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Johnston Allison & Hord Attorneys
Johnston Allison & Hord Attorneys
Johnston Allison & Hord Attorneys
MERITAS Law Firms Worldwide

Johnston, Allison & Hord
1065 East Morehead Street
Charlotte, NC 28204
704.332.1181    Fax: 704.376.1628
Joseph R. Marek PARTNER
Tel: 704-998-2235 | Fax: 704-998-2235
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Joe is a transactional attorney with a practice that focuses on leasing, real property acquisition and development and general commercial contracting.  

Prior to joining the firm, Joe served as an executive and as the assistant general counsel for a quick-serve restaurant brand operating more than 700 company and franchised locations and generating more than $1 billion in annual sales.  For almost ten years, Joe provided legal counsel to grow and protect the restaurant brand and expertise in areas that included real estate, drafting and negotiating complex and technical contracts, risk analysis and problem solving.  He was directly involved with the successful development and opening of more than 150 new freestanding restaurant locations, including working closely with real estate and construction teams to assist in transaction structuring and documentation, due diligence, permitting and property acquisition. 

Prior to his work with this restaurant brand, Joe served as in-house counsel for a variety store chain with over 6,000 locations. In that role, Joe worked in a high-volume real estate development environment, which included providing legal counsel and assisting with the development of more than 50 new freestanding and inline store locations. 

With twelve years working as in-house legal counsel with two separate public companies, Joe has unique experience and a valuable perspective that he applies to representing and protecting clients. 


  • Commercial Lease Drafting, Negotiation and Review (Landlord and Tenant)
  • Commercial Real Estate Development and Acquisition (Buyer and Seller)
  • Commercial Real Estate Due Diligence, including:
    • Reviewing Title and Survey
    • Drafting, Negotiating and Reviewing Restrictions, Easements and Covenants
    • Reviewing Environmental Reports and Restrictions
  • Commercial Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Review, including:
    • Construction
    • Equipment Leasing and Purchasing
    • Sponsorship
    • Naming Rights
    • Concessions
    • Software Licensing
    • Intellectual Property Licensing
    • Services
    • Confidentiality and Nondisclosure
    • Supply Chain (Product Development, Purchasing and Distribution)


  • Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, NC (J.D., 2001)
  • Troy University, Troy, AL (Pensacola, FL location) (M.S., International Relations, 1998)
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (B.A., Political Science, 1994)


  • North Carolina, 2001

Honors and Awards

  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award (highest class grade) in Partnership Tax (2000)
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award (highest class grade) in Agency Law (2000)
  • Achievement Medal, U.S. Air Force (1998)
  • Commendation Medal, U.S. Air Force (1998)
  • Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force (1994 - 1998)
  • Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (1994)
  • Parachutist Badge (Airborne), U.S. Army (1993)

Professional Affiliations

  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • American Red Cross - Hurricane Relief (2016)
  • American Red Cross - Flood Relief (2015)
  • MDA (2011 - 2012)
  • Charlotte Rifle and Pistol Club, Inc. (2008 - 2010)
  • InfraGard Charlotte, Inc. (2002)
  • Charlotte Housing Authority Residents' Advisory Council (2001)