Morningstar Law Group – Raleigh Law Firm – Durham NC Attorneys

We've Moved! Our Raleigh office is now located at 434 Fayetteville Street, Suite 2200, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Grayson Hale is a business attorney with more than two decades of experience representing companies and their owners, investors, and executives in mergers and acquisitions/dispositions of all types and structures including representing firms with employee stock ownership plans (ESOP); ownership succession structuring and implementation, financings; and day-to-day business matters as outside general counsel.

Grayson founded and leads the firm’s architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) practice where for nearly twenty years he has represented hundreds of regional, national and international engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, geology, and other professional services firms and general contractors in mergers and acquisitions and business matters. He also regularly advises firms and private equity investors on structuring their operations in compliance with regulatory professional and entity licensing throughout the United States, including representing them in disciplinary matters before licensing boards. Grayson has unparalleled experience in assisting A/E firms with obtaining North Carolina professional licensure compliance using pre-1969 grandfather corporations.

Other clients come from a wide variety of industries, including hotel development and management, manufacturing, wholesale, software and high tech, education, electric power generation and management, retail, and restaurants.

As a founding partner of Morningstar Law Group, Grayson has hands-on management level experience that bolsters his insight into operating a professional services firm. Coupled with his accounting background, his business experience enables him to provide practical and effective legal counsel, not legal advice in a vacuum. Prior to Morningstar Law Group, Grayson spent 14 years practicing law and as a partner with national and international law firms in Dallas, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina.

When he’s not practicing law, Grayson enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, the mountains, a little tennis and trying to beat the unbeatable game of golf.


  • Best Lawyers: Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2019-2024), Corporate Law (2019-2024), Business Organizations – Including LLCs and Partnerships (2021-2024), Commercial Transactions / UCC Law (2022-2024)
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite: Hall of Fame, Business Law (2013, 2022), Business and Corporate Law (2011-2013)
  • Super Lawyers (2014-2023)
  • Super Lawyers: Top 100 Lawyer North Carolina (2015, 2016, 2019)
  • Triangle Business Leader: Impact Lawyer (2010), Top Lawyer

Representative Experience

  • Represent each year two dozen or more different architecture, engineering, geology, surveying, landscape architecture and related professional firms in structuring their transactions and negotiating their mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions throughout the United States, resulting in closing transactions in almost every state in the past twenty years.
  • Represented engineering firm in $130,000,000 sale pursuant to an F reorganization to a private equity purchaser. Completed multiple dozen “F” reorganization transactions as buyer and seller’s counsel.
  • Represented international professional services firm in stock acquisition of an east coast engineering firm with eastern European subsidiary.
  • Represented private equity firm in initial platform acquisition and numerous private equity purchaser add-on acquisitions using F reorganizations, stock purchases and merger transactions.
  • Represents regional, national and international architecture, engineering, and related professional service and contractor firms in structuring their firms for compliance with states licensing boards and in particular, the North Carolina licensing board laws, including representing buyers and sellers of North Carolina pre-1969 grandfather corporations.

Presentations & Publications

In addition to a variety of published articles, Grayson is a frequent speaker at local, regional and national business and legal conferences.

