Firm History

One of the longest-lasting law partnerships in the state of North Carolina began in a back hallway of the Wake County Courthouse in 1950, when Howard Manning interviewed a young lawyer recommended by the dean of the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Manning was so impressed by the young lawyer, Charles Fulton, that he offered him a job on the spot, starting at $40 a week.

The firm of Manning and Fulton was officially formed on January 1, 1955. William Pailin Skinner, Jr. joined the firm a year later, and the name changed to the one that remains today, Manning Fulton & Skinner.

The firm’s founders are legendary figures in North Carolina legal circles. Howard Manning’s grandfather founded the law school at UNC-Chapel Hill, and in part due to this legacy, Manning took seriously his responsibility to be a leader in the legal profession. At his death in 2002 at the age of 88, Manning left a reputation as a lawyer whose integrity and credibility were unquestioned.

Charlie Fulton was raised in humble circumstances in the mountains of Appalachia, and proudly earned an undergraduate scholarship to UNC. After graduating from the UNC School of Law, he joined the Navy and later made his way to Raleigh, where he became Manning’s partner. Fulton, who retired in 2007, is recognized as an authority on real-estate law.

Bill Skinner was a native of Elizabeth City and served on active duty with the U.S. Naval Reserve in the Korean War. After his service, he returned to Chapel Hill in 1953 and earned his law degree. Skinner concentrated his practice on tax law and estate planning.

The firm’s first home was in the old Capital Club Building, where large fans were used to circulate Raleigh’s humid summer heat. In 1965, the growing firm moved to the Wachovia Bank Building on Fayetteville Street. In 1986, the firm moved to its current location in the Glenwood Plaza office building on Glenwood Avenue, just inside the Beltline.

Mr. Manning, Mr. Fulton, and Mr. Skinner set the standard for all Manning Fulton lawyers. Many of our client relationships extend back to the early years of the firm, and our clients continue to have high expectations of client advocacy through extraordinary service, relationships and results.

John B. McMillan, and other partners at Manning Fulton, discuss the role Manning Fulton has played in our state's economic growth and why they believe Triangle, and North Carolina continue to be good choices for businesses.    

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