Kristen Smith is a member of the Van Winkle Law Firm’s Business practice group. 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, 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 representation of borrowers and lenders in loan transactions of all sizes. She is often 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, leases, billboards, and doctor’s offices. Kristen also represents landlords and tenants in lease negotiations, amendments, renewals, and disputes.


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

  • 28th Judicial District Bar
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina State Bar


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

Awards & Honors

  • The Biltmore Beacon's “40 Under Forty” Class of 2018

Community Involvement

  • Locks of Love, Repeat Donor
  • South College, Member of the Legal Studies Advisory Committee
A native of Cowan, Tenn., Kristen relocated to North Carolina in 2006 with her husband. They have two children and a dog named Mac. As a family, they enjoy camping, attending music festivals, cooking together, and projects around the house. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys taking pictures and finding old cameras at thrift stores and estate auctions.
  • Favorite Food: Chipotle-Maple Tempeh from Over Easy 
  • Favorite Musicians: Ben Harper, Emmylou Harris and Eddie Vedder 
  • Favorite Places: Shepp’s Ranch in Idaho, Kauai, Hawaii, and the Nantahala Gorge