Brian R. Smith


Fax: 404.873.7003
171 17th Street NW
Suite 2100
Atlanta, Georgia 30363


Brian is a partner in the Commercial Real Estate practice and member of the Retail, Office, and Entertainment & Sports industry teams. He is the Pro Bono chair for the firm and a member of the Hiring Committee. He has a national real estate practice and is particularly well-known for his landlord and tenant negotiations of high-end restaurant deals. He works with nationally-recognized chefs, restaurateurs, and their respective landlords. He provides the type of practical, business-minded advice that is necessary for best-in-class restaurants to be successful in a competitive environment. Brian works with restaurant clients from letter of intent to opening night and beyond. On a broader level, Brian also counsels retail, office and warehouse developers and owners, as well as tenants in real estate and complicated leasing transactions. Brian helps clients produce and negotiate leases for complex mixed-use projects where he serves as a critical counselor on behalf of landlords and tenants. Brian is a frequent speaker at the ICSC Law Conference, the ICSC Southeast Conference, and to various other real estate organizations throughout the country.

Brian is highly active in civic, arts and philanthropic causes. He serves as member of the Board of Directors of The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers’ Foundation and is the founder and a past President of its Junior Board. He founded and co-chaired the Junior Board’s successful BBQ Battle and Beertasting event, which, through its eighth year has raised in excess of $250,000 for Atlanta Legal Aid and The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.


  • Representation of various clients in complex, high-end, restaurant negotiations, including such notable restaurants as: The Farm House (Nashville), Empire State South (Atlanta), West Egg Café (Atlanta), Abattoir (Atlanta), Ormsby’s (Atlanta), The Optimist (Atlanta), Etch (Nashville), Garrido’s (Austin), MF Sushi (Atlanta), Bartaco (Atlanta), Cooks & Soldiers (Atlanta), Negril Village (Atlanta), Smokebelly (Atlanta), Sweet Auburn BBQ (Atlanta), The Southern Gentleman (Atlanta), Gypsy Kitchen (Atlanta), Bakersfield (Nashville), Two Ten Jack (Chattanooga), Tupelo Honey Café (Chattanooga), Ichiban (Atlanta), Beetlecat (Inman Park), World of Beer (Atlanta), Newk’s Express Café (Atlanta), Sweet Hut Bakery (Atlanta), Momma Goldberg’s Deli (Atlanta), The Big Ketch (Atlanta), Fado Irish Pub (Atlanta), Bread & Butterfly (Atlanta), Amer (Atlanta), Barcelona VinoTeca (Atlanta), Brash Coffee (Chattanooga), Corner Bakery Café (Atlanta), Zoe’s Kitchen (Atlanta), Marcel (Atlanta), Hampton & Hudson (Atlanta), Revelator Coffee (Atlanta), Brash Coffee (Atlanta), Carolyn’s Gourmet Kitchen (Atlanta), Dtox Organic Juice and Junk (Atlanta), Stout Brothers (Atlanta), Cacao (Atlanta), Provenance (Raleigh), Sweet Auburn Seafood (Atlanta), Marco’s Pizza (Boca Raton), Freshii (Boca Raton), Herban Fix (Atlanta), Steadfast Coffee & Cocktails (Nashville), 42 & Lawrence (Raleigh), The Painted Duck (Atlanta), Rreal Tacos (Atlanta), Double Zero Napoletana (Atlanta), Skyline Park (Atlanta), Nine Mile Station (Atlanta), Tiff’s Treats (Atlanta), Bolay (West Palm Beach), Vitality Bowls (Atlanta), Fox Bros. BBQ (Atlanta), Wildleaf (Atlanta), Little Star Provisions (Atlanta), The Bold Monk (Atlanta), The Brass Tap (Ft. Lauderdale), Poke Perfect (Atlanta), Burgerim (Hallandale, FL), Dr. Limon (Hallandale, FL), Sr. Ceviche (Hallandale, FL), Doggi’s Arepa Bar (Hallandale, FL), Salata (Atlanta), Bar Mercado (Atlanta), Recess (Atlanta), The Deep End (Atlanta), Bar Americano (Atlanta), Donetto (Atlanta), Aziza (Atlanta), The Roebuck Room (Atlanta), JCT Kitchen and Bar (Atlanta), Taqueria Del Sol (Atlanta), Green Pheasant (Nashville), The Hampton Social (Nashville), Liberty Common (Nashville), Gezzo’s West Coast Burritos (Atlanta), Vin 25 (Atlanta), Big B’s Fish Joint (Atlanta) Lazy Betty (Atlanta), Aix (Atlanta), Tin Tin Wine Bar (Atlanta), Spice Market (Hallandale, FL), California BBQ (Miami, FL), Cold Beer (Atlanta), Shake Shack (Atlanta), Lyla Lila (Atlanta), McCray’s Tavern (Atlanta), The Iberian Pig (Atlanta), The Painted Pin (Atlanta), Aziza (Atlanta), Redbird (Atlanta), Monday Night Brewing (Birmingham), Bearded Iris Brewing (Nashville), and Storico Forza (Atlanta).

