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


Tony Lathrop is a seasoned corporate trial lawyer with extensive experience in the areas of complex commercial litigation, zoning and land use, planning and transportation. Lathrop partners closely with his clients to handle trials, litigation and corporate needs in ways that maximize value for their businesses. He uses his experience as a trial attorney, certified mediator, and a state and local appointed official to develop strategies for obtaining optimal trial results or other resolutions 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 in a broad range of complex civil litigation and administrative matters. He has represented his clients successfully in the state and federal courts of North Carolina, before mediators and arbitrators, and before North Carolina administrative courts and agencies.  Lathrop’s recent matters include the following federal and state actions at the trial and appellate levels involving class action, breach of contract, intellectual property, insurance, eminent domain, rezoning for commercial and residential development, and product liability claims:

  • A trial and appeal representing a nonprofit development and finance company in a contested rezoning application for multifamily housing development.
  • A purported class action involving breach of contract and other claims against a client cemetery.
  • A breach of a contract claim (sale of a $40 million manufacturing facility), representing a plaintiff Fortune 500 corporation.
  • A federal theft of trade secret case in which he obtained preliminary and permanent injunctions for a manufacturer.
  • A trademark infringement and breach of contract action involving competing cable television networks.
  • An insurance contract dispute regarding retroactive workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
  • A claim regarding a lapsed long term care insurance policy.
  • A coverage dispute over provisions of a contingent automobile liability insurance policy in connection with the vehicle leasing program of a Fortune 500 company.
  • Approximately 20 municipal eminent domain actions, representing the condemnor.
  • A police liability claim in Federal court in which summary judgment for defendants was affirmed by the Fourth Circuit.
  • Vehicle and device products liability claims, defending international manufacturers of vehicles, aircraft, and medical devices.
  • Representing a company in connection with municipal easements and rights of way for government public works and transportation projects.
  • Representing a commercial developer seeking to upzone property to erect an office complex.


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 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.  Lathrop also 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 also 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.

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).

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, 2006-2021
  • Martindale-Hubbell, North Carolina Top Rated Lawyer
  • Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star", General Commercial, 2015-2021
  • 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