Rick Rayburn

Rick Rayburn has represented business enterprises and individuals in a wide variety of financial transactions and commercial disputes including corporate and commercial litigation and arbitration, financial restructurings, business reorganizations, workouts, executive employment contracts and disputes, shareholder disputes, business formations, venture capital infusions, private and public securities offerings, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures, refinancings, and recapitalizations. Clients have included public and private corporations, developers, venture capitalists, individual minority and majority shareholders, and professional accounting, engineering, and law firms. Bankruptcy representations include primarily debtors and their affiliates, creditors, committees, shareholders, directors, adversary plaintiffs and defendants, post petition lenders, and governmental entities.

Mr. Rayburn has appeared in several North Carolina Courts, including Superior Court, Business Court and Court of Appeals; South Carolina Circuit Courts; Florida Circuit Court; Federal District Court in the Western and Middle Districts of North Carolina; Bankruptcy Courts in North Carolina (Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts), South Carolina, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Connecticut, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Business North Carolina selected Mr. Rayburn for its Legal Elite Hall of Fame in 2006 for Bankruptcy Law. He was named “Lawyer of the Year” in Charlotte, NC for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law for 2019.  He was selected by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine since 2018 as one of the top 100 in the state and one of the top 25 in Charlotte. Mr. Rayburn has been listed in the Best Lawyers® publication since 1993 and has been named Lawyer of the Year in 2011 and 2014 for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law for Charlotte and as Lawyer of the Year in 2013 for Corporate Law in Charlotte. Since 2017 Best Lawyers® recognized Mr. Rayburn for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. He is rated “AV® Preeminent™” by Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.

Mr. Rayburn has been a frequent speaker at seminars sponsored by The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the North Carolina and South Carolina Bar Associations’ Tax Sections, the North Carolina Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section, the Turnaround Management Association, and the Mecklenburg County Bar.


Bar Admissions

North Carolina, 1974
U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina, 1974
U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina, 1974
U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1974
U.S. Tax Court, 1982


Duke University School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1974; Order of the Coif; Faculty Research Assistant
Duke University Law Journal, Research and Managing Editor, 1973-1974
University of Tennessee, B.S., with honors/Neyland Scholar, 1969; Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Delta Phi

Honors and Awards

Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2024 (Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law)
Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame (Bankruptcy, 2006), 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” in Charlotte, NC (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law)
North Carolina Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate, Bankruptcy (2006-2023), Business/Corporate (2024) , Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyers (2014-2018, 2020-2024), Top 25 Charlotte Attorneys (2015-2016, 2018, 2020-2024)
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2007-2022
Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Associations and Memberships

North Carolina Bar Association, Bankruptcy Law Section, Member
Former Council Member, Bankruptcy Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association
Mecklenburg County Bar, Member
Former Member, Long Range Planning Committee and Managing Partners Forum, Mecklenburg County Bar
Member, Business Law Section, Taxation Section and Law Practice Management Section, American Bar Association

Community Service

President of Charlotte Junior Soccer Foundation, Inc.
Director of Myers Park Trinity Little League
Director of Charlotte Whitewater Parks, Inc. (U.S. National Whitewater Center)
Director of Figure 8 Island Homeowners Association

Representative Matters

In re CC Air, Inc. Case No. 90-30927 (Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina) — Represented publicly held regional airline through Chapter 11 reorganization as debtor’s counsel, and as corporate counsel thereafter, and as counsel for the acquired in merger.

In re Oakwood Homes Corporation Case No. 02-13396 (Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware) — Represented publicly held manufactured housing company and various subsidiaries in reorganization through plan sale to competitor.

In re Tweetsie Railroad, Inc. v. Young Realty Investment, et al. Case No. 98-CVS-116 (Superior Court, Watauga County, North Carolina) — Represented privately held amusement park company in attempted takeover through derivative litigation and real estate litigation.

In re Brier Creek Corporate Center Associates L.P., et al. Case No. 12-01855 (Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of North Carolina) — Represented debtor affiliates in successful Chapter 11 real estate reorganization and related litigation with senior secured lender.

Represented minority family owners of industrial corporation in workout of senior debt, in recapitalization to acquire control, in subsequent sale of business, and in repurchase of division.

Represented publicly held construction materials manufacturer in successful workout of bank debt, bankruptcy of key supplier, and refinancings.

Represented multi-location automobile dealerships and their owner in successful workout of credit facilities with major national bank.

Represented individual borrowers in successful arbitration of claims against secured lender.

Represented large regional intellectual property law firm in merger with large regional law firm and litigation by departed shareholders.

Represented senior executives of public and private companies in new and amended contracts, going private transactions, going public transactions, and employment terminations; represented private companies in executive employment and termination matters.

Represented real estate development companies and affiliated borrowers in successful defense of secured lender’s actions for a receiver (N.C. Business Court).

Represented nonprofit outdoor recreation organization in successful restructure of senior and junior debt.

The cases mentioned above are illustrative of the matters handled by the firm. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Not all results are provided, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.