MAURA SMITH is a partner at the Law Offices of Edward Nusbaum, a family law practice based in Westport, Conn. that represents clients in sophisticated, high-asset and complex family law matters related to divorce, alimony, child support, property division and child custody.
Smith is involved with the full spectrum of client representation, trials, drafting and prosecution of pre- and post-judgment motions, conducting and managing discovery and depositions, negotiation and drafting of separation agreements, and other agreements submitted to the court.
Smith uses her extensive knowledge of corporate law and executive compensation, as well as her graduate-level financial training, to achieve outstanding results for clients.
Smith is admitted to the bars of Connecticut, New York, Tennessee, Florida, and the Supreme Court of the United States. She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a member of the American Academy of Financial Litigators, New York Chapter. She belongs to various state and local bar associations, including the Connecticut Bar Association, and its Family Law Section, the New York Bar Association, and its Family Law Section, and the American Bar Association.
Prior to joining the firm, Smith founded her own law firm in 2016 after a 35-year career in private practice and as general counsel of several large public companies. Smith’s law firm, with offices in New York City and New Canaan, Conn., continues to focus on corporate, commercial and arbitration matters. Her firm acted as national claims and settlement counsel for a national retailer and advised several public companies on compliance and governance matters. Smith also represents individuals in business formation, succession planning and transactional matters, and continues to serve as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association on its national roster of commercial arbitrators.
Early in her career, Smith was a partner in the law firm of Baker McKenzie, one of the largest international firms in the world. While in private practice, Smith represented individuals in family matters, as well as banks and small businesses. Smith left private practice to become general counsel of GE Plastics. She was appointed a GE officer in 1993, then one of a handful of women officers. She left GE in 1998 to become senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Owens Corning.
In addition to her legal responsibilities, Smith served as Owens Corning’s chief restructuring officer and was elected to its board of directors. She achieved national recognition for her innovative efforts to resolve asbestos litigation, testifying before Congress to urge the enactment of legislation that would permit companies to pay injured workers in privately negotiated settlement programs like the national program she designed and implemented for Owens Corning.
In 2003, Smith returned to Connecticut, joining International Paper as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Smith relocated to Memphis, Tenn. when the Stamford, Conn.-based company moved its worldwide headquarters to Memphis in 2005, and continued to oversee a 100-person global legal department, sponsor and participate in pro bono initiatives in the community, and in 2009 was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve as a Commissioner on its Access to Justice Commission.
Smith returned to Connecticut in 2011 to become PepsiCo’s executive vice-president, government relations, general counsel and corporate secretary. In 2013 she relocated to Brussels, Belgium to become the executive vice-president, general counsel and general secretary of Delhaize Group, now Ahold Delhaize, a global food retailer.
As general counsel, Smith led large legal organizations and advised boards and CEOs on a wide range of corporate transactions and governance matters. She also represented her clients in significant litigation matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals courts and various district and state courts throughout the country, including nationwide product liability class action lawsuits, personal injury lawsuits, antitrust and trade secret theft cases, employment discrimination, environmental and other regulatory matters.
Smith graduated from Vassar College with highest honors and highest distinction in her major, economics, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was among the first women to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. As a Rhodes Scholar, she attended the University of Oxford, earning a Master of Philosophy degree in economics, and then attended the University of Miami School of Law as a John M. Olin Fellow in Law & Economics, earning a juris doctor degree with honors in 1982.
Smith is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated attorney and was a member of Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel. She also is a member of the Pyramid Society, a group of former/retired Vassar College Trustees, and a member of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.
Smith was one of the organizers and founding directors of BluePath Service Dogs Inc., a nonprofit organization that trains and provides service dogs to children with autism, as well as ongoing care and support of dogs it places with children and their families.