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John N. (Nick) Fountain is one of the most experienced attorneys in North Carolina handling professional licensure issues and occupational licensing boards. He has appeared before dozens of the numerous boards and commissions in Raleigh, including the Real Estate Commission, the Appraisal Board, the Banking Commission, the CPA Examiners, N.C. Medical Board, the Dental Board, the Psychology Board, Licensed Professional Counselors and others. He is General Counsel to the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors and to the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. He prosecutes matters on behalf of the Board of Law Examiners. His experience includes cases with the Property Tax Commission, Purchase and Contract and Department of Motor Vehicles. He has assisted clients in more than 80 of the 100 courthouses in North Carolina.

In addition to licensing boards and administrative law matters, Nick has assisted clients in solving business acquisition and shareholder disputes, real estate disputes including boundaries, condemnation, zoning, and restrictive covenants, estate problems and will caveats. Nick is a N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission certified mediator in Superior Court and in the Office of Administrative Hearings. His varied practice and contacts with numerous lawyers and regulators have given him wide recognition and frequent use as a mediator, particularly in business and healthcare matters, including mediation of Certificate of Need (CON) and licensure. Nick has been involved in more than 40 reported decisions in the North Carolina Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, the Business Court, U.S. District Court and the Fourth Circuit. He has held an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell for more than thirty years.

Nick heads one of the Business/Administrative practice teams within the firm and is a past member of our Practice Management Committee. He has served as President of the Wake County and 10th District Bar, on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association, as a Bar Councilor and Advisor to the State Bar, and as president of the Raleigh Kiwanis Club. He has received multiple awards for Bar leadership and historic preservation. After graduating from Duke University and receiving his law degree from Wake Forest University, Nick was honored to have begun his practice with a clerkship with Judge (later Justice) David M. Britt.


  • 3101 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 200
    P.O. Box 31627
    Raleigh, NC 27622-1627


  • Wake Forest University , J.D., graduated 1968
  • Duke University, B.A., graduated 1965

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1968


  • Legal Services of North Carolina - Chair of Access to Justice Campaign; Past Chair of Finance Committee
  • North Carolina State Bar Council - Committee Member
  • North Carolina Supreme Court Museum Board - Board Member
  • Raleigh Historic Districts Commission - Past Chair of Hearings Committee
  • Raleigh Historic Resources and Museum Advisory Board - Inaugural Chair (Past)
  • Raleigh Kiwanis Club - Member and Former President
  • Wake County Bar Association - Member and Former President
  • North Carolina Bar Association - Past Member of Board of Governors; Past Chair of Administrative Law Section; Past Chair of Legislative Advisory Committee; Past Chair of Alternative Billing Commission; Past Chair of Endowment Committee

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Courts for North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Administrative / Regulatory Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Administrative / Regulatory Law, Raleigh (2015)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Administrative / Regulatory Law


  • Award of Merit for “Dedicated and Exemplary Professional Service” for over forty years as Counsel to the North Carolina State Board of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors
  • Recipient of the Joseph Branch Professionalism Award, Wake County Bar Association (2019)
  • Leaders in the Law Award (2018), North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
  • Named the Best Lawyers® Administrative / Regulatory Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Raleigh (2015)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Administrative / Regulatory Law (2008-2020)
  • Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers® (2007-2016)

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