David Henson

David S. Henson

Owner and partner David Henson joined Henson Fuerst in 1998 to represent those individuals, businesses, and churches confronted with the possibility of losing their land to the government.

David dedicates his time in the practice areas of eminent domain/land condemnation. He has represented, negotiated and litigated hundreds of cases across the state against the North Carolina Department of Transportation, local municipalities, utility companies, school boards, transit authorities and other condemnors. Current clients regularly include commercial property owners, national franchise chain owners or operators, commercial and residential developers, national and local churches, land investors and speculators, and agricultural and farm operators.

From 2014-2021, David and Anne Duvoisin managed the firm’s Map Act litigation which challenged the constitutionality of Transportation Corridor Official Map filings by the NC Department of Transportation. Those maps filed by the DOT under the 1989 Map Act allowed the state to designate future roadway corridors where they intended to build roads at some indeterminate time in the future. During that unspecified time period, property owners were effectively prevented from obtaining building permits, renovating homes or businesses, obtaining subdivision or development permits or otherwise improving their property. This lead to wide swaths of properties within these corridors being unmarketable and frozen in time with no recourse by the property owners.

“Property ownership is one of the core fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution.  My passion is protecting those property rights from the broad and abusive powers of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, local municipalities, utility companies and other condemnors.  Far too often, I see those powerful agencies attempting to pressure and intimidate landowners into accepting something less than full and fair just compensation as guaranteed by our Constitution.  I have never represented the government’s interests, nor will I ever do so in the future.  For my entire professional career, it has been ingrained too deep in my heart that I will always be an advocate and voice for the property owner against an over-reaching and powerful government.”
– David Henson 

David successfully managed and represented more than one hundred property owners with Map Act cases involving the Hampstead Bypass (Pender and New Hanover Counties), the Greenville Bypass (Pitt County), the Shelby Bypass (Cleveland County) and the Southern Wake Expressway (I-540 around Raleigh-Wake County). With David’s work, property owners sought and successfully recovered damages for unconstitutional takings dating back to as early as 1996 (and the corresponding interest payments owed to those dates), property taxes, attorney’s fees, plus the direct condemnation damages for current takings by the Department.  These cases resulted in unprecedented damage valuations, calculations and resolutions for his clients in excess of $47 million.

David is past President of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice- which is North Carolina’s state trial lawyer association with more than 2,300 lawyers and legal professionals dedicated to protecting people’s rights through community, education, and advocacy. He was honored to be chosen by his peers from across the state to lead this organization which is the third largest trial lawyer association in the Country. During his tenure on the Board of NCAJ, he lead numerous committees, task forces, strategic planning initiatives and restructuring efforts.

Outside of work, David spends all of his free time with his wife Carma, also a partner with Henson Fuerst, and their two teenage sons, Caleb and Parker. The four of them spend as much time as possible on a boat or the beach near Cape Lookout and Shackleford Island exploring, fishing or relaxing.


  • B.A.—University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • J.D.—University of North Carolina School of Law


  • North Carolina State Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina

Professional Associations:

  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
    • President, 2020-2021
    • Immediate Past President, 2021-2022
    • President-Elect, 2019-2020
    • Fundraising and Development Officer, 2018-2019
    • Board of Governors and Executive Committee
    • Vice President of Legal Affairs, 2017-2018
    • Vice President of Communications, 2016-2017
    • Vice President of Education, 2015-2016
    • Legal Ethics Affairs Committee
    • Eminent Domain Section
  • American Association for Justice
  • North Carolina Bar Association

National Recognitions:

  • Selected to Super Lawyers, 2019-2022
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • AVVO Rating 10/10
  • Best Lawyers™ in America, 2012 & 2017
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law, 2013
  • National Trial Lawyers—Top 40 Under 40
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
    • Ebbie Award, 2019
    • Order of Service, 2008-2021
  • American Association for Justice
    • Heavy Lifting Award, 2011

Civic Involvement:

  • EMS Legal Education Presenter, 2014-Present
    • NCAEMSA, UNC Medical School, Wake, Orange, Johnston, Franklin, Nash, Caswell, Watauga, Ashe, Mitchell, Yancey, Madison, Buncombe, Mission Air Medical, Regional Transport Services, NCFPNA
  • InterAct of Wake County
    • Board Member, 2013-2022
    • Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, 2016-2018
  • Down East Partnership for Children
    • Chairman, 2010-2012
    • Vice-Chairman, 2006-2009
    • Board of Directors, 2004-2012
  • Harrison Family YMCA
    • Chairman, 2012
    • Vice-Chairman, 2010-2011
    • Board of Directors, 2008-2012
  • Reach Out Rocky Mount
    • Board of Directors – 2009-2011