Moore & Van Allen Law Firm, Attorneys
Practice Areas
  • German
  • Spanish
  • B.A., Union College, 1989, Modern Languages
  • J.D., Temple University, 1992
  • LL.M., University of Hamburg, 1994, magna cum laude
  • New York, 1993
  • North Carolina, 1996
  • International
  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Franchising
  • Business Planning
  • ESOP Transactions
  • Small Business Lending
100 North Tryon Street
Suite 4700
Charlotte, NC 28202-4003

Michael (Mike) E. Zeller

News & Events
Professional Affiliations

Mike Zeller is the co-head of Moore & Van Allen's Global Services Group. In that role he provides his corporate transactional clients the accessibility, responsiveness, knowledge and understanding of in-house counsel, coupled with the deep, full-spectrum Moore & Van Allen legal resources and cost-efficiencies.

He gives his regional, national and international clients passionate, straightforward counsel in general corporate representation, mergers and acquisitions, franchising, inbound and outbound international trade.  Zeller represents companies both as franchisors and franchisees.  A significant portion of Zeller's practice involves the implementation of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and transactions involving ESOP companies.  In this regard, Zeller represents both corporations and institutional trustees.  

He focuses on instilling confidence in his clients by:

  • Handling their requests with all possible attention and high professionalism.
  • Understanding their goals fully.
  • Using realistic and timely communication.
  • Providing options that best accomplish their desired outcomes.

From 1997 to 2007, he has served as local counsel to CIT Small Business Lending Corporation.  He also represents clients as borrowers in connection with major corporate acquisitions, reorganizations, plant expansions and increased working-capital needs.

Fluent in German and formerly associated with DROSTE, a prominent Hamburg, Germany, law firm, he assists foreign clients, with a large focus on German and German-speaking companies, in establishing business relations or subsidiaries in the United States. He advises United States-based clients on the development of trading opportunities abroad, joint venture agreements, distributor and agency agreements, sales representative agreements, licensing agreements, and disputes with the U.S. Customs Service.

Zeller’s client services include:

  • Asset acquisitions and divestitures
  • Capitalization transactions
  • Corporate governance
  • Employee stock ownership plans
  • Entity formation/governance
  • Franchising 
  • General corporate counsel
  • International business/trade
  • Joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • Leveraged buyouts
  • Licensing, distribution and general contract matters
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Preferred and common stock placements
  • Private equity, venture capital
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Stock agreements
  • Stock option plans and restricted stock agreements

Of Note

  • Fluent in German (Bio), versed in Spanish
  • Seminar lecturer on corporate, ESOP and international law issues
  • AV peer review rated in Martindale-Hubbell legal directory
  • 5.0 Client Rating
  • Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in the Southeast, and Who’s Who in America, 2003-2008
  • Pro Bono general counsel to Charlotte Mothers of Multiples
  • Pro Bono general counsel to Charlotte Community School for Girls 2010-2011
  • Listed in International WHO's WHO of Professionals 2011-2012
  • Charlotte Housing Authority, pro bono Informal Hearing Officer 2012- present
  • Active volunteer attorney, representing children in contested custody cases and women seeking domestic-violence protective orders
  • Volunteer Attorney of the Year, Mecklenburg County Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program in 1998 and 2003 for exemplary service to Council for Children’s Rights
  • Guardian ad litem
  • Director, Council for Children's Rights, 2004-2007
  • Director & Secretary, The German Language and Culture Foundation, 2011- present
  • Contact Partner, Globalaw
  • Contributing author, Structuring International M&A Deals: Leading Lawyers on Managing Mergers & Acquisitions in a Global Environment, Aspatore Books' Inside the Mind series


  • Zeller Speaks on Officer & Director Liability in the U.S., Hamburg, Germany, April 2015
  • Mike Zeller Presented at 2015 AM&AA Winter Conference: “Ins & Outs” of Buying and Selling an ESOP Company
  • Mike Zeller Presented at Carolinas Chapter of the ESOP Association 2015 ESOP Invitational: Selling your ESOP Company - Tales from the Trenches
  • Mike Zeller Presented at 2014 AM&AA Summer Conference: Private Equity and ESOPs, July 2014
  • Gwaltney and Zeller Speak at 2012 NCEO Annual Conference, April 2012
  • Mike Zeller Presented at Event in Hannover, November 10, 2009

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • ESOP Association
  • Gewerblicher Rechtschutz und Urheberrecht Verband
  • International Franchise Association
  • Mecklenburg County Bar
  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • North Carolina Bar Association