• University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – J.D., 2004
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – B.A., 2000
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Rising Star by the North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine (2010, 2012, 2013, 2018)
  • North Carolina’s Legal Elite by Business North Carolina Magazine (2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Elite Hall of Fame (2017)
  • Business Law Category Winner (2016)
  • First Tee of the Triangle – Board (2016 to Present)
  • Duke DREAM Campaign – Board (2014-2015)
  • Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce – Board (2011 to 2014)
  • Kidznotes, Inc. – Board (2009 to 2012)
  • Durham Symphony Orchestra – Board (2008 to 2012)
  • Durham CrimeStoppers – Board (2008 to 2012)
  • Leadership Triangle Program (2008)
  • Leadership Durham Program (2007)
  • North Carolina State Bar

James Forrest began his career in Atlanta, Georgia working for one of the largest corporate law firms in the world. Subsequently, James practiced with Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, one of the premier law firms in the Southeast. After seven years in two large, traditional firms, James founded the Forrest Firm in 2011 to provide corporate legal resources in a markedly different, client-centric manner – where customer service was the central focus. Since 2011, the Forrest Firm has been engaged by over 4,000 clients based upon its commitment to predictable fees, responsiveness, and qualitatively excellent legal services. The firm has opened eight offices across NC since 2015, currently has over 50 legal professionals, and is a certified B-corporation.

With respect to James’ personal practice, he routinely works with companies to manage legal budgets, develop executive-level risk-management strategies, and form and manage key partnership relationships with other professionals specializing in various areas. James has extensive experience with company formation issues, mergers, acquisitions, company divestitures, transactional due diligence and the drafting, review and negotiation of contracts across industry and subject matter.

James has received numerous awards, including being named North Carolina’s Legal Elite by Business North Carolina Magazine, as well as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine. James currently serves on the Board of Directors for the First Tee of the Triangle.


•  Hustle Unlimited Podcast: The Recipe For Success: Clients, Culture, and Community
•  Speaker, Focus on Business, “Legal 101” (October, 2013)
•  Speaker, Entrepreneurs Conference, “Doing Business in the New Normal” (September, 2012)
•  “PDA is Great, NDA is Vital” (Raleigh News and Observer, May 17, 2009)