sale of startup company to international private equity investment firm
  • Represented client in strategic $435 million acquisition of downstream business segment competitor
  • Represented manufacturing client in $130 million acquisition of regional competitor
  • Represented client in $48 million purchase of US and Mexican manufacturing operations
  • Represented publicly traded client in issuance of $1.75 billion in corporate debt
  • Represented client during $400 million corporate debt issuance
  • Represents clients on industry-specific roll-up acquisitions



  • Legal 500 US, M&A: Middle-Market, 2024
  • Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Governance and Compliance Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law "Ones to Watch," 2021-2024
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers "Rising Star", Mergers & Acquisitions, 2023-2024
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite "Young Guns," 2022, 2024
  • Community Building Initiative’s Leaders Under 40 – Class 10, 2020-2021
  • UNC School of Law Gressman-Pollitt Oral Advocacy Award, 2012
  • At-Large Representative, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Commission
  • Chair, Moore & Van Allen YP Committee
  • Charlotte Latin School Alumni Governing Board, 2014-2017 
  • Lissa L. Broome Center for Banking and Finance Scholarship, 2013-2015
  • Kappa Alpha Order Educational Foundation Scholarship, 2012
  • National Huguenot Society Scholarship, 2012
  • Davidson College, William H. Terry Scholar




  • Center for Banking and Finance Board of Advisors
  • North Carolina Bar Association


J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014, with Honors; Institute Editor, North Carolina Banking Journal; Holderness Moot Court, J. Braxton Craven Bench, Client Counseling Team

B.A., Classics, Davidson College, 2011, cum laude


  • North Carolina, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 2014
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"Cowden Rayburn oversees the full execution of a deal and manages the complexity with professionalism. He offers sage advice and helps progress deals while also helping us mitigate risk." - Legal 500, 2024

Legal 500 US, M&A: Middle-Market, 2024

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