Bernard L. Smith


Bernard has nearly three decades of real estate experience with a primary focus on the acquisition, sale, development and financing of commercial office, industrial, retail, multifamily, hotel, and resort properties. Bernard also advises developers, lenders, and brands for hospitality projects located throughout the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East, including the negotiation of management, franchise, brand licensing, and related agreements.

Bernard represents developers of condominiums, co-ops, timeshare, fractional and home-site projects. He has considerable experience in drafting project owners association documentation, consumer purchase and finance forms, and declarations of CC&Rs, and serves as borrower’s counsel to condominiums and co-ops. Bernard has deep experience in registering developments with various state real estate agencies, including registering projects with the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the New York Attorney General. He also drafts complex consumer offering plans and related disclosures and filings, and issues opinion letters in asset-backed securitizations.

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.



  • 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