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Ronald David Smith

Partner

Ronald David Smith

Dallas

T:+1 214 855 8349

Ron Smith is a partner in the Dallas office. He handles complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters, focusing on the companies and individuals in the financial services industry.  His clients include broker-dealers, investment advisors, banks, and fund managers.  He has experience in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., the American Arbitration Association, and JAMS. 

Ron has also conducted a number of internal investigations for Wall Street firms and represented clients in investigations brought by securities regulators as well as state and federal governmental entities. His regulatory work includes securities sales practices, AML-related matters, compliance with record-keeping requirements, and allegations of misconduct.

Ron is a leader in Norton Rose Fulbright's global distributed ledger and blockchain practice group.  He plays a vital role in Norton Rose Fulbright's activities as Legal Chair of the Smart Contracts Alliance, including contributing to content and assisting with the development of policy initiatives.  He has strong experience with the financial technology ("FinTech") industry, speaks on FinTech issues, and has published concerning FinTech-related topics. 

Prior to law school, Ron worked as a financial advisor. During his time as a financial advisor, he gained significant real world understanding of securities markets, sales practices in the securities industry, and financial services products.

He also represents a diverse group of corporate clients and individuals in the real estate, energy, consumer services, technology, and governmental sectors.  Ron regularly represents parties in commercial matters in state and federal court.

While in law school, Ron served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Xavier Rodriguez, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.

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  • Education
    • JD, with high honors, The University of Texas School of Law, 2006
    • BA, Economics, Swarthmore College, 1996

    While in law school, Ron was a Robert S. Strauss Presidential Scholar.  Ronald is a member of the Chancellors and the Order of the Coif.  He also received the Dean's Achievement Award in Evidence, Mediation, and Employment Discrimination.

    Ron is licensed to practice law in Texas and before the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of Texas.

  • Representative experience
    • Handled internal investigations and represented clients in investigations brought by self-regulatory organizations, federal agencies, and state agencies concerning a wide range of topics, including sales practice, regulatory, and AML issues.
    • Represented numerous broker-dealers and financial advisors in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.
    • First chair experience in arbitration proceedings, including 2016 case related to allegedly unauthorized refusal to transfer holdings from a broker-dealer, resulting in a take nothing directed verdict.
    • Defense of broker dealer and registered representative in seven week arbitration related to options trading resulting in take nothing decision from Panel.
    • Defense of bank client accused of aiding and abetting a fraudulent investment scheme resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in investor losses.  Defense judgment was obtained following a bench trial to a bankruptcy court.
    • Defense of bank client accused of aiding and abetting securities fraud in the life settlement industry involving tens of millions of dollars of alleged investor losses.
    • Assisted clients in financial services industry prepare for examinations by regulators.
    • Defended energy services client in case alleging damages due to tortious interference with contract to provide equipment and services to a South American natural resources company.
    • Assisted in obtaining award for real estate developer after week long arbitration hearing.
    • Argued and prevailed in obtaining multiple summary adjudications of lawsuits filed against clients in multiple industries, including banking and consumer services.
    • Successfully argued and compelled multiple cases filed in state court to arbitration.
    • Obtained final summary judgment of claims against a municipality related to the repeal of project and finance plans for a tax increment reinvestment zone.
  • Admissions
    • Texas State Bar License
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • Texas Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, 2010
  • Publications
    • Co-author, "Lessons From Recent FINRA Cycle Exams," Law360, September 6, 2016
    • Co-author, "The DAO's Wild Ride: Where Does Blockchain Go From Here?," Forbes, July 1, 2016
    • Co-author, Fighting Elder Abuse And Defending The Decision To Freeze, Law360, June 21, 2016
    • Co-author, "DOL Fiduciary Rule Has Financial Service Cos. In A Flurry," Law360, March 16, 2016
    • Co-author, "Proposed Department of Labor rule will expand fiduciary responsibility," Norton Rose Fulbright Whitepaper, February 2016
    • "Texas Supreme Court Finds Plaintiffs Waived Arbitration in 5-4 Decision Reversing Appellate Court Finding," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Briefing, May 13, 2008
  • Speaking engagements
    • Panelist, "Leveraging Blockchains and Smart Contracts for Financial Securities and Derivatives Transactions," Distributed: Trade, St. Louis, Missouri, June 14, 2016
    • Co-Presenter, "What Attorneys Need to Know About Smart Contracts and the Blockchain," LexisNexis Webinar, October 20, 2016
  • Memberships and activities
    • Texas State Bar
    • SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association)
    • Ron regularly volunteers to represent underprivileged persons in pro bono family law matters.