Grasford W. Smith, a firm shareholder, concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, and transactional matters. Mr. Smith has represented a diverse clientele, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, a major league baseball team, a major online travel agency, a United States Congressman, and a variety of small and medium-sized businesses. Mr. Smith gained extensive experience at prestigious firms, such as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in its New York and Washington, D.C. offices, in disputed matters concerning corporate governance, government enforcement actions, non-competition and confidentiality agreements, trade secrets, real estate, construction defects, franchises, products liability, intellectual property, eminent domain, and disciplinary/admission matters before The Florida Bar. Mr. Smith was a summer associate at Goldman Sachs & Co. on Wall Street where he developed recommendations and drafted revisions for firm-wide policies and procedures and a judicial intern on the Bronx Supreme Court where he assisted in drafting published opinions on commercial and criminal cases. Mr. Smith is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad College of Law.
Mr. Smith holds an AV (Preeminent) rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating regarding legal ability and professional ethics. Mr. Smith’s other professional recognitions include: “Rising Stars” by the Daily Business Review, 2015; “Who’s Who in America” by Marquis, 2015; “Top 100 Lawyers” by the National Black Lawyers, 2015; “South Florida’s Most Powerful Black Professionals in Business” by Legacy Magazine, 2013; “Nation’s Best Advocates” on the “40 Lawyers Under 40” list by the National Bar Association, 2011; “Rising Star” by the Law and Politics Florida Super Lawyers Magazine for “Excellence in Practice,” 2011-16; “South Florida’s 40 under 40 Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” by Legacy Magazine, 2011; Member of the Year by the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association, 2011; and a “Rising Star in Law” by ICABA Media, 2009. Mr. Smith has also been recognized for his community involvement as a Nominee for the TrustBridge (Hospice) Blue Dove Awards, and as a Champion for Philanthropy by the Caribbean American Democratic Club of Palm Beach in 2014.
Mr. Smith is a Board Member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, Vice-Chair of the Minority Partners in Majority Law Firms Division of the National Bar Association, Vice President of the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar Association, Member of the Palm Beach County School District’s Sales Tax Oversight Committee, General Counsel of the Urban League of Palm Beach County, Inaugural Emerging Leaders Member of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Board Member of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Board Member of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County, Member of the 15th Circuit Grievance Committee 15E, and Board Member of the Anquan Boldin Foundation. Mr. Smith previously served as Parliamentarian of the National Bar Association, President of the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association in Palm Beach County, Chairperson of the Transaction Law Committee of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, Former First-Vice President of the Law Alumni of Color Association at NYU School of Law, Member of The Florida Bar President’s Commission on Review of the Florida Bar’s Discipline System, and Member of the Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee. Mr. Smith is a graduate of the inaugural Florida Bar Leadership Academy and is actively involved in the community and a frequent speaker at community and professional events. He is a member of the Sigma Pi Phi (Boule) Fraternity and a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Mr. Smith earned his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law where he was the Founding Executive Editor of the Journal of Law & Business, Dean’s Scholar for academic merit, Vanderbilt Medal recipient for outstanding contributions to the School of Law, and a recipient of the New York University President’s Service Award for Leadership. He was also a Constitutional Law Teaching Assistant for the renowned Professor Derrick Bell, Teaching Assistant for Lawyering, and member of the Juvenile Rights/Criminal Defense Clinic. A graduate of Florida State University’s College of Business, Mr. Smith earned his B.S., summa cum laude, (with a perfect GPA in his major, Management Information Systems) and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Mr. Smith served as President of the Management Information Systems Association and was also inducted into the Seminole Torchbearers for outstanding student leaders. Mr. Smith has also earned a Business Strategy Certificate from Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and is an Alumnus of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education program for Emerging Leaders