Moore & Van Allen Law Firm, Attorneys
Practice Areas
  • B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1983
  • J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1988
  • North Carolina, 1988
  • All North Carolina state and federal courts
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • Civil, Commercial and Tort Litigation
  • Zoning and Land Use
  • Mediation
100 North Tryon Street
Suite 4700
Charlotte, NC 28202-4003

Anthony (Tony) T. Lathrop

Representative Matters
News & Events
Professional Affiliations

Real Estate Practice


Tony Lathrop is a seasoned lawyer with extensive experience in land use, zoning and development, planning and condemnation law. Lathrop partners closely with his clients to handle their needs in ways that maximize value for their businesses. He uses his experience as an attorney, certified mediator, and appointed state and local official to develop strategies for obtaining optimal results in high-stakes matters and to advise his clients regarding strategies to meet their objectives and reduce future risk. 

Lathrop has experience representing a diverse portfolio of clients successfully in a broad range of land use and real estate matters, including administrative proceedings and related pre-litigation counseling and litigation involving municipal planning, zoning, entitlement and related land use and development regulations, His years leading the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission have provided Lathrop with a unique perspective and in-depth, inside knowledge of land use and zoning agency operations. Lathrop’s recent matters and experience include:

  • Approximately 20 municipal eminent domain actions, representing the condemnor. 
  • A trial and appeal representing a nonprofit development and finance company in contested rezoning application for multifamily housing development.
  • Representing a commercial developer seeking to upzone property to erect an office complex.
  • Representing a company in connection with municipal easements and rights of way for government public works and transportation projects.
  • Processing and approving the new land use plan for Charlotte’s new Blue Line Transit system.
  • Processing and making recommendations regarding zoning applications submitted to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Department.
  • Serving as Trustee of the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
  • Chairing the Charlotte Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Stakeholder Advisory Committee to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Department in the process of rewriting the City’s zoning ordinance.
  • Additional matters involving conditional use permits, government relations, vested rights, and deed restrictions.

RECOGNIZED LEADER IN LEGAL, Planning & transportation COMMUNITies

As a recognized leader within the legal, planning, and transportation communities of North Carolina and nationwide, Lathrop has developed relationships and credibility that add value for the firm’s clients. Lathrop was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper in March 2017 to serve a four-year term on the North Carolina Board of Transportation, where he serves as Chair of the Funding & Appropriation Strategies (FAST) Committee. He was a member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission from 2011 to 2017, where he served as the Commission’s Chair from 2014 through 2017. He also chaired the Commission’s planning and zoning committees during his tenure and served as Chair of the Mecklenburg County Planning Coordinating Committee. Lathrop currently serves on the Knight Foundation Charlotte Advisory Committee. He serves as Chair of the Charlotte Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which provides technical advice/input to the City’s Planning Department in the restructuring of its land use policies and zoning ordinance and provides a bridge for communicating with stakeholders about the progression of the project. And Lathrop also has served as Chair of The Network of Trial Law Firms, which is an organization of 7,000 attorneys in 25 separate and independent trial law firms practicing in over 140 offices throughout the United States and Canada.

In his nearly thirty years of service to the North Carolina legal community, Lathrop also has served as the President of the Mecklenburg County Bar (2006-2007), the Chair of the Merit Selection Panels for two U.S. Magistrate Judges in North Carolina's Western District (2003-2004), a member of the Advisory Committee on Local Patent Rules for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (2010), an Aide to Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. (1983-1985), and an appointed member of Governor Hunt’s Crime Commission (1982-1985).   


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Of Note

  • Advisory Member, NC FIRST (Future Investment Resources for Sustainable Transportation) Commission, 2019-present
  • Chair, Charlotte Unified Development Ordinance Advisory Committee, 2016-present
  • NCDOT’s Board of Transportation:
    • Member, 2017-present
    • Chair, Funding & Appropriation Strategies (FAST) Committee, 2017-present
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission:
    • Member, 2011-2017;
    • Chair, 2014-2017;
    • Vice Chair, 2013-2014;
    • Zoning Committee Chair, 2015-2017;
    • Planning Committee Chair, 2013-2016;
    • Zoning Ordinance Ad Hoc Committee Chair, 2015-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2010-2021; Workers' Compensation Law - Employers, 2010-2021
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2006-2020
  • Martindale-Hubbell, North Carolina Top Rated Lawyer
  • Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star", General Commercial, 2015-2020
  • Member, Knight Foundation Charlotte Advisory Board, 2016-present
  • Member, North Carolina Business Court Rules Advisory Committee, 2015
  • Chair, Mecklenburg County Planning Coordinating Committee, 2014-2017
  • Chairman, Network of Trial Law Firms, 2011
  • President, Mecklenburg County Bar, 2006-2007