  • “Q&A Ask The M&A Experts, Matheson Financial Group M&A Forum for A/E/C Industry. Panelist (2023)
  • “M&A: Legal & Tax Considerations,” Zweig Group, 2023 M&A Next Symposium. Panelist (2023)
  • “Annual Dodgeball: What do you want to know?” Capital Strategies and M&A Forum for A/E/C Industry. Panelist (2021; 2022)
  • “Anatomy of a Deal.” 2019 Capital Strategies and M&A Forum for A/E/C Industry. Panelist (2019)
  • “Joint Ventures.” The University of North Carolina: Kenan Flagler School of Business, Master Business Administration Program. Guest Adjunct Professor (2018)
  • “It’s An Auction – M&A Case Study.” Capital Strategies and M&A Forum for A/E/C Industry. Panelist (2017)
  • “Determining the Value of a Firm.” Capital Strategies and M&A Forum for A/E/C Industry. Panelist (2017)
  • “Expecting the Unexpected to Avoid Landmines in M&A and Organic Growth.” A/E/C Growth & Ownership Strategies Conference. Speaker (2016)
  • “What Does an ‘Of Counsel’ Position Look Like.” Mapping Your Retirement: Practicing Without Fear, NC Bar Association CLE. Speaker (2016)
  • “Lessons Learned from M&A’s Gone Wrong.” Capital Strategies and M&A Forum for A/E/C Industry. Speaker (2016)
  • “Negotiating a Successful M&A Deal – Understanding the Rule and “Retrospective (Winter 2015)
  • “Strategic Alternatives for Partial ESOP Companies.” Capital Strategies and M&A Forum. Speaker (2015)
  • “Managing Risk and Insurance During Ownership Transition.” Capital Strategies and M&A Forum. Speaker (2015)
  • “Ropes Course: Navigating Mergers & ” American Council of Engineering Companies, NC Annual Meeting (2014)
  • “Corporate and Employment Law Developments,” NC Bar Association: Corporate Counsel Section Annual Meeting (2014)
  • “Ownership Transition ” American Council of Engineering Companies, NC Small Business Forum (2013)
  • M&A/Capital American Council of Engineering Companies Annual Convention, CFO Council Forum (2012)
  • “Keys to Successful M&A and Minefields to ” Zweigwhite, AEC Mergers & Acquisitions Summit (2011)
  • “North Carolina’s Mini-Brooks Act: How it Works; How to Comply,” K&L Gates LLP Seminars (2010)
  • “Private Placements: Raising Capital with Regulation ” Raising Capital Forum (2010)
  • “Capital Ideas.” Association for Corporate Growth (2009)
  • “M&A From A To Z: Ingredients in Acquisition Alphabet ” NC Bar Association CLE (2009)
  • “How to Effectively Utilize Your ” NC Bar Association CLE (2008)
  • “Buying and Selling a Business and Business ” NC CLE Seminar (2008)
  • “Negotiating the Terms of Your ” Association for Corporate Growth (2008)
  • “Grappling with Mergers, Acquisitions and ” Association of Corporate Growth (2007)
  • “Buying and Selling a Business, M&A Structuring and Tax ” Lorman (2007)
  • “Issues in Mergers & Acquisitions ” Grant Thornton & Kennedy Covington Joint Seminar (2006)
  • “Intellectual Property in M&A,” Grant Thornton & Kennedy Covington Joint Seminar (2006)
  • “Selected Issues In Negotiating Venture Term Sheets.” First Flight Venture Center (2005)
  • “Term Sheets in Venture Capital Financings.” Council for Entrepreneurial Development, FastTrac Program (2004)
  • “M&A Structuring: Methods of Buying & Selling A ” Grant Thornton & Kennedy Covington Joint Seminar (2004)
  • “Costly, But Common Mistakes in M&A ” Grant Thornton and The Staubach Company Joint Seminar (2004)


  • Duke University, Biotechnology for Business, Executive Education Program (2004)
  • Southern Methodist University: tax studies towards LL.M (1998-2000)
  • University of Arkansas Law School, J.D. (1998) cum laude
  • University of Central Arkansas, Masters of Business Administration (1992)
  • Arkansas Tech University, B.S. Accounting; B.S. Business Administration (1991)
  • Certified Public Accountant (inactive)


  • North Carolina State Bar (2002)
  • Arkansas State Bar (2003)
  • Texas State Bar (1998)


  • American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC): Legal Forum Member. NC Member.
  • March of Dimes: NC Board of Directors (2008-2017). Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee (2009-2017)
  • Association of Corporate Growth: Board of Directors, Raleigh Durham Chapter (2009-2013). Programs Committee (2009-2013). Membership Committee (2005-2008).
  • University of Arkansas Alumni Association: Founder and President, Triangle Chapter (2005-2008)
  • NC Bar Association: Business Section
  • Council for Entrepreneurial Development: Member
  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce: Leadership Raleigh graduate
  • United Way: Fundraising Account Executive