I serve my clients by paying exceptional attention to the details of their deals and contracts while retaining a big-picture understanding of their business objectives. Each party comes to the negotiation table with primary needs and priorities, and I make it my business to pinpoint these crucial issues and offer resolutions so that we can craft a document that both sides are happy to sign off on.
With a diverse practice, April Smith represents TIMOs, REITs, financial institutions, businesses, and individuals in matters involving timberland and commercial property acquisitions and sales; timberland and commercial financing transactions; mergers, acquisitions, and business sales; and banking and creditors' rights litigation. She also drafts, negotiates, and oversees workouts of complex financing transactions.
April has handled acquisitions and sales of timberlands from 20 acres to as much as 1.8 million acres and financings of credit facilities with timberland or commercial collateral ranging in size from $75,000 to over $100 million. She advocates for clients in litigation and arbitration regarding long-term timber lease conflicts and complex banking litigation in federal court involving disputes between participant lenders.
Additional representations include guiding financial institutions and businesses in creditor’s rights litigation and collection activities in both state and federal court and counseling clients involved in judicial and non-judicial foreclosures of hotels and commercial and residential properties.
Active in the community, April serves on the Board of Directors of Downtown Mobile Alliance, a membership organization that exists to support the redevelopment of Downtown Mobile through marketing, advocacy and the management of the Mobile Business Improvement District services. April is a graduate of Leadership Mobile, a program that identifies and develops young leaders from all sectors of the community who are committed to community-building and civic service. She is involved in the Wills for Heroes for the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program. April has been selected among the Rising Stars in Mid-South Super Lawyers® for several years in the areas of real estate, business/corporate, or business litigation.
“ One of the most important attributes of a transactional attorney is being a deal-maker, not a deal-breaker, and I strive to offer reasonable resolutions to clients during the negotiation process so we can move transactions to closing. ”
- University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 2005
- University of South Alabama, B.B.A., 2001
- Alabama Supreme Court
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Areas of Practice
- Best Lawyers® - Corporate Law, Timber Law
- Forest Resources Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Co-chair (2018-2019)
- Mid-South Rising Stars® (by Thomson Reuters) Business/Corporate, Real Estate, Business Litigation 2010, 2012-2017, 2019
- "Forty Under 40" Honoree - Mobile Bay Magazine 2016
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- Alabama State Bar Association
- Mobile Bar Association
- The Florida Bar
- American Bar Association
- Downtown Mobile Alliance, Development and Awards Committees
- Leadership Mobile, Class of 2015
- Mobile United
- Bayfest Jr. Executive Board
- South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program, Wills for Heroes
- McGill-Toolen Ladies of Legacy, Class of 1997 Coordinator
- Represented REIT in $500,000,000 acquisition of 172,400 acres across Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Texas, including negotiation of carbon pore space, long-term timber lease and other nuances related to these significant projects.
- Represented retailer client in sale-lease back of warehouse and real property in Alabama, including negotiating the PSA and closing documents and all related due diligence.
- Represented TIMOs and REITs with retail land sales and acquisitions in multiple states in the South, Southeast and Northwest ranging from $10,000 to $40,000,000.
- Representing a TIMO and other forestry clients in negotiating solar options, leases, and sales for large-scale power projects.
- Assisted REIT with the acquisition of 65,000 acres of timberlands in TX and GA.
- Assisted county with the acquisition of properties for conservation and a sports complex, including site selection, planning, diligence, negotiations and closing.
- Assisted municipality with the acquisition of Bayfront and inland properties for conservation and development.
- Analyzed surveys and specifications of natural gas pipelines and related fittings and appliances.
- Drafted and negotiated multiple pipeline easements/servitudes on behalf of multiple landowner clients adverse to a major gas company spanning several states. The easement/servitude agreements contained permanent easements for the pipeline(s) as well as temporary workspaces, temporary access easements and permanent access easements.
- Negotiated easements with a major utility company for electrical easements, both by use of the pipeline and above-ground transmission.
- Represented a client with regard to a condemnation action by a major power company located in the Southeast.
- Analyzed and negotiated title commitments for various access easements over several states, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas; drafted and negotiated access easement agreements for utilities, vehicular and pedestrian access.
- Preparation of power line easement agreements and sewage and water easements for a client across property in Arkansas.
- Negotiated a multitude of temporary access licenses on behalf of local municipality, local county and landowner clients.