Nellie Shipley Sullivan is a real estate attorney in Holland & Knight's Atlanta and Charlotte offices. Ms. Sullivan's practice ranges among a broad variety of transactions involving commercial real estate.

With more than 25 years of practicing law, Ms. Sullivan leads teams in complex projects, including corporate expansions and relocations, various financing structures, and acquisitions and divestitures of company product lines. She also assists with economic development programs. In addition, Ms. Sullivan has deep experience with developer projects, including housing (single-family and multifamily), mixed-use, assisted living, office parks, industrial parks and malls. She also helps real estate investors with their acquisitions and sales.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Sullivan was an attorney at a transnational law firm in its Atlanta and Raleigh, North Carolina, offices.

Representative Experience

  • Serving as general counsel to a regional developer/owner (including single-family, multifamily, assisted living)
  • Serving as U.S. real estate counsel to a global biotechnology company (including expansions, relocations, dispositions and financing)
  • Providing all aspects of development representation for a large industrial/warehouse developer/owner
  • Advised on North American corporate real estate strategy and execution (acquisition, management and disposition) for a global computer company's expansion of corporate, sales and technical support offices due to the acquisition of a competitor's product line and associated necessary new locations
  • Advised on U.S. corporate real estate strategy and execution (acquisition, management and disposition) and warehousing services arrangements for a global manufacturing company
  • Provided developer representation for various large community developments, including active adult lifestyle, single-family, multifamily and mixed-use
  • Handled portfolio deals by investment companies expanding or shrinking brand or asset holdings by geographic market
  • Advised on projects with economic development features, such as a global contract pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer, and a national furniture seller and services company expanding manufacturing, showroom and headquarters facilities in the U.S.


  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors
  • Yale College, B.S., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
Court Admissions
  • All Courts in Georgia
  • All Courts in North Carolina
  • Urban Land Institute, Member, 2002-Present; Health Leaders Cohort 3, 2020; Member Atlanta District Council, 2016-Present; Founding Member, Triangle District Council, 2005 and Member 2005-Present
  • Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, Member, 1997-Present; Delegate, 1999-2001; Communications Committee, 2013-2017; Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Member, 1997-Present; President, 2001-2002; Board Member, 1999-2003; Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Atlanta, Member, 2016-Present; Chapter Champion, 2020-2021
  • Georgia Bar Association, Real Property Section, 2016-Present  
  • Yale Club of Georgia, 2016-Present
  • Georgia Economic Developers Association, 2015-Present
  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Atlanta, Federal Club Council, 2016-Present; Federal Club, 2014-2016
  • CoreNet Global, Atlanta and Carolinas Chapters, 2013-Present
  • Southern Economic Development Council, 2013-Present
  • North Carolina Economic Developers Association, 2005-Present
  • U.S. Green Building Council, Atlanta and North Carolina Chapters, 2007-Present
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Board of Advisors, 2016-2022
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Real Property Section; Land Use Section, 1994-Present
  • Triangle Yale Club, President, 2012-2015
  • NC Tomorrow Initiative, North Carolina Association of Regional Councils, Advisory Committee, 2013
  • North Carolina Habitat for Humanity, General Counsel, 2010-2012
  • Wake County Sustainability Task Force, 2009-2012
  • Cary Economic Development Commission, Member, 2005-2011; Chair: 2006-2011
  • North Carolina Downtown Development Association, 2003-2016
  • Cary Chamber of Commerce, Member, 1996-2016; Board Member, 1999-2005; Chair, 2003-2004
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Land Use and Zoning Law; Real Estate Law, 2011–Present
  • Women of Western Wake Award, Cary Magazine, 2008
  • Women in Business Award, Triangle Business Journal, 2006
  • Woman of the Year, Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), 2002
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements