Leslie Smith is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Smith litigates a range of commercial matters at both the trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts. Her franchising and distribution practice provides clients with counseling and litigation services, from initial negotiations through resolution, including mediation, arbitration and trial. Ms. Smith has represented franchisors and distributors in a variety of commercial disputes involving trademarks, trade secrets, covenants not to compete and vicarious liability claims. She is the managing partner of the Miami office and a member of the Distribution & Franchise Practice.
Ms. Smith was named to BTI Consulting Group’s coveted Client Service All Star Team in 2017. This honor is bestowed upon individual attorneys who deliver outstanding client service according to corporate counsel interviewed at large organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue. Ms. Smith has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. Well-known for her in-depth knowledge of the issues, Ms. Smith has been recognized in the trade press, most recently by her peers as one of Franchise Times Legal Eagles 2013 – 2014, and the 2009 – 2013 and 2016 – 2017 editions of The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business also recognized her as one of the top franchise attorneys nationwide (2010 – 2020) and she was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2013. In addition, Ms. Smith was selected for inclusion in the 2014 – 2017 Florida Super Lawyers® lists, and the South Florida Legal Guide named her a Top Lawyer - Franchise in the 2015 - 2018 editions.
Ms. Smith earned her J.D., with honors (1988), from the University of Florida, an M.A. (1981) from the London School of Economics, and a B.A., cum laude (1979), from Southern Methodist University.
Admissions and Professional Memberships
She is admitted to practice in Florida, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Ms. Smith's memberships include the Forum on Franchising, American Bar Association, past Governing Committee member; International Franchise Association; Board of Governors Young Lawyers Division Executive Committee, past member; the Florida State Bar Association, Women Presidents' Organization member, and 100+ Women Who Care member. Ms. Smith is the past-president of the Dade County Bar Association.
Ms. Smith is the co-author of Annual Franchise and Distribution Law Developments 2004 published by the American Bar Association.