Van Winkle would like to congratulate attorney Kristen Smith, who has been named to Biltmore Beacon’s 40 Under Forty list for 2018. Smith is an attorney with the firm’s creditors’ rights practice group and has been with the firm since 2006. The Biltmore Beacon is a weekly newspaper that honors rising stars of the local business community each year. Honorees are chosen based on their business achievements and community involvement.  For more information visit

Kristen earned her bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Tennessee in 2001 and law degree at The University of Memphis School of Law in 2004. She focuses her practice on creditors’ rights, commercial lending, and commercial real estate transactions. In her statewide creditors’ rights practice she provides representation and counseling to financial institutions and investors in a broad range of transactions. Additionally, she represents taxing authorities in collections, foreclosures, and a variety of other matters. Her practice also focuses on commercial lending and commercial real estate transactions, on which she serves primarily as lender’s counsel, but often as borrower’s counsel, where she ensures that her client is protected in all aspects of a closing.

Kristen’s commitment to the firm and client service led her to become a partner in 2016. In addition, she was elected to the firm’s Board of Directors by her partners in 2018 and has been a valuable contributor and leader in that role. Kristen actively supports local organizations in the community and is a member of the Legal Studies Advisory Committee at South College where she works with members of the community to provide input regarding the program. She also works closely with UNC Asheville on the firm’s Public Policy Lectures, an annual program that provides access to top experts in public policy and encourages open conversation on current policy issues.

“Kristen’s selection to this honor is evidence of her commitment to her clients and community,” said Steve Grabenstein, president of The Van Winkle Law Firm. “We are proud to have her on our team.”

We offer our congratulations to Kristen on this accomplishment!