Nicole Gardner

Nicole Gardner
704.335.0350 phone
704.390.7007 direct
nicole@gardnerskelton.comf-super-lawyersBest Lawyers in Americaf-legal-elite
Attorney at Law

Nicole Gardner practices employment law and represents a broad range of businesses and senior executives. She provides business advice and counsel, represents clients in litigation and acts as a mediator in state and federal employment cases.

Nicole has been recognized for excellence by her peers, being consistently listed in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” as well as “Super Lawyers,” and “The Best Lawyers in America.”

Nicole advises and counsels clients on Title VII, FMLA, ADA, NLRA, ERISA and wage and hour law compliance, HR best practices, and also prepares employee handbooks, employment contracts, severance agreements, and non-competition, confidentiality, and invention assignment agreements.

Nicole represents clients in state and federal courts in suits involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, employee raiding, negligent hiring and retention, breach of contract and wage payment violations, as well as in general commercial disputes. She advocates for her clients in administrative proceedings before the EEOC, the State and Federal Departments of Labor, the National labor Relations Board, and the Employment Security Commission. Nicole also investigates alleged malfeasance of corporate executives, both on behalf of clients and on behalf of other large corporations who seek an outside neutral investigator.

Nicole serves as the outside general counsel for many of her clients, engaging and managing a network of attorneys nationwide in handling clients’ legal needs.

  • Selected by Super Lawyers as:
    • Top 100 Attorneys in North Carolina: 2019-2021
    • Top 50 Women North Carolina Super Lawyers: 2014-2016, 2018-2021
    • Super Lawyer: 2012-2021
    • Rising Star: 2010-2011
  • Named as one of Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite: 2010-2021. In 2015, Nicole received the most votes as N.C.’s top employment lawyer, thus entering her permanently into Legal Elite’s “Hall of Fame.”
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America: 2014-2022
Practice Areas
  • Employment
  • Employment Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Outside General Counsel
  • Investigations
  • Mediation
Industries Served
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Health Care
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Food Service
  • Non Profit
  • University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1999 (Moot Court Board)
  • William J. Fulbright Scholar, South Korea, 1994-1995
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1994, summa cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa)
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • South Carolina State Bar
  • California State Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California
Professional Affiliations
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Mecklenburg County Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Charlotte Women’s Bar Association
Community Involvement
  • Member, Women’s Impact Fund
  • Youth Mentor, Buddy/Mentor, Inc.
  • Volunteer Attorney, North Carolina Center for Nonprofits