Maura Smith’s post-GC life: Private practice, both commercial and matrimonial
When we usually report on the career path of prominent general counsel, the story generally ends with the lawyer either retiring from a large department or leaving one at retirement age to a plum rain-making job at a big corporate law firm. Maura Smith did none of the above. She recently joined the Law Offices of Edward Nusbaum P.C. as a partner in the family law firm.
Before joining the firm, Smith founded her own law firm in 2016 after a 35-year career in private practice and as the general counsel of several large public companies. Smith’s law firm focused on commercial and matrimonial matters, acted as national claims and settlement counsel for a national retailer, and advised public companies on compliance and governance matters. Smith also represented clients in employment discrimination matters, and served 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 global law firm of Baker McKenzie. 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. Then came other in-house jobs; in 1998 she left GE to become 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. 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 headquarters there in 2005. There, she oversaw a 100-person legal department. Smith moved to Connecticut in 2011 to become chief legal officer of PepsiCo. In 2013, she accepted an expatriate assignment in Brussels, Belgium, to become executive vice president, general counsel, and general secretary of Delhaize Group, now Ahold Delhaize, a large food retailer. She returned to the U.S. in 2014.
“We are pleased to welcome Maura to our practice,” said Edward Nusbaum, the firm’s founding partner and principal. “Maura’s insights and experience will afford clients an invaluable perspective, further complementing our firm’s culture of service and dedication to the exceptional representation of our clients. She will also continue to represent clients who reside in New York in divorce and other family law matters, and will continue her work as an arbitrator.”