Jeff Smith is a partner in the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Houston office. 

Areas of Practice

Jeff concentrates his practice on complex commercial real estate transactions related to the acquisition, development, and disposition of industrial, multi-family, build-to-rent, office, retail, and hospitality properties. He represents a wide array of developers, private equity funds, net lease providers, investors, and large corporations in complex real estate transactions. His extensive real estate experience includes an emphasis on the representation of net lease providers, investors in office properties, landlords and tenants in office, industrial and retail leasing, acquisitions and dispositions of commercial properties, including industrial facilities, apartment complexes, and large ranches for commercial operations, and the representation of developers and equity investors in joint ventures.

He has also represented purchasers of distressed loan portfolios, receivers in commercial real estate matters and borrowers and lenders in secured commercial lending transactions ranging from construction to permanent financing workouts, foreclosures, troubled asset disposition, and note purchase and sale transactions.



  • Represented a national real estate and development firm in connection with its equity investments in multi-family and hospitality developments, including the development of a $1 billion+ resort development.
  • Represented net lease provider in transactions across over 30 states across multiple asset classes, including manufacturing facilities, funeral homes, veterinary clinics, and retail locations representing $100,000,000’s of investments.
  • Represented developer of master planned communities in multiple joint ventures for the acquisition, development, and financing of over 1,000 build-to-rent units.
  • Represented real estate fund in the acquisition of a $150,000,000 build-to-rent portfolio.
  • Represented national office developer in the sale of two office towers in Houston, Texas.
  • Represented large, international private equity firms in their leasing matters throughout the United States and internationally.
  • Represented lenders in connection with the purchase and sale of distressed assets with a focus on loan portfolio purchases and REO properties acquired through foreclosure.
  • Counseled a property management company as receiver of commercial properties, including sale of 550,000-square foot mixed-use development.
  • Represented a real estate developer in the acquisition, development, leasing, and disposition of industrial properties.
  • Represented a theme park operator in connection with the lease for its headquarters relocation.
  • Represented a wastewater treatment and disposal company in connection with the acquisition of ranches comprising 122,000 acres.
  • Represented an oil and gas exploration company in the acquisition of an office building.
  • Counseled a national retailer in the negotiation of anchor tenant leases and related transactions throughout the United States.
  • Represented a real estate developer in the leasing of a 625,000-square foot retail shopping center.



  • Real Estate Law, Best Lawyers, 2022-2024
  • Banking and Finance Law, Best Lawyers, 2015-2024
  • “Key Lawyer,” Real Estate, The Legal 500 US, 2023-2024
  • Real Estate, Texas Super Layers, 2024



  • “The Prospects for Continued Protection for Professionals Under the NLRA: Reaction to the Kentucky River Decision and the Expanding Notion of the Supervisor,” University of Illinois Law Review, Volume 2003, Number 2

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, “Receiverships 2023,” Presentation on receivership and commercial loan workouts made to the Houston Real Estate Council, November 2023
  • Presenter, “Real Estate Law,” Presentation to Corporate Counsel Externship Program, SMU Dedman School of Law, October 2021
  • Presenter, “Emerging Trends in the Single-Family Sector,” Presentation on trends and unique issues that arise in the single-family build-to-rent and iBuyer spaces made to the Houston Real Estate Lawyers’ Council, June 2021
  • Presenter, “U.S. Real Estate,” Presentation providing a primer on basic principles in United States real estate transactions presented to Chinese companies, October 2017



Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

Board Member, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS)

Chair-Elect and Board Member, The Lighthouse of Houston

Member, State Bar of Texas

Member, Houston Bar Association

Member, University of Notre Dame Alumni Association - Houston


J.D., University of Illinois, 2003, summa cum laude, Symposium Editor of the University of Illinois Law Review, Order of the Coif, honored with a Rickert Award

B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1997, magna cum laude, Economics; Computer Applications; and Governmental Studies and International Relations


  • Texas
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