  • Representation of retail and office developers and landlords in the lease-up of complex mixed-use projects such as: Armour Yards (Atlanta), White Provision (Atlanta), Westside Urban Market (Atlanta), Stockyards Atlanta (Atlanta), Atlantic Station (Atlanta), Warehouse Row (Chattanooga), SkyHouse Portfolio (Nationally), 222 Second Avenue (Nashville), Inman Quarter (Atlanta), Complex (Atlanta), 75 Airline (Atlanta), Hanover Buckhead (Atlanta), Encore (Nashville), 999 Peachtree (Atlanta), Metropolis (Atlanta), Inland Trust (Atlanta), Sylvan Supply (Nashville), and Denham (Birmigham).

  • Representation of Jamestown Properties in retail and office leasing of complex mixed-use developments located throughout the Southeastern United States.

  • Representation of Landlord in the leasing of approximately 40,000 square feet of high-end, urban-infill retail space located in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. Successful lease-up led to 2015 sale of the property for $72.5 Million, making the multi-family and retail project one of the most successful of its kind in Atlanta.

  • Representation of institutional opportunistic real estate investment company in its acquisition, leasing, redevelopment and assemblage of multiple warehouse buildings into dynamic urban office district.

  • Representing PawnMart Inc., a Georgia-based chain of pawn shops with more than 30 locations, providing multiple services (real estate, corporate, litigation, zoning, intellectual property) with such representation including the leasing of retail stores and multiple asset purchase acquisitions of competing stores.  Representation led to successful sale of PawnMart, Inc., to national competitor Cash America in 2013.

  • Represented Stafford Properties in connection with the leasing of 80,000 square feet of rooftop space on a Publix-anchored shopping center in Gainesville, Fl., for the installation of nearly 1,500 solar panels. The 350 kw system is the fourth (4th) largest rooftop solar facility in the State of Florida and provides electricity to Gainesville Regional Utilities, which buys the power under its feed-in-tariff program.

  • Represented an institutional landlord, AIG Global Real Estate, in the leasing and property management of the Southeast’s largest mixed-used development comprising more than 500,000 square feet of retail space and multiple Class “A” office buildings.

  • Representing real estate developers in the purchase and sale of various retail shopping centers, outparcels and office buildings.

  • Representing two rapidly expanding “fast-casual” restaurant concepts, each with more than 150 locations.


  • Mercer University, Juris Doctor
  • The University of Texas, Bachelor of Arts - Government
  • The Westminster Schools, Class of 1999
  • State of Georgia 2006
    • Junior Board of The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Immediate past President
    • The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Board of Directors
    • International Council of Shopping Centers
    • American Bar Association
    • Peachtree Battle Alliance, Board of Directors
    • Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, Class of 2006 Scholarship Committee


  • “Rising Star,” Georgia Super Lawyers (Real Estate), 2012-20
  • Selected to Fulton County Daily Report’s “On The Rise” Class of 2015. “Honoring 40 Georgia lawyers under the age of 40 who are making a difference in the community.“
  • Georgia Trend Legal Elite, 2019

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