Bernard L. Smith


Washington, D.C.

(202) 747-0761

(202) 861-1905

Bernard’s real estate practice focuses on representing borrowers and lenders on acquisition, construction, asset backed, and permanent loans, purchase facilities, and securitizations.

Over the course of his career, Bernard has represented borrowers and lenders in numerous workouts. He has conducted diligence and guided clients on the acquisition of distressed real estate assets as well as advised on loan restructurings.  He has also represented clients in the acquisition of bulk loan portfolios, including receivable loan portfolios in excess of $1 billion.

Bernard also focuses on representing clients in the purchase and sale of commercial, residential, mixed-use, and resort properties throughout the United States. He represents developers, lenders, and brands for hospitality projects located throughout the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East, including negotiation of management, brand licensing, technical services, and related agreements. In addition, he has extensive experience representing developers in the preparation and filing of disclosure statements for marketing properties throughout the United States.

Before joining Cozen O’Connor, Bernard was a partner at a national law firm where he was a member of their real estate group. Prior to that, he interned with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bernard earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, first in civil engineering class, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University and his law degree from The George Washington University School of Law.



  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1994
  • Syracuse University, B.S., magna cum laude, 1991
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Virginia

District of Columbia Bar Association

Virginia State Bar

American Resort Development Association