City Attorney Patrick W. Baker

picture of the government center

Patrick W Baker

Patrick W. Baker was appointed to serve as city attorney by the Charlotte City Council in March of 2019. In his role as city attorney, he is responsible for providing policy and legal advice as well as transactional and litigation services to the mayor, city council, city manager, city administration and all city boards and committees. This includes providing legal services in support of community safety initiatives, economic and neighborhood development, affordable housing and community building initiatives. The City Attorney’s Office is also responsible for providing in-house legal counsel to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Charlotte Area Transit System. To carry out these responsibilities, he manages a staff of 41 exceptionally experienced and well qualified employees, including 32 attorneys, nine paralegals and administrative support staff.

Baker has practiced law since 1993 and has worked exclusively in municipal law and government since 1997. As an assistant city attorney in Durham, N.C., he focused extensively on civil litigation. He defended police liability/Section 1983 claims as well as personal injury, contract and employment law claims. In 2004, Baker was appointed by the Durham City Council to serve as city manager. In that role he was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a city administration of more than 2500 employees. During his time as city manager, he played an important role in positioning Durham as a leading community for economic development and quality of life. This included the successful pursuit and implementation of public infrastructure municipal bond initiatives in excess of $150 million, completion of a major downtown streetscape project, multiple affordable housing initiatives, the construction and management of the nationally acclaimed Durham Performing Arts Center and the renovation of the legendary Durham Athletic Park, highlighted in the 1987 feature film "Bull Durham." In 2008, Baker returned to his legal roots when the Durham City Council appointed him to serve as city attorney. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of legal and policy advice as well as transactional and litigation services to the Durham City Council and city administration with a staff of eight attorneys and three support staff. In 2019, he concluded his 21 plus years of public service in Durham with his acceptance of appointment as Charlotte’s city attorney. Baker is unique among local government attorneys nationwide in holding the distinct honor of serving as both city manager and city attorney.

Baker is well known and respected in North Carolina and national municipal law circles. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, Board of Directors, and president of the North Carolina Association of Municipal Attorneys and Board of Directors, and president of the International Municipal Lawyers Association. Baker is a North Carolina native born at U.S. Marines  Base Camp Lejeune and raised in U.S. Marines Air Station Cherry Point and Havelock in eastern North Carolina. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest University School of Law. He and his wife Rae Ann are the proud parents of their son Griffin and daughter Chloe.