Areas of Practice

Real Estate

David L. Smith


Phone: 616-732-5000
Fax: 616-732-5099

David Smith, as the senior attorney, has been with McShane & Bowie for more than 46 years and during that lifetime of experience he has focused his practice exclusively on commercial real estate and development. 

For the property owners, builders, contractors, tenants, non-profits, and other clients he represents, David offers a wealth of expertise. He advises clients in a broad array of matters involving retail, office, industrial, mixed-use, single- and multi-tenant properties.  

The deals that David orchestrates center on the purchase, sale, and exchange of real estate; commercial and residential development; zoning and land use planning; construction contracts and liens; financing; and leasing. During the 2008-2011 recession he represented owners and developers in workouts, restructuring, and other banking and financing arrangements, as well as the purchase of encumbered properties and loans.

Clients rely on David to find the best possible means to achieve their goals and objectives, knowing that he is efficient with his time and pragmatic in his approach. He has also earned the respect of his peers, as demonstrated by his appearance on the list of Best Lawyers© in Real Estate Law each year since 1993, and his AV Preeminent Lawyer rating, placing David in the highest echelon of the legal profession. 

David has given back to the community as a past member of the East Grand Rapids School Board, the East Grand Rapids Planning Commission, and Rotary Club of Grand Rapids. He also served his country as an officer in the U.S. Army.

Representative Matters

$200 million tax-exempt bond issue for a local non-profit organization 

$55 million commercial mortgage-backed security transaction involving 19 separate properties

Bar Admission:

  • Michigan 
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan


  • Washington University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1970 
  • Denison University, Bachelor of Arts, 1967

Honors & Awards:

  • Best Lawyers© in America  
    • Real Estate Law (Grand Rapids) – 1993 to present 
  • AV Preeminent Lawyer (Martindale-Hubbell) 
    • Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence 
  • Super Lawyers (Michigan) 
    • Real Estate, 2007–2010

Professional Associations and Membership:

  • State Bar of Michigan 
    • Master Lawyers and Real Property Law Sections 
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association 
  • American Bar Association