Insights: News Kilpatrick Townsend's Benjamin Smith Achieves Rare Recognition as a Board Certified Specialist in Utilities Law

Smith Joins Select Group of Attorneys in North Carolina to Achieve Certification


RALEIGH (December 14) -- Kilpatrick Townsend’s Benjamin Smith was recently named a Board Certified Specialist in Utilities Law by the North Carolina State Bar in recognition of his work in, devotion to, and mastery of utility law as well as peer reviewed recommendations. Fewer than 20 attorneys statewide currently have this certification. Mr. Smith, Counsel in the firm’s Raleigh office, concentrates his legal practice in the areas of energy regulation and related energy policy and regulatory work. He has a long history of working in utility law.

Prior to joining Kilpatrick Townsend, Mr. Smith was Regulatory Counsel and then Associate General Counsel at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) in Raleigh where he developed policy goals, positions, and desired outcomes including implementing initiatives, campaign plans, and strategies to achieve policy goals and desired outcomes related to the future of energy in North Carolina. He led NCSEA’s regulatory work including matters litigated at the North Carolina Utilities Commission, FERC, and other venues, and headed its appellate work, and managed dozens of litigated dockets. Mr. Smith also assisted the General Counsel and Director of Policy in government affairs leadership work for the NCSEA, including research and drafting legislative language. Earlier, he was an attorney at a commercial litigation law firm based in Raleigh where he practiced bank litigation, real estate law, commercial litigation, adversary litigation in bankruptcy, creditors’ rights litigation, construction litigation, and consumer services litigation.

To be certified as a board certified specialist in a practice area, a lawyer must:

  • Be an active member in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar for at least five years,
  • Devote at least 25% of his or her practice to the specialty during the past five years (substantial involvement),
  • Attend continuing legal education (CLE) seminars in the specialty,
  • Be favorably evaluated by other lawyers and judges (peer review), and
  • Pass a written examination in the specialty practice area.

Certification is granted for a period of five years. To maintain certification, a lawyer must again demonstrate that he or she is substantially involved in the practice area; attend CLE seminars in the practice area; and be favorably evaluated by peers.

For more information about the North Carolina Legal Specialization program, and to view a list of board certified specialists by practice area, please visit the Legal Specialization website at, or call the State Bar at 919.828.4620.

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