Chris Oates brings considerable experience to his clients and concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial real estate and land use law. He is a former leader of the firm’s Commercial Real Estate group.  


Chris Oates is routinely involved in the acquisition, development, financing, and leasing of urban and suburban office complexes, mixed-use developments, hotels, and retail shopping center facilities. He has represented municipal interests and private developers in public/private joint ventures, economic incentive agreements, and other collaborations.

He has also been involved with the negotiation of lease agreements, restrictive covenants, and operating and reciprocal easement agreements for developer, lender, and tenant clients. He has assisted developers with zoning issues and obtaining variances before municipal boards.

Chris has written and lectured on commercial real estate leasing issues, especially the negotiation of retail leases.



  • Best Lawyers in America, Charlotte Land Use and Zoning Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2015, 2020; Charlotte Real Estate Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2021
  • Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning Law, 2006-2023
  • Chambers USA - North Carolina, Real Estate, 2003-2024
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Real Estate, 2006-2020
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite, 2006-2011, 2013
  • General Counsel to the Charlotte Sports Foundation (Operator of ACC Championship and Duke's Mayo Football Games)
  • Past Chairman, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission




  • American Bar Association: Real Property Section
  • North Carolina Bar Association: Real Property Section


J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1984

B.A., Williams College, 1976, cum laude


  • North Carolina, 1984
Jump to Page

“A very smart lawyer who is easy to work with.” “Chris is an excellent lawyer.” - Chambers, 2024

Chambers USA - North Carolina, Real Estate, 2003-2024

By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.