AA Contact info

Tracy Benning
Phone: 919.821.6654
Fax: 919.821.6800

Practice Areas

Bar & Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • All North Carolina State Courts
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • New York


University of Pennsylvania, J.D., cum laude, 1992

University of Pennsylvania, B.A., summa cum laude, 1987

  • Phi Beta Kappa
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Christopher G. Smith

  • 150 Fayetteville Street, Suite 2300
    Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
  • Phone: 919.821.6745
  • Fax: 919.821.6800

Chris Smith is a trial and appellate lawyer who counsels clients on business strategy matters. He manages large multi-party and multi-jurisdiction litigation projects and mission-critical projects for clients. In Chambers USA, clients describe him as "bright, extremely cerebral yet superbly practical in his approach when managing a dispute" (Chambers USA 2014). He both prosecutes and defends claims, and advises clients on business risk management in a variety of areas.

This year he was named Chair of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Chamber Legal Institute. He serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Chamber and also as a member of the Board of Directors of M&F Bank (Mechanics and Farmers Bank). He is a Past-President of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys.  He works with business groups and government officials on initiatives to improve the quality and efficiency of the administration of justice in North Carolina and on policy and legislative matters affecting the business legal climate in the state.

Chris has tried numerous lawsuits to jury verdict. His recent projects include a multi-jurisdiction project for a telecommunications infrastructure client involving litigation in multiple administrative, state and federal courts around the country, as well as a commercial dispute involving multiple contracts and diverse venues for another client.

He has argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

He serves in various leadership positions at Smith Anderson.

Chris was an associate with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton in Washington, D.C. before joining Smith Anderson in 1995.

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • North Carolina Chamber Legal Institute
    • Chair of the Board (2015-Present)
  • M&F Bank (Mechanics and Farmers Bank)
    • Board of Directors (2015-Present)
  • North Carolina Chamber
    • Board of Directors (2014-Present)
  • National Defense Research Institute
    • Chair, Trade Secrets Group (2013-Present)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
    • Board of Directors (2006-Present)
    • Immediate Past-President (2013-Present)
    • President (2012-2013)
    • President-Elect (2011-2012)
    • Executive Vice President (2010-2011)
    • Treasurer (2009-2010)
    • Secretary (2007-2009)
    • Chairman, Commercial Litigation Section (2005-2007)
  • Pro Bono General Counsel, The Lerner Jewish Community Day School (2002-Present)
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Law School Liaison Committee (2008-2013)
  • Tenth Judicial District Fee Dispute Committee (2007-2013)
  • Association for Corporate Growth/Research Triangle Park Chapter
    • Board of Directors (2001-2006)
    • Vice-President (2003-2006)
  • American Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly "Leader in Law" (recognizing "the most influential individuals within our state's legal community") (2014)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI) nationwide award for Exceptional Performance (recognizing work for "having contributed to the improvement of the administration of justice in the public interest") (2013)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI) State Association Diversity Award (awarded to the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys during Chris' Presidency for demonstrating a "significant commitment to diversity") (2012)
  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina State Litigation Star (2010-2015)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Environmental (2013-2017)
  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Litigation
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Litigation: General Commercial (2014-2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2007-2016)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyers (2013-2015)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Top 25 Raleigh Super Lawyers (2014)


  • Lead counsel and management of multi-venue contract dispute involving lawsuit, arbitration and public utility commission proceedings arising out of contracts addressing client's business in 27 states
  • Lead counsel for nationwide risk management project for telecommunications infrastructure company involving multiple parties and lawsuits in state and federal court and regulatory proceedings in various state public utilities commissions
  • Lead counsel in large trade secrets and unfair and deceptive trade practices claim for plaintiff corporation resulting in verdict at trial for plaintiff client
  • Lead counsel for defendant client in $50 million+ arbitration regarding earn-out provisions of an asset purchase and sale agreement resulting in favorable verdict for defendant client
  • Lead counsel in multi-million-dollar dispute involving claims against client to "pierce the corporate veil" resulting in favorable pre-trial rulings and settlement
  • Primary counsel in multi-million-dollar dispute involving claims of "software malpractice" in design and installation for client resulting in successful recovery for client on client's counterclaim
  • Lead counsel at trial in multi-million-dollar dispute involving claims of "software malpractice" on client's counterclaim resulting in successful settlement for client during trial
  • Risk management of pre-litigation disputes of a broad range of matters including complex contract disputes, pharmaceutical development and licensing agreements, non-compete and trade secrets issues, and environmental contamination matters
  • Management and primary counsel on $100 million+ pharmaceutical development dispute for defendant client resulting in partial summary judgment for client followed by a favorable settlement
  • Trial counsel in multi-million-dollar brain injury case where jury verdict was obtained on behalf of our plaintiff client
  • Lead counsel and management of complex environmental Superfund cost recovery action for client in an action involving more than 100 defendants



"Firms should hail changes in patent, case venue laws," Guest Column, Triangle Business Journal, August 8, 2014



  • Co-Presenter, The Untapped Power of Bylaws to Protect Your Company and Preparing a Well-Organized M&A Due Diligence Process to Sell Your Company or Buy Another, VACO CPE Series, Raleigh, N.C., June 16, 2015
  • Presenter, Outside Counsel: The Life Cycle of a Company's Trade Secrets, DRI's Intellectual Property Litigation Seminar, Chicago, Ill., May 7-8, 2015 
  • Co-Presenter,  Building Better Bylaws, Smith Anderson's Executive Roundtable Series: Session II, Raleigh, N.C., May 5, 2015
  • Moderator, You will be Hacked (If you Haven't Already)..., Joint event presented by The Research Triangle Park, Durham Chamber of Commerce and Smith Anderson, RTP, N.C., January 21, 2015
  • Presenter, It’s 2014: You Will Be Hacked, Vaco CPE Seminar, Paragon Commercial Bank, Raleigh, N.C., September 24, 2014
  • Presenter, It's 2014: You Will be Hacked. Positioning Yourself Now, Responding When it Happens, Smith Anderson's Executive Roundtable Series: Session III, Research Triangle Park, N.C., June 25, 2014
  • Moderator, Protecting Proprietary Business Assets: Strategies to Safeguard Your Company, seminar at Vaco, Raleigh, N.C., October 2013
  • Moderator, Protecting Proprietary Business Assets: Strategies to Safeguard Your Company, seminar at The Umstead, Cary, N.C., June 2013