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Gary Smith

For more than 18 years, Gary has worked with privately-owned businesses and their owners. Gary assists domestic and international businesses with succession planning, organizational, structural, tax, securities, and general business issues. His clients range from businesses in their initial start-up phases to those with business operations globally. Gary also dedicates a substantial amount of time assisting non-profit organizations with their legal needs on a pro-bono basis.

A 1995 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Mississippi, Gary received his Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of North Carolina in 1998. He is also a 1994 graduate of the Bryce Harlow Institute on Business and Government Affairs at Georgetown University. While at UNC, Gary concentrated his study in the areas of General Business and Mergers and Acquisitions, and was recognized by the faculty for outstanding achievement in Mergers and Acquisitions.

Representative Transactions

  • Restructure and transition of fourth generation $150 million+ revenue family business with multiple business subsidiaries to second generation of outside management and fifth generation of family owners
  • Transition of ownership of retail business products company from founders to key employees and structure of ultimate exit of founders from business
  • Transition of $100 million revenue manufacturing and distribution business from second to third generation of owners and first generation of professional management
  • Sale of third party administrator to private equity group
  • Sale of utility/data subcontractor to management and private equity group
  • Purchase of distressed manufacturing operations in North and South Carolina
  • Sale of U.S. subsidiary of Canadian parent engaged in agricultural business to private strategic purchaser
  • Purchase of U.S. subsidiary of German company engaged in manufacturing
  • Negotiation of licensing and transfer of technology from French inventor to U.S. based company
  • Negotiation and creation of U.S. based affiliate of Netherlands based company
  • Organization and restructure of U.S. and Canadian operations of U.S. based manufacturing and distribution company
  • Sell side merger representation of business services company, manufacturing company, packaging company, insurance agency, alloy manufacturer, event planning and consulting company and distribution company
  • Corporate restructuring and tax planning for $600 million revenue company in the Southeastern United States
  • Buy side merger representation for buyers in acquisitions and growth throughout Southeastern United States
  • Strategic and tactical planning for organic and strategic growth of technology company
  • Restructure and bank “work outs” for businesses and commercial ventures
  • Creation and operation of energy purchasing cooperative
  • Multinational reorganization for $1 Billion+ revenue company


  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
    Juris Doctor with Honors (1998)

    • Order of the Barristers
    • Faculty Award in Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Holderness Moot Court
    • Jessup International Law Moot Court Team
    • Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition
      • One of two members of International Championship Team
  • Bryce Harlow Institute on Business and Government Affairs (1994)
    • Fund for American Studies at Georgetown University
    • Intern with Proctor & Gamble National Government Relations Office
  • University of Mississippi
    Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude (1995)

    • Honors College
    • Golden Key National Honor Society
    • Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Local and State President
    • Phi Beta Lambda Business Society – Local President
    • Honors College Court
    • Chancellor’s Leadership Class
    • National Merit Scholarship Winner

Community Involvement

  • Assist to Organize and Gain Tax Exempt Status
  • Examples:
    • nPower Charlotte Region
    • Park Sharon Athletic Association
    • Rocky River High School PTSO
    • Charlotte Regional Technology Executives Council
  • Charlotte Regional Technology Executives Council
    • Board of Directors
  • Wishart Norris Charitable Foundation
    • Founder, Organizer and Director of private foundation to coordinate employee and owner charitable giving in the regions surrounding firm offices as well as build endowment to support future giving
  • Boy Scouts of America – Pack and Troop 413
    • Den Leader (5 years)
    • Assistant Scoutmaster (3 years)
  • Trail Life – Troop NC0413
    • Trail Guide – Navigators and Adventurers (3 years)
  • Charlotte Engineering Early College Business Advisory Council
  • Town of Matthews Board of Adjustment

Presentations and Publications

  • “Why the Entity You Choose for Your Business Matters”, Charlotte Area Consultants
  • “What is Crowdfunding for the Real Estate Professional”, Charlotte CCIM Chapter
  • “What To Do When Organic Is Not For You”, comparison of strategic and organic business growth strategies, Charlotte Minority Economic Development Initiative
  • “The Business Owner’s Pathway™ to Maximizing and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth”, Level 7 Un-Networking™ for the Business Owner
  • “Bob Businessman’s Bad Day: Survival Training for Business Owners”, Wake Forest Family Business Center
  • “The Business Owner’s Pathway™ to Maximizing and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth”, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
  • “The Business Owner’s Pathway™ to Maximizing and Preserving Your Business and Personal Wealth, A Four Part Series”, Elon University Love School of Business
  • “The Importance of Exit Planning for Maximizing the Value of a Business and the Business Owner’s Flexibility as to Exit Strategy Chosen”, Wachovia Bank
  • “How to Move Offshore Without Drowning: A Presentation Outline for Those Heading Out to Sea, A Review of Offshore Business Strategies”, Association of Corporate Counsel
  • “Creating and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth”, Regions Bank
  • “You’ve Got Mail! A Review of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Other Collection Issues”, Association of Corporate Counsel
  • LegalBiz News Briefs, monthly articles in Greater Charlotte Biz magazine
  • “Annual Ethics Update”, Metrolina Paralegals Association
  • “Succession and Exit Planning Breakout Session for Business Owners”, The Entrepreneurship Institute
  • “Commercial Real Estate: Did You Know That “Planning” and “Real Estate” CAN Be Used In The Same Sentence? Structural and Tax Considerations for Real Estate Entities”, with Garth Dunklin and Andrew McCullough, WNHP CPA Seminar
  • “How Do You Retire When You’re the Boss? Planning Your Exit From a Closely Held Business”, with Robert Norris, Breakfast Club of America
  • “Strategic Thinking – Working on the Business, Not In It”, Business Success Institute – Matthews
  • “Shareholders’ Agreements”, WNHP Client Seminar
  • “Succession Strategies: Planning Your Exit from a Closely Held Business”, Carolina Construction Alliance
  • “You Stuck Your What Where? Transferring Real Estate from “C” Corporations”, WNHP CPA Seminar


Gary W. Smith


(Direct Telephone & E-Fax)
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Practice Areas
Succession and Exit Planning
Mergers and Acquisitions
Business Organization and Restructure
General Business Issues and Contracts
Securities and Capital (private offerings)

Bar Admissions
North Carolina
South Carolina
United States District Court – Western District of North Carolina
United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court