Katherine S. Holliday

After more than 35 years of practicing family law, Katie Holliday now limits her practice to family law cases that either utilize a Collaborative Family Law process or cases that can be resolved through informal settlement negotiations or mediation. She is committed to helping her client and her client’s family avoid the financial, emotional and relationship costs of the traditional adversarial approach by utilizing a client-centered, client-controlled, cooperative approach to settling the issues arising from a family separation. Katie believes respectful communication, voluntary disclosure of all relevant information and prioritizing the children’s needs and best interests lead to settlement outcomes that minimize the negative impact of separation and divorce and maximize the client’s ability to successfully co-parent. More information about the collaborative process can be found at

Katie is originally from Charlotte and began her professional career locally as a high school guidance counselor. She graduated from Duke Law School in 1980, clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James B. McMillan, and then joined James, McElroy & Diehl in 1981.

In 1984, Katie left James, McElroy & Diehl to pursue advocacy for children and to raise her own three children. For 13 years, she represented children in Juvenile Court and in custody cases, and was the director of the Children’s Law Center in Charlotte for ten years before returning to the firm in 1997.

Katie has been associated with the National Association of Counsel for Children for 20 years, first as a board member, then as president, and later served as legal counsel to the organization. She has been active in the North Carolina Bar Association and helped found the Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section, serving as its first chairperson. She was a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar Foundation Board of Directors from 2007 until 2016, and was the Board’s President in 2015.

Academic Background

  • J.D., Order of the Coif, Duke University School of Law, 1980
  • B.A., Wake Forest University, 1970
  • M.Ed. in Counseling, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1973

Bar & Court Admissions

  • North Carolina State Bar


  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • National Association of Counsel for Children

Professional Recognition

  • Best Lawyers® 2019 Charlotte Family Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Named to the The Best Lawyers in America© by Best Lawyers® in Family Law, 2009-2014 and 2018-2020
  • Named to the “North Carolina Super Lawyers” in Family Law, 2007-2018
  • Received the Council for Children’s Rights 2009 Dolly Award
  • Named 2009 Business North Carolina “Legal Elite”in Family Law
  • Co-founded the Mecklenburg County Collaborative Family Law Practice Group in 2001 and promotes the collaborative law process as an option in her family law practice

Related News