Raleigh, N.C. — Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is pleased to announce that M. Gray Styers Jr., leader of the firm’s Energy & Utilities Industry Group, has been named a “Utilities Law Specialist” by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Styers is one of only fifteen attorneys, and one of only six in private practice, in the inaugural group of specialists in the State of North Carolina to be recognized by the State Bar on November 21, 2016.
“We congratulate Gray on his recent North Carolina State Bar certification,” said Managing Partner Julie Earp. “The specialization designation is official recognition of Gray’s deep understanding of our clients’ needs in the energy and utilities industry, a focus for our firm.”
Board certification requires a lawyer to demonstrate special training, skill, knowledge and proficiency in a specific area of the law. A lawyer who is certified as a specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has satisfied many rigorous standards for certification in the lawyer's specialty field.
Styers’ recent achievement reflects his over 25-years of experience and advocacy for numerous utilities and infrastructure projects. He was recognized in earlier this year by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as a “Leader in Law,” The Best Lawyers in America© as Raleigh’s “Energy Lawyer of the Year” in 2017 and “Litigation–Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year” in 2016. Styers was also honored with the North Carolina Bar Association's Citizen Lawyer Award in 2013, and has been selected to North Carolina Super Lawyer nine times for Utilities Law (2006, 2009-2016).
Styers earned his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University, his M.B.A. and J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina. In addition to his legal work, he currently serves as chairman of the Wake County Industrial and Pollution Control Facilities Financing Authority (2000-present), is a member of Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity Board of Visitors, and has been an active board member for both Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle (2009-present) and the North Carolina Museum of History Associates (2015-present).
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