Damian C. Smith

Attorney and Partner – Fluent in Japanese

Tel: 801-443-7120 | Fax: 801-852-8203 | Email: dsmith@techlawventures.com

Damian Smith is among the most experienced international lawyers in the United States.  He has divided his practice over the past 32 years in primarily 3 locations:  Seattle, Hong Kong and Salt Lake City.  He has represented Japanese clients for over 30 years in the United States and in transactions around the world, and US clients in Asia and around the world.  He conducts almost all client contact with his Japanese clients, including email and other written communications, in the Japanese language.

After practicing with Graham & Dunn in Seattle out of law school and then Snow Christensen & Martineau in Salt Lake City, Mr. Smith returned to Seattle in 1991 where he was director of Japan Business Practice at the prestigious international law firm of Perkins Coie.  Representative transactions included negotiating and drafting joint venture or commercial agreements between U.S. clients and Japanese parties in such diverse areas as software distribution, licensing and localization; franchising of restaurants and body care products stores; e-commerce of US products in Japan; old age housing; employment and non-competition; mergers and acquisitions; intellectual property transfers or licenses involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and food or beverage additives; and other commercial matters. He has also provided general representation of Japanese clients in the U.S. and internationally in all aspects of legal matters including selection and establishment of legal entities, employment and labor, licensing or acquiring rights in intellectual property, product liability, environmental, trade, real estate and litigation or other dispute resolution.

In 1998, Mr. Smith and his family moved to Asia as International Legal Counsel for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   Mr. Smith lived primarily in Hong Kong, and conducted legal business, selected, qualified, hired and managed legal counsel, and traveled extensively in 20 Asian countries, including Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. He is familiar with the legal systems in all of these countries.

While in Asia, Mr. Smith’s practice could be described as a general in-house corporate practice, including selection and establishment of appropriate legal entities, and registration with the respective governments; managing compliance with tax, exchange control and other financial matters; acquisition of residence permits or visas for employees and volunteers; review of title and documentation of the purchase or lease of real property; drafting of architectural and construction contracts; managing the legal aspects of employment and human relations in various countries; registration and protection of intellectual property rights; and management of litigation.

Upon completion of his assignment in Asia in 2004, Mr. Smith returned to Salt Lake City and joined Parr Brown Gee & Loveless where he continued his international practice.  In addition to the other practice areas mentioned above, Mr. Smith assists US clients in US Export Control matters.  Mr. Smith was listed in Utah Business Magazine’s 2009 Legal Elite in international law.

Mr. Smith continues his international and business practice at TechLaw Ventures, and continues to travel to Asia frequently.

Mr. Smith is asked to write and speak on topics of international interest, including seminars and presentations in the Japanese language.

J.D., 1977, Brigham Young University, magna cum laude, J. Reuben Clark Scholar, Note Editor, BYU Law Review 

B.A., 1974, Brigham Young University, English, summa cum laude with highest honors, Edwin S. Hinckley Scholar Bar Admissions
1977, Washington; 1981, Utah

Japanese (日本語―reading, writing and speaking) 
Conversational Chinese (中国語会話)