Ryan Smith is co-head of the Investment Team and a member of the Management Committee. For over 20 years, he has built a practice that represents clients on a variety of complex leveraged financings, senior and junior capital lending transactions, private equity and other equity investments, and corporate transactions.


Ryan’s primary focus is in finance and equity investment transactions. As counselor to lenders and passive and  controlling stakeholders, he represents a variety of finance companies, business development companies (BDC’s), small business investment companies (SBIC’s), hedge funds, private equity funds, and other private capital investors in connection with leveraged transactions, acquisition financings, going-private transactions, management buyouts, growth investments, and other finance and equity related transactions.

For over 20 years, Ryan has represented his clients in transactions that have ranged from $1 million to $1 billion. He also has extensive experience in the focus areas that impact these transactions from intercreditor relationships to each class of equity securities issued in the capitalization of an enterprise.

Core Practice Areas

  • Leveraged and acquisition finance
  • Senior and junior capital lending and investments
  • Equity investments (both passive and active)
  • Structured capital transactions
  • Loan workouts and restructurings



  • Chambers USA - North Carolina, Banking & Finance, 2022-2024
  • Legal 500 US, Commercial Lending, 2023-2024
  • Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law, 2014-2024
  • Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2023
  • Named a “Key Lawyer,” Commercial Lending, Legal 500 US, 2021
  • IFLR1000, 2019
  • Moore & Van Allen Management Committee

Active in community organizations and youth sports organizations, Ryan currently serves or has recently served in the following capacities: 

  • Past Board Member, Association for Corporate Growth, Inc., Carolinas Chapter
  • Past Board Member, Dilworth Child Development Center (former)
  • Past Member, Charlotte Chamber-City Committee
  • Volunteer youth coach, Myers Park Trinity Little League Challenge Program
  • Taught classes at Kenan Flagler Business School, UNC Chapel Hill entitled, “Mergers & Acquisitions,” 2019-2020




  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association


J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996; Order of the Barristers; Holderness Moot Court, Negotiations Team

B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993, with distinction; Phi Beta Kappa


  • North Carolina, 1996
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Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2023

Chambers USA - North Carolina, Banking & Finance, 2022-2024
“Ryan is very good. He has deep experience when it comes to lending side transactions.” - Chambers

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