John B. Ward
John B. WardAttorney

John is a litigator and a problem-solver who focuses his practice on representing landowners whose property is taken by eminent domain. John graduated with honors from Wake Forest University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, and he received his J.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2012. Prior to joining Nicholls & Crampton’s Land Law Team, John represented individuals and businesses in a wide array of civil litigation matters with a focus on professional liability and commercial disputes.

John understands the significant impact a taking can have on an individual, family, or business. He has a keen sense of fairness, and he works to ensure his clients receive fair and honest treatment and just compensation for their land. In addition to fighting for just compensation, John enjoys working with clients as an advisor and problem-solver. He strives to help his clients navigate and understand the complex eminent domain / land condemnation process. No matter how big or small a claim seems, every taking deserves close inspection, and John helps his clients understand how a project will impact their property and ways they might be able to mitigate that impact.

John works with a broad range of clients including first-time homeowners, sophisticated developers, small businesses, national corporations, and everything in between. His goal is to make sure his clients benefit from his representation, and he tailors his approach to meet each client’s specific needs. Whether your claim involves pre-suit analysis and negotiation, outside-the-box problem solving, or complex litigation, John is ready to help you every step of the way.

Areas of Practice

Eminent Domain / Land Condemnation

Real Estate and Property Rights Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Professional Experience

John has represented clients in matters against the North Carolina Department of Transportation, North Carolina Turnpike Authority, cities, towns, and municipalities, national and local gas and utility companies, homeowners’ associations, and other entities with condemnation authority in the North Carolina State and Federal Courts, North Carolina Court of Appeals, and North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. In addition to his condemnation work, John has taken and defended numerous depositions, represented clients including farmers, doctors, banks, and businesses responding to subpoenas and navigating large-scale lawsuits, and litigated real property cases applying novel and unsettled principles of law.

Bar Admissions

North Carolina, 2012

U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina, 2013

U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina, 2017

U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina, 2018

U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2019


University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

  • J.D. with honors – 2012
  • Honors: James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society; Order of Barristers Moot Court National Honor Society

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • B.A. cum laude – 2008
  • Major: Spanish

Honors and Awards

Super Lawyers – Rising Star (2022)

Professional Associations and Memberships

Wake County Bar Association

  • WCBA Board of Directors (2020-2022)
  • Wake County Bar Awards – Chair (2020-2021)
  • Wake County Bar Awards, Sponsorship Committee – Chair (2019-2020)

Membership Services Committee (2015-2022)

North Carolina Bar Association

  • Local Bar Outreach Committee (2012-2018)