Representative Matters

Reported representative civil matters in which Mr. Lathrop has served as counsel include:

  • Saft America, Inc. v. Plainview Batteries, Inc.,659 S.E.2d 39 (N.C. App. 2008) and 673 S.E.2d 864 (N.C. 2009) (PER CURIAM). Successfully represented plaintiff-appellee in obtaining affirmation of the trial court’s order finding that the plaintiff had properly pleaded and alleged a claim for piercing the corporate veil against the defendants, and in obtaining reversal of the N.C. Court of Appeals decision which dismissed the case against an individual defendant who was an officer of the corporate defendant.  
  • Kling v. City of Monroe, 86 Fed Appx. 662, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 2093 (4th Cir. (NC) 2004).  Defended city in connection with §1983 and state law police/municipal liability claims. Summary judgment for city affirmed.
  • Nadelin v. City of Monroe, 166 F.3d 333, 1998 WL 802021 (4th Cir. (N.C.) 1998).  Defended city in connection with §1983 and state law police/municipal liability/excessive force claims.  Summary judgment for city affirmed.
  • McDaniel v. Price, 93 CVS 154 ( Rutherford County, N.C. Superior Court).  Obtained defense verdict for employer/steeplejack welding contractor in trial of Woodson wrongful death claim.
  • Kiss Catalog v. Elliott et al., 3:04 CV384-MU (Western District of North Carolina).  Obtained injunctive relief in trademark/copyright infringement action, and impoundment by U.S. Marshals of bootleg rock concert DVD's.
  • Seagle v. Kent-Coffey Manufacturing et al., 155 N.C.App. 221, 573 S.E.2d 772, 2002 WL 31894972 (N.C. App. 2002).  Successful defense of workers compensation asbestos claim; finding of no liability for defendant/client affirmed.
  • NC Insurance Guaranty Association v. International Paper Company, et al.  152 N.C.App. 224, 569 S.E.2d 285, 2002 WL 1796981 (N.C. App. 2002).  Dismissal of claim against client for lack of subject matter jurisdiction affirmed.

Professional Affiliations

  • Certified Mediator, N.C. Superior Courts, N.C. Industrial Commission
  • Chair, Wildacres Leadership Initiative, which sponsors the Friday Fellows program, 2010-2011
  • Certified Specialist, Workers Compensation Law, North Carolina State Bar (Former Member, Worker's Compensation Specialization Committee), 2000-2010
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Local Patent Rules, WDNC, 2010
  • Member, North Carolina Council of Bar Presidents, 2007-present
  • Featured in a North Carolina Super Lawyers article entitled, "Setting the Bar", February, 2007
  • Featured in The Charlotte Observer in an article entitled, "Mecklenburg County Bar: Next President Likes Low Profile", June, 2006
  • North Carolina Bar Association: 
    • Chair, Workers Compensation Section, 2005-2006;  
    • Editor, Course and Scope Newsletter, 1999-2003
  • Trustee, North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, 2003-2006
  • Chair, Merit Selection Panels for two U.S. Magistrate Judges in North Carolina's Western District, 2003-2004 
  • Mecklenburg County Bar:
    • President, 2006-2007;
    • Chair, Bar Leadership Institute, 2001-2003
  • First chair, Mecklenburg Bar Leadership Institute, 2001-2003  
  • William C. Friday Fellow, 1999-2001
  • President, General Counsel and Director, Second String Santas, Inc., a non-profit providing over 3,000 presents annually to children in Mecklenburg County, 1997-2001
  • Aide, Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., 1983-1985
  • Appointed by Governor Hunt to the Governor's Crime Commission, 1982-1985
  • Recipient, Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor
  • Former Member, Board of Visitors and Law and General Alumni Associations, UNC-Chapel Hill 
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys