Jim Smith is a founding partner of Smith Hurst, PLC. Prior to founding the firm, Jim practiced law for over sixteen years in the Mergers and Acquisitions practice group of the largest Arkansas based law firm. Since the mid-1990s, Jim has served as lead counsel on many of the largest and most notable business transactions and financings in the region and the State of Arkansas. During this time he has also worked closely with many start-up, emerging technology and high growth companies in advising them with respect to their legal and structural needs.
Jim obtained his Masters of Law in Taxation degree (LL.M.) from New York University School of Law and graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1994 where he was a member of the Arkansas Law Review. He is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (registered inactive) since 1994. Since 2007, Jim has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in its list of the best lawyers in the field of Mergers and Acquisitions law. He is also recognized in Best Lawyers in America' list of best lawyers in the fields of Capital Markets and Securities, Tax, and Trusts and Estates. He is also recognized in Chambers & Partners USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the fields of Securities and Corporate Law. Since 2009 he has been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers in the field of Mergers and Acquisitions.
Jim has substantial experience in a myriad of business matters including entity organizational and governance matters, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, securities and regulatory matters. He also devotes a meaningful amount of his practice in advising investors and companies regarding angel investments, private equity and venture capital investments, capital markets and the private placement of securities. He also routinely advises financial institutions regarding regulatory and lending matters and real estate developers and investors regarding the acquisition and development of commercial and residential real estate. He also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation which is responsible for managing and operating the Arkansas Research and Technology Park.
Jim has been recognized in the 40 Under Forty lists in both Arkansas Business and the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and in 2001 he was inducted into the Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction as its first outstanding young alumnus. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Northwest Arkansas Counsel and Accelerate Arkansas. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Champions for Kids. Jim has served as the co-chairman of the Arkansas Venture Capital Forum, the chairman of the Tax Section of the Arkansas Bar Association and the co-chairman of Arkansas’s Federal Tax Institute. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Venture Forum, the Board of Directors of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and as the President of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Tech University Foundation where he also chaired its Finance Committee. He is also a former chairman of the Fayetteville Community Foundation, a former President of the Arkansas Rice Depot and of the University of Arkansas Law Alumni Society and previously served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Museum Foundation, and the Northwest Arkansas Symphony. He is a member of the American Bar Association and a Sustaining Fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation.
For over a decade, Jim he has been an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law where he currently teaches the law of Mergers and Acquisitions and previously taught Securities Regulation and Corporate Practice Ethics.
Jim is the author of Campbell v. Commissioner: The Eighth Circuit Adds Uncertainty to the Tax Treatment Regarding the Receipt of a Profits-Only Partnership Interest in Exchange for Services, 61 Tax Notes 11, December 13, 1993 and the co-author of Debt Cancellation Contracts: A Forgotten Asset, 112 The Banking Law Journal 9, 918, October, 1995.