Jay Smith provides general counsel to small and mid-sized businesses in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. He assists his clients by reviewing and drafting contracts, handling contract disputes, navigating licensing and regulation issues, answering employment questions, and counseling on a variety of other matters that frequently arise in business ownership. Jay has experience in all phases of business formation and organization, expansion and relocation, land use and zoning. He handles due diligence and the sale of business and real properties.
Jay’s background in litigation allows him to provide clients with unique insight that helps keep issues from becoming problems. He represents business owners and individuals in prosecuting and defending civil claims related to closely held businesses. These claims often consist of business torts, contract disputes, shareholder disputes, employment claims, estate litigation, and other business-related matters.
Many of Jay’s clients have enjoyed the benefits of federal, state, and local development incentives. Through his professional and civic efforts, he has developed relationships within city and state governments that give him a unique understanding of local laws and regulations. This experience allows him to effectively negotiate and manage issues that arise between businesses and government. An omg growing portion of Jay’s practice is in the food and beverage industry. He has extensive involvement with Alabama’s craft breweries and distilleries in all aspects of their formation, operation, growth, and sale. In fact, Jay has consulted industry guilds on policy and legislation affecting the alcohol industry. He represents several of the leading restaurants and bars in Birmingham’s dynamic culinary scene. Grocery stores, hotels, convenience stores, and all other types of alcohol licensees count on Jay for all phases of Alabama ABC involvement—like complex licensing applications, audits, violations, commission hearings, and appeals.
Bar and Community Involvement
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Alabama Bar Association
- American Bar Association, Litigation Section
- Leadership Birmingham – Class of 2018
- Advisory Board officer, Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association
- Design Review Board, Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association
- Board member, Southside Ball Association
Significant Professional Results
- Obtained a $500,000 jury verdict when a national franchisor interfered with business relationships that a client had spent years cultivating
- Procured a $300,000 settlement from a majority business owner after the majority owner misappropriated funds belonging to minority ownership
- Successfully defended a majority owner from a minority shareholder oppression and fraud claim
- Facilitated a $500,000 settlement in favor of three company executives who claimed that an employer fired them for discriminatory purposes
- Obtained settlements totaling over $300,000 for beneficiaries under a will after a conservator improperly exhausted all the decedent’s assets
- Successfully appealed violation issued by Alabama ABC that threatened client’s financial viability
- Guided business clients through zoning and permitting hurdles and negotiated with the City of Birmingham to achieve an amicable resolution