Laurence M. Smith

Member of the Firm

Larry Smith is the chair of the firm's Corporate and Securities Group. Larry has a broad-based transactional practice that includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions on behalf of both funds and issuers of debt and equity instruments, and syndicated, middle-market, asset-based and secondary loan transactions for commercial lenders and institutional investors. Larry also advises Fortune 500 companies on corporate travel matters.

Larry has handled a substantial number of transactions in the automobile dealer industry, helping clients navigate the acquisition, financing and franchise issues that they encounter. Larry has become adept at striking the appropriate balance with car manufacturers with whom his clients are forging relationships that are interdependent but, at times, adversarial. The nature of the industry and varying fortunes of car dealers mandate a creative and flexible approach to each transaction, which have been hallmarks of Larry’s practice.

Combining his experience in M&A and commercial finance transactions, Larry represents lenders and investors in the purchase and sale of distressed debt, often as a means of acquiring the issuer. Understanding the vulnerabilities, points of leverage, timing and obstacles presented by each situation, Larry counsels clients in acquiring the assets of a failing company through a secured party sale under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code or a controlling equity stake in a target through the conversion of debt to equity. If a stop in bankruptcy is prudent or unavoidable, Larry works with members of our bankruptcy group to structure and conduct sales under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. Creativity and a multi-disciplinary approach have consistently enabled Larry to help clients achieve favorable results.

Larry earned his law degree at the University of Pennsylvania where he served as editor for the Journal of Comparative Business and Capital Market Law. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Yale University with magna cum laude honors and distinction in his major. After graduating from law school, Larry served as a law clerk to Judge Herman D. Michels, presiding judge of the Appellate Division, New Jersey Superior Court.


  • University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., 1986)
  • Yale University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1983)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey