Mark Holt Installed as NCBA President

C. Mark Holt of Raleigh has been installed as the 126th president of the North Carolina Bar Association. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley of the N.C. Supreme Court administered the oath of office as Holt’s wife, Joanna, held the Bible.

Holt will also serve in 2020-21 as president of the North Carolina Bar Foundation.

The ceremony took place during the NCBA Annual Meeting on Friday, June 26, at the N.C. Bar Center in Cary. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the annual meeting was conducted with limited in-person attendance and webcast statewide to NCBA members.

Holt is a partner in Holt Sherlin LLP, which he co-founded in 2013 with David Sherlin, immediate past president of the Wake County Bar Association.

Holt has practiced in Raleigh his entire career, previously serving as a partner in Kirby & Holt (1999-2013), as an associate in Edwards & Kirby (1993-99) and as an associate in Tharrington, Smith & Hargrove (1987-92).

“Now more than ever, our state’s legal profession is called to serve those in need and seek justice for all,” Holt said. “The North Carolina Bar Association and Foundation unite our profession in pursuit of these and other vitally important goals. I am honored to help lead these efforts.”

A native of Oxford, Holt grew up in Fayetteville, the son of a Baptist minister and kindergarten teacher. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in politics from Wake Forest University in 1983, Holt accepted a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to study abroad at the University of Essex, where he earned a master’s degree in government.

Holt graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1987.

Throughout his career, Holt has been a devoted member of the NCBA, as evidenced by his selection as the Young Lawyers Division’s Outstanding Young Lawyer in 1991. He also served as chair of the YLD Child Advocacy Committee in 1989-91.

Holt served on the NCBA Board of Governors and NCBF Board of Directors in 2014-17, during which he also chaired the Nominations Committee in 2015-16. He has served on the NCBF Oversight Committee since 2017 and the NCBF Development Committee since 2018.

Holt is a member of the Platt D. Walker Society, signifying his designation of a planned gift to the NCBF Endowment. He is also responsible for the establishment of NCBF Justice Funds in memory of Fayetteville attorneys Jim Nance and D.P. Russ who inspired his pathway into the legal profession.

Holt is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and served from 2017-19 as state chair. He is also a former member (2000-04) of the N.C. Advocates for Justice Board of Governors and former advisory member of the N.C. State Bar Ethics Committee (2011-13).

He is married to Joanna Winecoff Holt and they have four children: Charles Holt, Grace Wells, Sarah Holt and Caroline Wells.