Frances A. Smith


Expertise and Experience
Frances Smith represents a variety of clients in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts located in Texas and throughout the country. Her extensive legal experience includes work for debtors, secured lenders, unsecured creditor committees, trustees and asset purchasers, including representing such clients as real estate developers, a popular fast casual restaurant chain, a Texas-based shortline railroad, and several regional and national banks. In addition to her bankruptcy work, Ms. Smith consults with companies and individuals on out-of-court restructurings and the best practices for avoiding lawsuits related to debt-collection laws.

A sought-after expert on bankruptcy and credit matters, Ms. Smith is frequently called on by members of the media for her insightful legal perspectives, including prior interviews with news outlets such as Dallas’ KTVT CBS 11 News, KDFW Fox 4 News, The Dallas Morning News and others. In 2011, the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas presented Ms. Smith with the Romina L. Mulloy-Bossio Achievement Award, which is presented annually to the state’s top young bankruptcy lawyer.

From August 2001 through September 2002, Ms. Smith served as a judicial clerk for the Hon. Barbara J. Houser, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for Northern District of Texas. Ms. Smith is a contributing legal expert for, an online collaboration dedicated to providing in-depth firsthand knowledge to consumers. Topics she’s addressed on include how creditors can protect their rights and minimize risks in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Ms. Smith’s legal accomplishments include:

Working on behalf of a Plano-based real estate development company to resolve liabilities with various creditors as part of the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Advocating for a bank that was a secured creditor in a trucking company’s Chapter 11 reorganization. On behalf of her bank client, Ms. Smith negotiated the return of extensive collateral and secured a schedule of monthly adequate protection payments from the trucking company.

Representing an international brokerage firm in several bankruptcy cases across the country, including negotiating with bankruptcy trustees to obtain favorable settlements in various U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.

Assisting an individual in acquiring the Pittsburgh Brewing Company (brewer of Iron City Beer) through Chapter 11 reorganization. Ms. Smith was responsible for managing the case, drafting a reorganization plan and related disclosure statement, working with local counsel, and negotiating claims with various creditors.

Working on behalf of an Austin-based owner and franchisor of more than 500 casual dining restaurants, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Ms. Smith was responsible for managing the case, which included overseeing the work of fellow lawyers; drafting substantive motions, legal memoranda and briefs; and negotiating and litigating claims, including the winning a contested hearing on administrative expense claims.

Representing Link Energy in its pre-negotiated Chapter 11 proceedings, including a lead role in arguing hearings and handling post-confirmation matters. Ms. Smith was responsible for settling, litigating and negotiating more than 12,000 individual claims in the case.

Defending a capital management firm in preference litigation related to the Brook Mays Music Company bankruptcy reorganization. Ms. Smith’s work resulted in the court dismissing the lawsuit against her client with prejudice and its decision to award zero damages to the plaintiff.

Practice Areas

Creditors’ Rights

Ms. Smith is the 2013 Vice-Chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the Dallas Bar Association. She served as the 2010 President of the DFW Association of Young Bankruptcy Lawyers. She is a Barrister and Pupilage Group Leader with the Honorable John C. Ford American Inn of Court.

The University of Texas at Arlington

Law School
Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law

Bar Admissions
Texas, 2001

Court Admissions
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas

U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

Fun Facts
Frances spends her free time with family, volunteering with PAAS – Partners of the Arlington Animal Shelter to promote adoption of shelter pets, enjoys playing with her dogs (all rescues) and riding her horse, Chula.

Direct Dial: (214) 780-1493
Fax: (214) 780-1401