Craig Wagner is an experienced transactional attorney focusing primarily on corporate and commercial real estate matters. Craig was one of the founding shareholders in Wagner, Johnston & Rosenthal, PC, an Atlanta general business law firm, which ceased operations in March 2018 after 37 years. Craig is now practicing as a solo practitioner. With over 45 years in practice, Craig represents his clients in business matters, including mergers, acquisitions, financings, contract review, preparation and negotiation, commercial real estate matters and other complex transactions.
In his years delivering support for business planning, strategy development, contract negotiation and business transactions, Craig has built many long-term relationships with clients and earned a reputation for excellence. He has held an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell for over 30 consecutive years and been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer several times.
The son of a career military officer, Craig had no real hometown before moving to Atlanta 1976. He attended Tufts University for his undergraduate work, graduating magna cum laude, before going on to earn his J.D. at the University of Virginia where he was honored with the Order of the Coif and was on the Editorial Board of the University of Virginia Law Review. Craig finds that the legal profession offers him plentiful challenges and provides the opportunity to help clients achieve their business goals. His knack for counseling others and “reading the tea leaves” have proven to be valuable assets in both his personal and professional life.
Craig and his wife Debbie are the parents of three daughters. Craig delights in his 5 grandchildren. Craig and Debbie serve as mentors in the 2:1 Premarital program at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, mentoring engaged couples in preparation for strong, lasting, God centered marriages. Craig’s hobbies include sports, working out and reading.
- Craig represented the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA basketball team, in its relocation to New Orleans in 2002. In this representation, Craig successfully negotiated an arena deal with the City of Charlotte whereby the City would build a new arena in which the Hornets would play. The Charlotte electorate voted down the financing proposal, thus necessitating the relocation of the team. Craig then negotiated the possible relocation of the Hornets with 6 cities before the team selected New Orleans as its new home. Once in New Orleans, Craig prepared and negotiated all of the key agreements necessary for the team to play in New Orleans, including the Arena Lease, television and radio contracts, sponsorship agreements and other contracts within the Arena itself
- Craig has represented commercial borrowers in loan transactions in excess of $150 Million
- Craig has extensive merger and acquisition experience and has represented both buyers and sellers in transactions up to $250 Million
- Craig has represented clients in the hospitality industry in at least 30 transactions including purchases, sales and new developments of hotel properties throughout the southeastern United States
- Craig has represented numerous corporate executives in negotiating their Employment Agreements and benefits, as well as representing executives in negotiating their Severance Agreements
- Craig has provided general business representation to clients with annual revenues in excess of $100 Million and advised them in all aspects of their businesses
- Craig works closely with his litigation team when necessary to protect his clients’ rights
- Craig has extensive experience in debt workouts and has successfully represented clients in multimillion dollar workout transactions