Christopher Capel has extensive experience advising emerging and established companies, both privately and publicly held, in corporate, securities, and technology law matters. His practice emphasizes mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance (including public offerings and private placements of securities), intellectual property and technology licensing and protection, and public company reporting and compliance. Clients describe Chris as "a strategic thinker," who "brings a strong legal foundation to business situations" (Chambers USA). He also advises companies and their directors and officers on corporate governance matters and other general corporate and business law matters. These matters involve a variety of industries, including a focus on the pharmaceutical, biotech and other life sciences areas. Frequently, these matters involve international transactions.
Christopher also focuses on venture capital and private equity transactions, representing private equity firms, venture capital funds, and corporate investors, as well as venture capital-backed companies and start-ups. In addition, he regularly assists companies and investors with strategic alliances and collaborations, joint ventures, and other partnering arrangements.
Prior to Smith Anderson, Christopher practiced in New York City with a global law firm. He is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and New York. Before entering law practice, he was a corporate loan officer with Wachovia Bank. Christopher received his law degree from the University of North Carolina, where he graduated with honors and was on the Law Review.
Professional & Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- New York Bar Association
- North Carolina Bar Association
- Past Chair, Business Law Section
- Past Chair, Business Organizations Committee, Business Law Section
- Past Co-Chair, Legal Opinion Committee, Business Law Section
- Wake County, NC Bar Association
- North Carolina Biosciences Organization (NCBio), Board of Directors
- Director, Executive Committee
- Director, Audit Committee
- Licensing Executives Society, Research Triangle Chapter, Member
- North Carolina Arts in Action, Board of Directors
- Ruth Sheets Adult Day Care Center, Board of Directors
- Edenton Street United Methodist Church, Board of Trustees
- Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education, Past Director
- ArtSpace, Inc., a non-profit visual arts center, Past Director and Past Chairman of the Board of Directors
- Saint Mary's School, Board of Visitors, Past Member
Honors & Awards
- Best Lawyers®, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice; Corporate Law; Mergers & Acquisitions; Securities / Capital Markets; Securities Regulation; Venture Capital (2006-2022)
- Best Lawyers®, "Lawyer of the Year," Raleigh Securities Regulation (2020) and Securities/Capital Markets Law (2014, 2017, 2019)
- Business North Carolina Legal Elite, Business Law
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Corporate/M&A (2006-2021)
- North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2019)
- "Highly Regarded," IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, M&A (2018-2021)
- Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent Rated; Top Rated in Securities Law
- National Eagle Scout Association
- Represented a Nasdaq-listed bank holding company in a public offering of subordinated notes for aggregate proceeds of $350 million.
- Represented a Nasdaq-listed bank holding company in a public offering of depositary shares representing interests in preferred stock for aggregate proceeds of $345 million.
- Advised a publicly traded, global tobacco company on its $50 billion merger with another major publicly traded tobacco company.
- Advised a multinational Fortune 500 provider of product development and integrated healthcare services in its merger with a NYSE-listed global information and technology services company, creating a leading information and tech-enabled healthcare service provider. The equity market capitalization of the joined companies was more than $17.6 billion at closing.
- Joint venture between our client, the world's largest public company provider of biopharmaceutical development services and commercial outsourcing services, and the world's leading public company provider of diagnostic information services, to form a global clinical trials laboratory services business with annual revenues of approximately $575 million.
- Merger of our client, a publicly-traded developer of diagnostic tests, with one of the largest clinical laboratory companies in the U.S.
- Private placement offering of securities by our client, a clinical-stage biotech company, to individual and institutional investors.
- In-license of university-developed intellectual property by our client, a newly formed medical device company.
- Formation and funding of specialty pharmaceutical company by our clients, a group of venture capital investors, and related in-license of pharmaceutical product rights from a global pharmaceutical company.
- Collaboration/strategic alliance between our client, a global provider of biopharmaceutical development services and commercial outsourcing services, and a global, Japan-based pharmaceutical company for the development of pharmaceutical products on a risk-sharing basis.
- Divestment by our client, a global pharmaceutical, vaccines and consumer health company, of pharmaceutical product rights to a specialty pharmaceutical company.
