Thomas Christopher Grella

Tom assists clients with business and commercial real estate needs. He has an extensive background in real estate and commercial transactions and represents clients in many different fields and industries. He helps clients with the formation of multi-owner developments and communities — including condominiums, traditional planned community subdivisions and HUD apartments; transactional representation in the purchase and sale of businesses; the formation of corporations, LLCs and partnerships; commercial leasing; corporate representation of medical practices; and preparation and review of business contracts. Tom is determined to provide his clients with responsive, concise and practical legal advice. He chaired the firm’s Management Committee for 12 years and has authored books on strategic planning and leadership. He has a passion for helping others in the leadership of their own organizations.


  • Represented many developers of a mixed-use high-rise condominiums in downtown Asheville on all aspects of creation, unit sales and association formation
  • Prepared numerous model leases, including for use in a local public market building, commercial high-rise buildings, shopping centers, medical facilities and other commercial facilities
  • Drafted and filed SEC private placement offering documents for motion picture projects, real estate projects, condominium securities, investment funds, inventions and retail projects pursuant to Regulation D of the Securities Act
  • Prepared all legal documentation and completed the conversion of a local 103-unit condominium to a planned community, obtaining 100 percent consent from homeowners
  • Represented issuers of real estate syndication, acquisition and loan transaction for multi-tenant commercial buildings, including all private placement documentation to admit investors
  • Handled $25M HUD 221(d)(4) for a client developing large multi-tenant apartment complex
  • Negotiated and closed multiple transactions for medical practices entering into asset purchase agreements and professional services agreements with a local hospital
  • Assisted a developer in negotiating with an existing lender and its borrower purchase the contract for a distressed 100+ unit townhome project and related closing transaction
  • Represent a national banking institution on commercial loans and transactions, including hotel projects, student housing projects, condominium developments, shopping centers and other commercial property
  • Assist numerous homeowner associations (condominium and planned communities) in Western North Carolina on legal issues, including revision of defective governing documents, collection/assessment issues, violations/enforcement and managing agent contracts


James Madison University (BBA, 1982)
Wake Forest University School of Law (J.D., 1985)


North Carolina (1985)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (1985)



  • American Bar Association, Nominating Committee
  • American Bar Association House of Delegates, NC State Delegate, Resolution and Impact Review Committee, Committee on House Operations
  • American Bar Association Law Practice Division, Past Chair
  • ABA Journal, Editorial Board
  • ABA Law Practice Leadership and Management Committee, Co-Chair
  • ABA Law Practice Magazine, Editorial Board and Columnist
  • Co-Author, The Lawyers Guide to Strategic Planning, ABA Law Practice Management Section (2004)
  • Author, Lessons in Leadership: Essential Skills for Lawyers, ABA Law Practice Division (2013)
  • American Bar Association Conference of State Delegates Executive Committee
  • ABA Law Practice Division Ethics and Professionalism Committee


Best Lawyers in America® (2020 – 2024)

Fellow, College of Law Practice Management (2009–Present)

Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2010–Present)

FellowNational Institute for the Teaching of Ethics and Professionalism

Business North Carolina Magazine Legal Elite (2018, 2020)

ABA Robert P. Wilkins Award for Outstanding Work for the Periodical of the Law Practice Division (2017)

North Carolina Leaders in the Law Award (2014)

ABA Sam Smith Award for Excellence in Law Practice Management (2012)

Outstanding Young Lawyer Award — NC Bar Association (1989–90)

Asheville Kiwanian of the Year (1988–89 and 1994–95)

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