West Palm Beach, Fla. – Akerman LLP has announced that partner Grasford Smith, a litigator based in the West Palm Beach office, will be named president-elect of the Palm Beach County Bar Association on Saturday, June 11.

The Bar Association, which boasts 2,500 members, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and will subsequently elevate Smith to the presidency in June, 2023. When he assumes the role, Smith will be the association’s third African-American president.

“It’s both a great honor and a great responsibility to serve these upcoming three years as an officer of the Bar,” Smith said, referring to the cycle of president-elect, president, and then immediate past president. “The Bar Association is truly the lifeblood of the Palm Beach legal community; it’s a privilege to occupy this elevated leadership role.”

“Working with my friend and Bar colleague Scott Smith, who will precede me as president, we are anticipating a robust year of educational, business, networking, and social activity,” Smith added. “With as many as two dozen events and gatherings of various kinds each month, it’s engaging and exciting to be in this post for this dynamic group of colleagues and friends.”

Smith will be officially installed during the association’s Installation Banquet on Saturday, June 11 at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.

“Grasford is more than just an accomplished litigator. He’s a true leader in the Palm Beach County legal community and beyond,” said Christopher Duke, managing partner of Akerman’s West Palm Beach office. “It is gratifying, but not the least bit surprising, to see him assume such a respected leadership role in the Bar.”

Smith, who is also Akerman’s West Palm Beach litigation practice group leader, focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation matters and is certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Circuit Civil mediator.

He has experience representing Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, athletic leagues, technology companies, and a U.S. congressman, in addition to a variety of small and medium-sized businesses.

Smith said he approaches dispute resolution as an opportunity to further his clients’ business goals, and develops comprehensive yet practical legal solutions by first understanding his clients’ business needs.

He handles local and national disputed matters concerning corporate governance, government enforcement actions, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, trade secrets, real estate matters, construction defects, franchises, products liability, intellectual property, eminent domain, and disciplinary/admission matters before the Florida Bar.

Smith lectures extensively on litigation and civic issues, and has served on the Bar Association’s Board of Directors since 2016, as its Diversity Committee co-chair from 2016-2017, and as chair of its Transaction Law Committee from 20132014. He is president of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County and has served on its board since 2014.

Smith has been honored for excellence in Lawdragon, Super Lawyers Magazine, The Best Lawyers in America, South Florida Business Journal, Florida Trend, and in American Lawyer Media’s Daily Business Review.