Robert E. Smartschan

Robert E. Smartschan

Of Counsel

Office: Norfolk

T (757) 624.3221

F (888) 360.9092


In addition to his long tenure in Kaufman & Canoles’ Commercial Section, Bob is the founder and former chairman of the firm's Intellectual Property Group. His commercial law practice includes banking and finance, government and other complex contracts, distribution and marketing law, business transfers and strategic alliances, and corporations and other forms of business ownership. His intellectual property practice includes trademarks, computer software and businesses, Internet domain names and businesses, copyrights, trade secrets, and management, protection, transfer and licensing of these and other intangible assets, including technology and patent rights.

Representative Matters

  • Supervise and coordinate work of licensed patent attorneys to serve patent needs of firm clients
  • Represent a major media client to establish, structure, negotiate and maintain long-term credit and cash management relationships with multiple national and regional banks and institutional lenders
  • Negotiated and closed a $500 million bridge financing and syndicated credit facility for publishing client, with consortium of U.S. and international bank lenders
  • Negotiated intellectual property representations, warranties and other terms as seller’s counsel in $45 million sale of national specialty publishing business and assets
  • Coordinate and manage a patent/invention portfolio of a major research/development/educational institution working closely with NASA and other U.S. Government agencies; represent this client in structuring and negotiation of joint ownership and other agreements with Government and other parties

Recognition & Honors

  • AV® Rated; Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2018
  • Virginia’s Legal Elite; Virginia Business Magazine, 2004, 2008-2017
  • Hampton Roads Technology Council; Board of Directions,1996-2006
  • Hampton Roads Technology Incubator; General Counsel, 1998-2006
  • United States Navy, 1971-1974
  • Associate Editor, William & Mary Law Review
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Lehigh University


  • American Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association


  • Lehigh University; B.A., highest honors, 1970
  • College of William & Mary School of Law; J.D., 1977

Press and Publications