Meet Our Professionals

Irvin W. Hankins III

Retired of Counsel

Hank Hankins served as the firm’s managing partner from 1986 to 2002. After that, he was the firm’s general counsel until 2017, when he became a retired partner. He has extensive experience in both state and federal courts. He has represented a wide variety of clients, including public utilities, insurance companies, manufacturing companies, chemical and textile companies, accounting firms and attorneys.

In addition, Hank has advised professional organizations regarding management issues, partnership structures, partnership disputes and legal ethics.

Hank has lectured on substantive and procedural aspects of litigation for various sponsors of continuing legal education and has made presentations regarding legal ethics and law firm management. He is admitted to practice before the federal district courts in North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

He has held leadership positions in the North Carolina State Bar and the community, including State Bar president (2007-2008), chairman of the Ethics Committee (2001-2003), chairman of Authorized Practice Committee (1999-2000), and council member (1997-2009). He has served as president of the UNC Law Alumni Association (2004) and general counsel to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (2002-2003). He was also an ABA House of Delegates member, Queens University of Charlotte trustee, and chairman of the North Carolina IOLTA board of trustees. Furthermore, he's an ABA Foundation Fellow, a member of the North Carolina Disciplinary Hearing Commission, a Queens University trustee emeritus, a UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Visitors member and North Carolina State Bar Foundation trustee.

Hank served in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1972, as gunnery officer of the USS Manley DD-940, and as weapons officer, chief engineer and operations officer of the USS Courtney DE-1021.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, Hank was administrative editor of the North Carolina Law Review, 1974-1975.

Results By the Numbers

  • 0 Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America 10 or More Years in a Row
  • 0 Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers for 2016

Representative Experience

  • Insurance coverage and defense.
  • Products liability and industrial accidents.
  • Personal injury, death and property damage, including claims unique to the defense of public utilities.
  • Professional malpractice defense, particularly with respect to attorneys, accountants and design professionals.
  • Toxic torts.
  • General commercial disputes, including claims concerning real property, contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code and various forms of unlawful competition.

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Honors & Awards

  • UNC Law Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ in Energy & Utilities; Products Liability; Insurance Coverage; Professional Negligence Defense; Tort Defense; Real Property Disputes; Litigation
  • Order of the Coif
  • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation, 2006-2018
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers in Utilities, Business Litigation and Professional Liability: Defense, 2006
  • Business North Carolina magazine's "Legal Elite" in Litigation, 2002-2003, 2006 & 2008


  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • Southern Conference of Bar Presidents
  • North Carolina State Bar, Disciplinary Hearing Commission, 2012-2018
  • Mecklenburg County Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association