August 23, 2022Press Release

Michael Best Continues Rapid Expansion in North Carolina with Two New Hires

Michael Best is pleased to announce that Brian Crawford has joined the firm’s Real Estate Team as a Partner in the Durham office, and Jack Wiggen has joined the firm’s Corporate Practice Group as Senior Counsel in the Wilmington office. Crawford and Wiggen mark the latest addition to the firm in the past month, coming on the heels of Linda Emery and Chris Seamster in Milwaukee and Winston-Salem respectively.

Drawing on two decades of experience in the real estate sector, Crawford concentrates his practice in the areas of public finance, affordable housing and economic development. Wiggen is also a commercial real estate attorney, who has steered his efforts toward contract review over his decade in law.

“Brian and Jack are incredibly talented real estate lawyers, held in high regard by their colleagues and peers in the region,” said James Forrest, Office Managing Partner of North Carolina. “Their addition to Michael Best further reinforces our strategic growth efforts in the North Carolina market. We welcome their unique backgrounds, which are sure to benefit our real estate clients, both regionally and national––and I’m excited to bring them onboard.”

Previously, Crawford was a partner at his former firm, providing a suite of essential legal services for regional real estate heavyweights in matters related to state and federal lending, as well as tax credit programs. From 2002 until 2014, Crawford owned and operated his own solo law practice that focused on commercial real estate and community development. In addition, he served as outside counsel to the Affordable Housing Program for Branch Banking & Trust Company, now known as Truist Financial. Prior to that, Crawford served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for North Carolina Community Development Initiative, Inc.—a collaborative community and economic development effort designed to support and facilitate transformation in the state’s low-wealth communities.

“Brian has been deeply invested in the Triangle Region for nearly thirty years, and he brings with him sharp insights crucial to understanding the real estate market,” said Michelle Wagner Ebben, Chair of Michael Best’s Real Estate Practice Group. “His dedication to community development shines through all the incredible work he’s done in the area, and he’ll be a vital asset to our team.”

Wiggen was in-house counsel for a North Carolina civil engineering firm before joining Michael Best. Prior to that, he was an entrepreneur and business owner in the fitness industry, negotiating several leases over the course of seven years. From 2005 to 2014, he served in a number of legal roles, culminating in his partnership at Wiggen Law Group PLLC.

“We’re excited that Jack has recently chosen to return to law after years of working within his local community in the Triangle Region. His experience navigating real estate transactions related to major infrastructure projects will be a great asset to the team, especially as we continue to expand our group’s capabilities,” said Jason Rogers, Chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. 

Crawford received his J.D. from North Carolina Central University in 2000 and his B.A. from Connecticut College in 1995. Wiggen received his J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law in 2005 and his B.S. from East Carolina University in 2002.

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