William E. Martin

William E. Martin

Ward and Smith, P.A.

Recognized since 2013

New Bern, North Carolina

Practice Areas

Real Estate Law

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Bill is the leader of the Financial Transactions and Regulation Practice Group. His practice experience includes the representation of lending institutions, companies, individuals, and community associations in a wide variety of commercial real estate matters. Bill regularly represents lenders and borrowers in loan transactions; purchasers and sellers in the negotiation and preparation of real estate letters of intent and purchase agreements; landlords and tenants in the negotiation and preparation of commercial and retail leases; developers in the creation of restrictive and protective covenants for planned communities; and developers, community associations, and property owners regarding the interpretation and application of restrictive and protective covenants and title insurance issues. He also is experienced in the licensing and legal responsibilities of real estate brokers and firms. Bill has been rated by his peers as being "preeminent" in his fields of law. Prior to joining the Firm, he served terms as the Chief Federal Public Defender for the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina.


  • 1001 College Court
    P.O. Box 867
    New Bern, NC 28563-0867


  • Wake Forest University , J.D., graduated 1975
  • Wake Forest University, BA, graduated 1971

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1975


  • * Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: - www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.
  • American Land Title Association - Member
  • North Carolina Association of Realtors - Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association - Sections: Business Law; Constitutional Rights; Construction Law; Environmental Energy & Natural Resources Law; Real Property; Zoning, Planning and Land Use
  • Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina - Member

Court Admissions

  • All state courts in North Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • United States Supreme Court

Ward and Smith, P.A.
Headquarters: New Bern, North Carolina

39 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

6 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

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Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Real Estate Law

Special Focus

  • COVID-19


  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2019

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