Gary W. Smith

Gary W. Smith: Attorney with Bass, Dunklin, McCullough & Smith, PLLC AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


As a youth, Gary loved building things, taking things apart and putting things back together. How things worked, and worked well, fascinated him. He was never satisfied with how things were. How things should be was his focus. Beginning in high school through today, Gary’s focus has been on business: how it works, how it works well and how it should be. Gary’s focus and drive led him to be a founding Member of Bass Dunklin.

For more than 17 years, Gary has worked with privately-owned businesses and their owners. Gary assists domestic and international businesses with organizational, structural, tax, securities and general business issues. His clients range from businesses in their initial start-up phases to those with business operations globally. Gary also dedicates a substantial amount of time assisting non-profit organizations with their legal needs on a pro-bono basis.

A 1995 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Mississippi, Gary received his Juris Doctorate with Honors from the University of North Carolina in 1998. He is also a 1994 graduate of the Bryce Harlow Institute on Business and Government Affairs at Georgetown University. While at UNC, Gary concentrated his study in the areas of General Business and Mergers and Acquisitions, and was recognized by the faculty for outstanding achievement in Mergers and Acquisitions.

Representative Transactions
• Sale of third party administrator to private equity group
• Sale of utility/data subcontractor to management and private equity group
• Purchase of distressed manufacturing operations in North and South Carolina
• Sale of U.S. subsidiary of Canadian parent engaged in agricultural business to private strategic purchaser
• Purchase of U.S. subsidiary of German company engaged in manufacturing
• Negotiation of licensing and transfer of technology from French inventor to U.S. based company
• Negotiation and creation of U.S. based affiliate of Netherlands based company
• Organization and restructure of U.S. and Canadian operations of U.S. based manufacturing and distribution company
• Restructure and transition of fourth generation $150 million+ revenue family business with multiple business subsidiaries to second generation of outside management and fifth generation of family owners
• Transition of ownership of retail business products company from founders to key employees and structure of ultimate exit of founders from business
• Transition of $100 million revenue manufacturing and distribution business from second to third generation of owners and first generation of professional management
• Sell side merger representation of business services company, manufacturing company, packaging company, insurance agency, alloy manufacturer, event planning and consulting company and distribution company.
• Corporate restructuring and tax planning for $600 million revenue company in the Southeastern United States.
• Buy side merger representation for buyers in acquisitions and growth throughout Southeastern United States.
• Strategic and tactical planning for organic and strategic growth of technology company
• Restructure and bank “work outs” for businesses and commercial ventures
• Creation and operation of energy purchasing cooperative.
• Multinational reorganization for $1 Billion+ revenue company

Community Involvement
• Pro-Bono Assistance to Non-Profit Organizations
• Assist to Organize and Gain Tax Exempt Status
o Examples:
• nPower Charlotte Region
• Park Sharon Athletic Association
• Rocky River High School PTSO
• Charlotte Regional Technology Executives Council
• Boy Scouts of America – Pack and Troop 413
• Den Leader (5 years)
• Assistant Scoutmaster (3 years)

