Attorney Profiles

Frances A. Smith

214.593.4976 (direct)
817.939.4808 (cell)

Recognized for her expertise in bankruptcy and out of court restructuring, and her ability to negotiate a consensus among parties in dispute, Frances Smith has represented clients in a wide range of local, national, and international businesses both in and out of bankruptcy courts throughout the United States.

Ms. Smith has 18 years of experience, first as a judicial law clerk, then as an associate at Haynes and Boone, LLP working on some of the largest bankruptcies in the country, and then as a partner at Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley, & Norton, LLP where she led the firm’s bankruptcy practice.  Ms. Smith uses her knowledge of bankruptcy and restructuring to zealously represent debtors, creditors, landlords, and purchasers of assets in bankruptcy proceedings across the nation.

Ms. Smith currently serves on the Executive Committee of the John C. Ford Bankruptcy Inn of Court, a professional organization recognized for excellence in providing quality bankruptcy educational programs.

Representative Engagements 

 Representation of Debtors in Possession:

  • Reorganized a medical device development company is its Chapter 11 pre-packaged bankruptcy case.

  • Reorganized a real estate development company in its Chapter 11 reorganization.

  • Reorganized aircraft management companies in their Chapter 11 reorganizations.

  • Representation of a short line railroad in its Chapter 11 reorganization.

  • Representation of Mirant Corporation and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries in their Chapter 11 cases in Fort Worth.

  • Representation of Link Energy f/k/a EOTT Energy Partners, LP in its pre-negotiated Chapter 11 proceedings.

Acquisition of Assets Inside and Outside of Bankruptcy:

  • Representation of owner of car dealerships throughout nation in purchase of assets of car dealership in Chapter 11.

  • Representation of major Texas automobile dealership owner purchase of dealership assets in Chapter 11.

  • Representation of purchaser of chemical company in acquisition of pool chemical distributor.

  • Representation of purchaser in the acquisition of Pittsburgh Brewing Company, Inc. through a Chapter 11 plan.

Representation of Secured Creditors:

  • Representation of national bank as secured lender and financier of equipment in bankruptcy proceedings throughout Texas.

  • Representation of bank as a secured creditor in the Chapter 11 reorganization of a trucking company.

  • Representation of major national bank as agent in subscription loan facility.

  • Representation of national bank as administrative agent and lender in the Chapter 11 reorganization of a real estate development.  

Representation of Lessors and Landlords:

  • Current representation of landlords in the bankruptcy case of 500 store retail company case pending in Delaware.

  • Current representation of medical equipment lessor in Chapter 11 reorganization of multi-unit emergency center.

  • Representation of heavy equipment lessor Chapter 11 reorganization of trucking company.

Franchisor/Franchisee Representation:

  • Representation of franchisor of a 250 unit fast casual restaurant chain in its Chapter 11 reorganization in Southern District of New York.

  • Representation of owner and franchisor of more than 500 casual dining restaurants in its Chapter 11 reorganization case.

  • Representation of franchisee of 26 unit restaurants in its Chapter 11 reorganization.

  • Representation franchisee of in Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

General Creditor Representation:

  • Representation of international financial institution as broker in several bankruptcy cases throughout the nation, including the LandAmerica Financial Group bankruptcy case in Richmond, Virginia.

  • Representation of oil drilling company as a creditor in the Blast Energy bankruptcy case.

  • Representation of secured lenders in numerous business and consumer bankruptcy cases.

Creditor Committee Representation:

  • Representation of Chapter 7 unsecured creditors committee in the Chapter 7 case of a printing company.

  • Representation of unsecured creditors group in the out-of-court restructuring of a printing company.

  • Representation of Reorganized Trussway Industries, Inc. in post-confirmation matters. Resolved asserted unsecured claims of approximately $8 million for $2.5 million.

Corporate Representation:

  • Managed the in-firm review of a major transactional document review project including: staffing, developing the format of the electronic review sheet, drafting website language, conducting the quality control on the project, generating client reports and demonstrating the product to the client.

Representation of Parent Companies in Connection with Troubled Subsidiaries:

  • Representation of Americas Mining Corporation and Asarco Incorporated in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of their subsidiary.

  • Represented Creditors’ Committee in the bankruptcy of a not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates senior living facilities and facilities for developmentally disabled adults and juveniles.

Out of Court Restructuring:

  • Representation car dealer in out of court restructuring.

Bankruptcy Litigation:

  • Defended multiple subcontractors in preference litigation in case of property owner’s bankruptcy.

  • Defended oilfield services provider in preference litigation. Defended and settled claim in the amount of $145,916.25 for $12,500.

  • Defended Wellspring Capital Management LLC in preference litigation in the Brook Mays Music Company bankruptcy case.  Resulted in the dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice with no damages awarded to plaintiff.

  • Defended organ manufacturer in the Brook Mays Music Company bankruptcy case. Defended and settled claim in the amount $116,686.73 for $19,060.00 without litigation.


  • Juris  Doctor,  cum  laude,  Southern  Methodist  University  Dedman  School  of  Law,  2001; Comment Editor, Southern Methodist University Law Review.

  • Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, University of Texas Arlington, 1998.

Court Admissions and Affiliations
  • Dallas Bar Association Bankruptcy Section, Member, Former Chair 2014.

  • DFW Association of Young Bankruptcy Lawyers, Former President 2010.

  • Dallas/Fort  Worth  Network  of  the  International  Women’s  Insolvency  and  Reorganization Confederation (IWIRC), Board Member 2017, Secretary 2011, Member since 2008.

  • The Honorable John C. Ford American Inn of Court, current Vice- President of Membership, Executive Committee (2015 - present), Secretary/Treasurer (2016-2018), and Master.

  • State Bar of Texas, 2001.

  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.