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James H. Culbreth, Jr.

101 South Tryon Street
Suite 2200
Charlotte, NC 28280


Sara Lane

With more than 35 years of legal experience, Jim's principal area of practice is employee benefits, focusing on employee benefits law while representing private and public sector employers of all sizes. He has extensive experience in:

  • Designing and preparing qualified retirement plans (including 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, and ESOPs)
  • Nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements and equity compensation for employees and executives
  • Advising employers on their fiduciary responsibilities under federal and state law
  • Counseling clients through the current maze of medical plan laws and regulations

Jim works with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) on client plan audits, and frequently speaks on employee benefits and fiduciary issues, including at the National Trust School, the Southeastern Trust School, and regional seminars.

Away from the office, Jim enjoys working on the libretto for his opera “King Solomon’s Mimes,” expanding his collection of out-of-date PCs, and travel. His most enjoyable experiences include picking peas for the Green Giant while in college, and daily, overcoming the general perversity of inanimate objects.

Representative Matters

  • "Benefits Spring Clean-Up," WorkCite, March 17, 2008
  • "New DOL Disclosure Rules Alter Plan Administration Landscapes," WorkCite, January 3, 2008
  • "Final Code Section 409A Regulations: Key Planning Pointers for the Road Ahead," WorkCite, May 4, 2007
  • "Automatic Everything 401(K) Plans," WorkCite, March 2, 2007


  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2009 North Carolina Law Impact Leader, Business Leader, North Carolina Legal Guide

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bankers Association
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Operation Christmas Child
  • University City United Methodist Church, former Chairman Capital Campaign, 2002

Alternate biographies





  • J.D., George Washington University, 1980
  • B.A., Wake Forest University, 1977

Bar and Court Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1984
  • Virginia, 1982
  • District of Columbia, 1981