Jan 23, 2024

Smith Gambrell Russell Welcomes Christopher Smith to International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Group

Smith Gambrell Russell Welcomes Christopher Smith to International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Group

ATLANTA (January 23, 2024) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that Christopher Smith has joined the Firm as Counsel in the Atlanta office as part of the International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Group.

Mr. Smith has over a decade of experience representing businesses in their cross-border commercial and investment disputes. He joins SGR from King & Spalding LLP (K&S), where he practiced for nine years in Atlanta and Paris, France. Fluent in German, Mr. Smith has represented clients in international commercial and investment treaty disputes across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Smith routinely achieves favorable outcomes for his clients. For example, in 2022 an arbitration tribunal awarded Mr. Smith’s client approximately $100 million in a dispute administered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. The dispute arose out of a patent cross-license agreement, and the opposing party was represented by one of K&S’s top competitors in the international arbitration field. Over the past several years, Mr. Smith also helped clients obtain several arbitration awards totaling approximately €190 million in damages, plus over €20 million in legal fees and costs, as well as interest, in disputes against the Kingdom of Spain and the Italian Republic related to the renewable energy industry.

Mr. Smith’s practice spans a variety of industries, including the pharmaceutical, intellectual property, renewable energy, automotive, nuclear power, insurance, oil and gas, and mining sectors.

Since 2021, Mr. Smith has been a Regional Representative for North America of the International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitration & ADR Forum. Mr. Smith also has been a Vice President and Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Atlanta International Arbitration Society since 2022, and in January 2024 was elected Secretary of the organization. During that time, Mr. Smith also has served on the organization’s Board of Directors.

From 2016 to 2019, Mr. Smith coached the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team at the University of Georgia School of Law. He regularly speaks at international arbitration and cross-border disputes conferences and publishes on international arbitration matters.

Prior to his time at K&S, Mr. Smith practiced at Swiss law firm Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. in Zurich, Switzerland. During law school, he spent time with law firms in Cologne, Germany, including at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Mr. Smith graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, cum laude. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Furman University, with majors in political science and history, magna cum laude.

“I am very pleased to join Smith, Gambrell & Russell’s team of highly skilled professionals,” says Mr. Smith. “As one of the oldest law firms in the Atlanta market that has represented many of the largest companies in the U.S. Southeast as well as many middle-market businesses operating in the region, clients have held the firm’s brand in high regard for many decades.”

“The firm’s tremendous growth since 2021 has given it a much greater reach across the United States as well as abroad than it had several years ago,” says Mr. Smith. “In this context, it is important that the firm be able to advise its clients with respect to their international business and investment disputes, and that the firm be able to represent them when those disputes go to arbitration or mediation. SGR already has done this for many years, and I’m glad to see the firm is growing the practice organically, at the same time as the firm is expanding its geographic reach and depth of practice experience in related fields. I look forward to helping lead that effort.”

Following his move to SGR, Mr. Smith joins two former K&S colleagues, both of whom routinely represent clients in international construction arbitration disputes. Peter Crofton, a Partner who joined SGR in 2015, is now Section Head of the firm’s Construction Law Practice. “For many years, our firm has represented clients in many industries in their international arbitration disputes. With the firm’s recent rapid growth through combinations with law firms including Freeborn & Peters, as well as through growth of our traditional practices such as Construction, building out our International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Practice was a logical next step,” says Mr. Crofton.

More recently, Gregory Smith joined SGR from K&S in 2018 and worked alongside Mr. (Chris) Smith prior to joining SGR. Also a Partner in SGR’s Construction Law Practice with an international arbitration caseload of his own, since joining the firm Mr. (Greg) Smith has been a strong advocate for building out the firm’s international arbitration practice. “For over twenty years now, I have advised clients in the construction industry. Many times, those disputes are resolved in international arbitration. With our growing international arbitration caseload across various industries, bringing Chris onboard was a logical decision. Chris has spent virtually his entire career representing clients in the international arbitration space across three continents, and he has lived on two of them. He is highly dedicated to his work and is a very strong advocate. I look forward to working together with Chris again, and I believe SGR and its clients will see substantial growth in this area in the coming years.”

To learn more about the Firm’s International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Group, visit

About Smith Gambrell Russell
SGR is a full-service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The Firm’s nearly 400 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 50 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, real estate, insurance/reinsurance, construction, employment law, international, and employee benefits and executive compensation. Founded in 1893, SGR has 14 domestic and international offices, including Atlanta; Austin; Charlotte; Chicago; Jacksonville, FL; London; Los Angeles; Miami; Munich; New York; Southampton; Springfield, IL; Tampa, FL; and Washington, D.C.

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