Presentations and Publications
• “What To Do When Organic Is Not For You”, comparison of strategic and organic business growth strategies, Charlotte Minority Economic Development Initiative (2013)
• “The Business Oner’s Pathway™ to Maximizing and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth”, Level 7 Un-Networking™ for the Business Owner (2012)
• “Bob Businessman’s Bad Day: Survival Training for Business Owners”, Wake Forest Family Business Center (2012)
• “The Business Owner’s Pathway™ to Maximizing and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth”, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (2010);
• “The Business Owner’s Pathway™ to Maximizing and Preserving Your Business and Personal Wealth, A Four Part Series”, Elon University Love School of Business (2010)
• “The Importance of Exit Planning for Maximizing the Value of a Business and the Business Owner’s Flexibility as to Exit Strategy Chosen”, Wachovia Bank (2009)
• “How to Move Offshore Without Drowning: A Presentation Outline for Those Heading Out to Sea, A Review of Offshore Business Strategies”, Association of Corporate Counsel (2009)
• “Creating and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth”, Regions Bank (2009)
• “You’ve Got Mail! A Review of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Other Collection Issues”, Association of Corporate Counsel (2009)
• LegalBiz News Briefs, monthly articles in Greater Charlotte Biz magazine (2009-2011)
• “Annual Ethics Update”, Metrolina Paralegals Association (2007 and 2008)
• “Succession and Exit Planning Breakout Session for Business Owners”, The Entrepreneurship Institute (2006)
• “Commercial Real Estate: Did You Know That “Planning” and “Real Estate” CAN Be Used In The Same Sentence? Structural and Tax Considerations for Real Estate Entities”, with Garth Dunklin and Andrew McCullough, WNHP CPA Seminar (2004)
• “How Do You Retire When You’re the Boss? Planning Your Exit From a Closely Held Business”, with Robert Norris, Breakfast Club of America (2004)
• “Strategic Thinking – Working on the Business, Not In It”, Business Success Institute – Matthews (2004)
• “Shareholders’ Agreements”, WNHP Client Seminar (2003)
• “Succession Strategies: Planning Your Exit from a Closely Held Business”, Carolina Construction Alliance (2003)
• “You Stuck Your What Where? Transferring Real Estate from “C” Corporations”, WNHP CPA Seminar (2002)
• “Go On, Take the Money and Run: Securities Risks that Accountants and other Financial Professionals Shouldn’t Take”, WNHP CPA Seminar (2001)
• “Conversions and Cross Entity Mergers: Tax and Legal Issues”, WNHP CPA Seminar (2000)

Areas of Practice (11)

  • Business Formation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Partnership Taxation
  • Business Taxation
  • Corporate Counsel Services
  • Exit Planning for Business Owners
  • Estate Planning for Business Owners
  • Asset Protection for Business Owners
  • Franchises and Franchising
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Finance

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
704-727-2003  Phone
704-274-1664  Phone
University Attended:
University of Mississippi, Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude, 1995
Law School Attended:
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, J.D., 1998
Year of First Admission:
U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina; U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; 2012, South Carolina; 1998, North Carolina; U.S. Supreme Court
American Bar Association; North Carolina Bar Association; Mecklenburg County Bar Association; American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Reported Cases:
•Mergers and Acquisitions (buy side and sell side for strategic and private equity transactions)
•Tax (focus on partnership and corporate income tax)
•Business Organization and Restructure
•General Business Issues and Contracts
•Securities and Capital (private offerings)
Represented fourth generation $150 million revenue family business with multiple business subsidiaries in transition to second generation of outside management and fifth generation of family owners; Assisted founders of retail business products company in transition to key employees and ultimate exit from business; Represented founders of industrial services business in transition to second generation of family owners; Represented third generation family owners of $100 million manufacturing and distribution business in transition from second generation of owners; Developed strategy to enable retirement of current retail business owners and entry of employees as new owners; Represented sellers of business services company, manufacturing company, packaging company, insurance agency, alloy manufacturer, event planning and consulting company and distribution company; Assisted in corporate restructuring and tax planning for $600 million revenue company in the Southeastern United States; Represented buyer with $35 million revenue in acquisitions and growth throughout Southeastern United States; Represented technology company in strategic and tactical planning for organic growth and acquisition growth; Assisted with overall financial restructuring of commercial services company; Assisted in financial work out strategy for real estate developer; Created tax and entity structure in acquisition, development and financing of mixed use real estate development; Assisted in creation and operation of energy purchasing cooperative; Represented business owners in asset preservation strategies; Represented $1 billion revenue company in multinational reorganization; Represented founders of business in organization of business, obtaining broker-dealer securities licenses and initial financing; Assisted in formation of non-profit organization and obtaining 501(c)(3) status; Founded and organized private foundation.
Hobbies & interests:
Den Leader and Committee Member, Cub Scout Pack 413 (since 2006); Founder and Former Director and Officer of the Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Pro bono work with non-profit organizations; Director, Charlotte Regional Technology Executives Council

Peer Reviews

Charlotte, North Carolina

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