Kris Gardner

Top rated Administrative Law attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tharrington Smith, LLP
Kris Gardner
Tharrington Smith, LLP

Practice Areas: Administrative Law, General Litigation, State, Local & Municipal

Licensed in North Carolina since: 2002

Education: North Carolina Central University School of Law

Selected to Rising Stars: 2009, 2011 - 2016

Tharrington Smith, LLP

150 Fayetteville St.
Suite 1900
Raleigh, NC 27601 Phone: 919-821-4711 Email: Kris Gardner Visit website


Kris Gardner maintains an eclectic legal practice that is focused primarily in local government law, litigation and alcoholic beverage control law. He is a native North Carolinian and grew up in Charlotte, where he attended the public schools. Kris began his career at Tharrington Smith as an office courier after graduating college. He was offered several jobs but selected Tharrington Smith because, even though the interview was brief, he quickly realized the close community of people who worked at the firm. This was a special place. Kris worked hard before attending law school and later worked as a law clerk at Tharrington Smith in the summers during law school. Kris has been an attorney at the firm since 2002 and a partner since 2009.

Kris is recognized throughout the state as one of the most knowledgeable and respected attorneys in beverage alcohol control law. He represents the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association and many beer and wine distribution companies across the state. Kris regularly consults with policymakers and stakeholders in support of responsible, state-based alcohol laws and policy. 

Kris also has extensive experience representing local governments. He serves as the town attorney for Enfield, Littleton and Weldon in Halifax County. He has also represented dozens of local governments statewide in a wide array of litigation matters. Kris served on the Morrisville Planning Board from 2008-2014 and as an at-large member on the Morrisville town council from 2014-2015.

In addition, Kris also represents clients in general litigation and other regulatory matters. He assists clients with matters before state licensing boards such as doctors, dentists, engineers and other licensed professionals. Kris also has extensive general litigation experience. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of disputes, including matters involving wrongful death, personal injury, real and personal property, and complex contract disputes.

Kris graduated cum laude from North Carolina Central University School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the law journal. He attended North Carolina State University before graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. His hobbies include hunting and saltwater fishing.

First Admitted: 2002, North Carolina

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service:
  • NCBA Law-Related Education Advisory Committee
  • Moot Court Competition Judge
  • WCBA Lunch With a Lawyer Program
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • NCBA Lawyer Referral Service Committee, Member
  • Morrisville Planning & Zoning Board, Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Member
  • North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Wake County Bar Association, Member
Representative Clients:
  • North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, North Carolina Nurses Association, Town of Enfield, Adams Products Company
  • NCBA Apple Gavel Award
  • In the areas of Alcoholic Beverage Law, Litigation and Local Government, AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated Lawyer, Martindale Hubbell
  • $1.6 million arbitration award - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education v. R.L. Casey
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Certified Superior Court Mediator, NC Dispute Resolution Commission, 2009

Office location for Kris Gardner

150 Fayetteville St.
Suite 1900
Raleigh, NC 27601


7 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2009, 2011 - 2016

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