Practice area: Complex litigation and bankruptcy law
Law school: Duke University
Undergraduate: St. John’s College
Graduate: Master’s of Public Policy, Duke University
Before earning a law degree, James White spent years as a print-media consultant with McNamee Consulting Co. and worked as a research analyst with McKinsey & Co., performing market and competitive analysis. His legal experience includes practicing business litigation and bankruptcy law at Moore & Van Allen. He opened his own practice in 2009 to focus on cases involving serious financial injury, putting to work both his business acumen and his legal experience. He was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by Legal Aid of North Carolina in Durham County.
You took an unusual route to a law career. How has that helped you?
Looking at the path I’ve taken with the benefit of hindsight, it all makes sense. I cannot imagine doing different work than what I am doing today. Working in management consulting, learning how top management thinks and how banks and financial institutions work, developing analytical business skills and learning negotiation and finally bringing all of that experience to the law has been the ideal route for me. The financial crisis created a “perfect storm” where these varied skills can all come together in the service of clients.
Your law firm has a very specific mission. How do you achieve it?
Our clients range from high net-worth individuals to people who have lost their homes through foreclosure fraud. Our billing is flexible and suited to each case. Our philosophy is simple: We do not care about the size of a case – we take cases where we can have a distinctive, lasting and substantial impact. We do not hesitate to use our litigation skills to attack overreaching creditors and defend our clients’ rights.
What do you consider your most significant professional achievement?
I have worked on some cases where tens of millions of dollars are at issue, others where a few thousand is at stake. I like to think that I have treated both sets of clients the same. I am proudest of those cases when I have saved someone’s home – either through bankruptcy filing or a lawsuit.