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Poyner Spruill partner Bob Hagemann has been a busy man over the last few years—and he has the portfolio to prove it. In a published interview with Chatham News + Record, Hagemann discussed his role in bringing the two largest economic development projects to the state in the last year: VinFast, which was announced in March, and Wolfspeed, in September.

For the past two years, Hagemann has served as the Chatham County Attorney. In this role, he is helping to change the landscape of the county by negotiating deals with large companies interested in relocating to the area.

The interview included commentary from County Manager Dan LaMontagne, Chair of the Chatham County Commissioners Karen Howard, and Economic Development Director Michael Smith. Each one speaks to the integral role Hagemann has played in the success of closing several important deals for the county. LaMontagne complemented Hagemann’s use of a land incentive package for both projects which protects the County’s taxpayers. Howard explained why Hagemann was the right person to represent the county and Smith observed that Hagemann prioritizes Chatham County’s interests.

The article, Meet Chatham’s secret weapon — the attorney behind VinFast, Wolfspeed deals, was published on November 16th. An excerpt is below.

Besides his legal savvy and expertise, Hagemann also brings a unique attitude to the role of county attorney. LaMontagne said they share the philosophy of starting with “yes.”

“A lot of attorneys will just say, ‘Nope, can’t do that,’” LaMontagne said. “But Bob starts with ‘yes’ and never shuts anybody down; he thinks through solutions and solves problems.”

The county attorney’s solutions-oriented mindset is why he’s been behind the scenes in the three largest economic development projects in state history — Fujifilm in Holly Springs ($2 billion), in addition to VinFast ($4 billion) and Wolfspeed ($5 billion). The Bank of America Stadium project he assisted with in Charlotte provided a home for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

The nickname “Billion Dollar Bob” is well-earned, Smith said.

“I didn’t go out and find these things, they kind of came to me,” Hagemann said. “But having worked on those big projects, it’s pretty cool.”

Smith said he had no hesitations about Hagemann becoming a part of Chatham County’s team; his knowledge and experience with large-scale projects made him immediately trustworthy.

“With the success we’ve had, we’re on track to generate additional opportunities for the county,” Smith said. “We’re certainly grateful for that, but we also know we are prepared for those next projects because we have the advice and counsel of Bob.”

Hagemann has been with Poyner Spruill for three years. Before joining the firm, he served twenty-four years in the Charlotte City Attorney’s Office, the last seven as City Attorney. His practice is centered on government-related matters, with a special emphasis on representing local governments. Read the full article in Chatham News + Record.

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