David S. Smith

David Smith has a comprehensive legal and consulting practice in collective bargaining, healthcare cost containment, lobbying, labor planning, and labor analysis related to mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, bankruptcies and other circumstances where labor issues are significant. He also represents clients before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and provides training to labor relations officials through seminars and day-to-day advice.

Mr. Smith has over 30 years of experience in labor law and collective bargaining negotiations. Beginning in 1970, he was staff labor attorney for the principal multiemployer bargaining unit in the coal industry, the Bituminous Coal Operators’ Association (BCOA) – comprised of over 290 corporations including steel companies, electric utilities and coal companies. At the BCOA, Mr. Smith coordinated and advised member companies in arbitration and grievances arising out of the national collective bargaining agreement and was a participant in collective bargaining for the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement of 1971.

Mr. Smith moved into private labor practice in 1973 and immediately began counseling large corporations and organizations facing sensitive labor and union issues. In 1997 he co-founded Institutional Labor Advisors, one of the few legal and consulting practices focusing on labor relations and providing specialized labor-relations services and training to senior managers at FORTUNE 500 companies in industries in energy, mining and utilities, media and communications and other sectors, which he moved to Venable in 2003.

Throughout his career, he has negotiated numerous watershed labor agreements (including significant cost reductions in active and retiree healthcare costs) and represented companies in contract administration and arbitrations with some of the country's most powerful unions, including the International Association of Machinists, United Steelworkers of America, United Mine Workers of America, the Paper, Allied Industrial, Chemical, and Energy International Union, the Teamsters, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Labor and Employment, 2) Healthcare - Labor and Employment Law, 3) Hospitality - Labor and Employment Law, 4) Financial Services Wage Compliance, 5) Healthcare, 6) Healthcare Cost Reduction and 7) Regulatory
Law School University of Tennessee College of Law ( J.D., 1970)
Education University of Tennessee (B.A., 1967)
Bar Member / Association District of Columbia Bar Association, Virginia State Bar Association, Tennessee State Bar Association
Most recent firm Venable LLP
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