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Jake B. Smith advises clients on business transactions and related tax matters, including tax-free and taxable mergers and acquisitions, complex joint ventures, private equity acquisitions and sales, venture capital, real estate transactions, and sophisticated business agreements for limited liability companies, partnerships, and corporations. Jake regularly counsels clients on private equity transactions, including the formation of private equity funds and corresponding acquisitions. Jake serves as outside general counsel to a variety of companies in various industries, including healthcare (Watsonville Hospital Corporation and Arizona’s largest behavioral healthcare provider), real estate, start-ups, payment processors and SaaS. Lastly, in addition to advising companies in a broad range of industries, Jake has wide-ranging experience with structuring and negotiating real estate joint ventures.


  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Partnership and corporate taxation
  • Private equity funds
  • Venture capital and private placements
  • Real estate joint ventures
  • Corporate law



  • Structuring and negotiating the acquisition of the stock of Watsonville Hospital Corporation (that owns and operates the Watsonville Community Hospital) financed with the subsequent sale-leaseback of real estate to a publicly traded real estate investment trust.
  • Representing Arizona’s largest behavioral healthcare provider on various transactions, joint ventures and other matters as outside general counsel.
  • Negotiating the structure and formation of a private equity fund’s joint venture investment followed by simultaneous acquisition of a software company.°
  • Representing SaaS company as outside general counsel in various acquisitions (stock and asset purchase including acquisitive mergers).
  • Structuring and negotiating the formation of a joint venture followed by its purchase of an interest in multiple healthcare-based limited liability companies relating to an overall restructuring of a large physician and hospital system joint venture.°
  • Representing a real estate investment trust on various transactions, including formation of joint ventures and sale-leaseback transactions.°
  • Structuring and negotiating the acquisition and subsequent sale of a public company’s real estate franchising business.°
  • Representing a private equity fund with its sale of a high-profile premium clothing company to a publicly traded company.°
  • Advising on the formation of various private equity funds targeting distressed real estate assets and other operating businesses.°
  • Representing a private equity fund’s acquisition of a sporting goods business.°
  • Structuring and negotiating a part-sale and part-contribution of the assets of a large construction company to a newly formed joint venture with a private equity fund.°
  • Advising and structuring of reorganizations for numerous entities involved in a restructuring or bankruptcy to maximize tax benefits.°
  • Structuring and negotiating complex operating agreements for limited liability companies.
  • Negotiating and obtaining settlements with the IRS on numerous occasions, including the audit of a large manufacturing company and various private equity funds.°
  • Providing guidance to investors/developers to increase the likelihood of investor characterization of certain real estate parcels.°
  • Structuring and negotiating various other asset acquisitions, sales, mergers, and dispositions.

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Smith prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, “Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars
  • Honoree, “Arizona’s Finest Couples,” 2012
  • Member, State Bar of Arizona
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Member, Real Estate Committee
    • Member, Partnership & LLC Committee


  • LL.M., Taxation, New York University School of Law, 2004
  • J.D., with honors, University of Kansas School of Law, 2003
  • B.A., University of Kansas, 2000
    • Golden Key National Honor Society
  • Arizona
  • New York