- License by our client, a publicly-traded specialty pharmaceutical company, from another specialty pharmaceutical company of pharmaceutical intellectual property rights.
- Venture capital financing transaction involving our client, an emerging technology company.
- License and acquisition by our client, a global specialty pharmaceutical company, of pharmaceutical intellectual property from a global pharmaceutical company and related sub-licenses from other global pharmaceutical companies.
- Supply and manufacturing contracts involving our client, a publicly-traded specialty pharmaceutical company, and out-sourced contract manufacturers for bulk product and finished product.
News & Publications
- Hitting a New Milestone - 100 Members of Smith Anderson’s Legal Team Recognized by Best Lawyers® and Best Lawyers: Ones to WatchBest Lawyers, 08.19.2021
- IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms Ranks Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Five Firm LeadersIFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, 06.07.2021
- Smith Anderson Shines in 2021 Chambers USA with Most Band 1 Practice Rankings of Any NC-Based Law FirmChambers USA, 05.21.2021
- Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Five Lawyers Ranked by IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law FirmsIFLR: 1000 The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, 10.01.2020
- 2021 Best Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Recognize Largest Group of Smith Anderson Lawyers in Firm’s HistoryThe 2021 Best Lawyers®, 08.20.2020
- Chambers USA, 04.23.2020
- Smith Anderson Leads “Best Lawyers®” Rankings with 71 Recognized Lawyers and 11 “Lawyers of the Year” - Most of Any Raleigh Law FirmThe Best Lawyers in America©, 08.20.2019
- IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms Ranks Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Four Lawyers06.10.2019
- Chambers USA, 04.29.2019
- North Carolina Super Lawyers Recognizes Forty Smith Anderson Lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in 2019Super Lawyers, 01.24.2019
- Smith Anderson Named a Tier 1 M&A Firm in IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms08.30.2018
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2018
- Chambers USA, 05.03.2018
- Smith Anderson Strengthens its National Technology Transactions Practice with the Addition of Darrell Fruth05.02.2018
- 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers Recognizes Forty-three Smith Anderson Lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising StarsSuper Lawyers, 01.25.2018
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2017
- Chambers USA, 05.30.2017
- Super Lawyers, 01.20.2017
- Smith Anderson Assists in Advising British American Tobacco in Merger Agreement with Reynolds American01.17.2017
- 2017 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Recognizes 62 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.15.2016
- Chambers USA, 06.01.2016
- 2016 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Lists 60 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.17.2015
- Smith Anderson Represents General Parts International in $2.04 Billion Merger with Advance Auto Parts03.18.2014
- Smith Anderson Announces 49 of its Firm Lawyers are Named a “Best Lawyer” by The Best Lawyers in America® 201308.29.2012
- Chambers USA 2012 Distinguishes Twelve Smith Anderson Partners Among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business06.07.2012
- Jackson Moore and David Hayden Speak at the North Carolina Bar Association’s 2012 Business Law Institute on Contracting with the Federal Government02.20.2012
- Chambers USA 2011 Recognizes Eleven Smith Anderson Partners Among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business06.15.2011
- Smith Anderson Sponsors Biotech/Life Science 2011 Conference - Sponsorship Complements Partners’ Board Service and Life Sciences Practice02.18.2011
- Smith Anderson Sponsors Biotech 2010 Conference - Sponsorship Complements Partners’ Board Service and Life Sciences Practice02.05.2010
- Christopher Capel, Lacy Reaves and Gerald Roach, Smith Anderson Partners, Named 2010 “Lawyers of the Year” by Best Lawyers12.04.2009
- Deal Price is King in Appraisal Rights Actions in North Carolina Where Merger Process Bears “Objective Indicia of Fairness”05.19.2020
- Smith Anderson’s M&A and Finance Practices and Four Lawyers Ranked in IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms11.14.2019
- Tips for Using New Statutory Ratification Procedure to Cure Defects in Authorizations of Share Issuances and Other Corporate Actions08.05.2019Published by NCBA Business Law Section Blog
Bar & Court Admissions
- North Carolina
- New York
University of North Carolina, J.D., with honors, 1985
University of North Carolina, A.B., 1979
- Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Sam J. Ervin III, United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit