color photo of Michael Smith

Michael S. Smith

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Michael Sawyer Smith practices primarily in the areas of finance, real estate and infrastructure. He serves as the managing partner of Baker McKenzie's Chicago office. Mr. Smith has an AV Peer Review Rating — the highest rating evidencing height of professional excellence — by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell and is recommended by the 2016 edition of Legal 500 in both the areas of Infrastructure and Real Estate.

Practice Focus

Mr. Smith’s practice concentrates on real assets in domestic and international transactions. He regularly advises clients on all aspects of commercial real estate development, leasing, construction, property management, acquisitions, dispositions and structured finance. Particular areas of focus include public private partnerships for social and transportation infrastructure and global corporate real estate services.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised Hewlett Packard and HP Enterprises in successful global reorganizations including 1000 plus properties.
  • Served as counsel to bidders, lenders and governments on privatization/lease/P3 concessions of Indianapolis Airport water system, Indiana Toll Road, Illinois Lottery, Midway Airport, Chicago Parking Systems and Port of Detroit.
  • Served as primary counsel to homebuilder finance company managing USD4 billion dollar portfolio.
  • Served as primary construction and real estate finance counsel to large service retailer expanding US operations.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • USO of Illinois, Inc. - General Counsel


  • Illinois~United States (1993)


  • Vanderbilt University School of Law (J.D. Order of the Coif) (1993)
  • Boston College (B.A. Economics and Political Science cum laude) (1990)


  • English