Kristen Smith is a principal with the Van Winkle Law Firm. Her primary areas of practice include creditor’s rights, commercial lending, and commercial real estate transactions. She maintains a statewide creditor’s rights practice which focuses on representing and counseling financial institutions and investors in a broad range of transactions, including, foreclosures, collections, title reformations, title issues, loan workouts, modifications, fraudulent transfers, partitions, bankruptcy, lender liability, and general civil litigation matters. In addition, she represents taxing authorities in a variety of matters, including collections and foreclosures.

Kristen’s commercial lending and commercial real estate practice includes the representation of borrowers and lenders in loan transactions of all sizes. She is often the lender’s counsel and provides services which include preparing loan documents, reviewing title work, and ensuring that the lender is protected in all aspects of a closing. She represents borrowers and lenders in different types of commercial real estate transactions for retail spaces, new construction, vacant land, SBA loans, multi-family developments, hotels, and leases.

Practice Areas

Awards & Honors

  • The Biltmore Beacon’s “40 Under Forty” Class of 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law


  • University of Memphis, Juris Doctor, 2004
  • University of Tennessee, Bachelor’s Degree in Business, 2001

Community Involvement

  • South College, Member of the Legal Studies Advisory Committee

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court
  • Western District of North Carolina
  • Middle District of North Carolina
  • Western District of North Carolina
  • Cherokee Supreme Court, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Professional Affiliations

  • Buncombe County Bar
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina State Bar

Kristen and her husband, Brent, moved to Asheville in 2006. They have two children and a dog named Roslyn. As a family, they enjoy camping, rafting, attending music festivals, cooking together, and playing board games.

  • Favorite Musicians: John Butler Trio, Pearl Jam, and Trevor Hall
  • Favorite Places: Kauai, Hawaii, and the Nantahala Gorge