Kelli Scheid Smith

Kelli focuses on the acquisition, development, financing, sale, and leasing of commercial real estate; corporate structuring, finance, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, and other corporate matters; and sports-related transactions.
Kelli Scheid Smith, Partner

Clients describe Kelli as someone who quickly understands the specific unique challenges facing their business as well as their overarching goals from a big picture standpoint. They praise her drafting skills, negotiation skills, political savvy, creative problem solving, and strong work ethic.

She is a member of the firm’s Consumer Products, Fashion & Retail, Sports, and Venture Capital & Emerging Businesses industry groups.

Client Work


  • Fashion companies, including Diane von Furstenberg, Diesel, Lacoste, and YSL, in connection with licensing and general corporate matters
  • The company behind a celebrity chef’s restaurants, hotels, food products, media, educational initiatives, and philanthropy in corporate finance and licensing matters
  • F. Korbel & Bros. in connection with the sale of Kenwood Vineyards to Pernod Ricard
  • The Science Channel in connection with the acquisition and license-back of the HOW IT’S MADE trademark and related assets

Real Estate

  • Goldman Sachs in connection with the acquisition, development, financing, and sale of numerous senior housing, office, and multi-family properties
  • The Buccini/Pollin Group in connection with the acquisition, development, financing, and sale of hotel, office, and other commercial properties with an aggregate value in excess of $1 billion
  • A nationwide food distributor, restaurant equipment, and restaurant supply provider in the leasing of large refrigerated industrial distribution centers
  • DSC Partners in the $167 million acquisition of 15 single-story office, flex, and industrial properties in Chesapeake and Norfolk, Virginia


  • The owner and developer of a multipurpose NFL stadium in connection with naming rights, sponsorship, and suite licensing
  • Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co. in connection with sponsorship and naming rights with respect to Dickies Arena, home of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
  • The Brooklyn Nets in connection with the leasing, financing, and development of a multi-million-dollar, 70,000-square-foot practice facility and its media rights deal with YES Network
  • A number of NBA teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, and Charlotte Hornets, in connection with NBA league-wide financing matters

Previous Work

Before joining ArentFox Schiff, Kelli was a financial analyst at FleetBoston Financial (now Bank of America).

Professional Activities

Kelli is the San Francisco Vice Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and a member of the board of The ArentFox Schiff Center for Racial Equality.  She also serves as outside general counsel to several non-profit organizations.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Kelli has been named among the “Top Women Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal, has been recognized as a recommended attorney in Real Estate by the Legal 500, and was selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Kelli was a Hardy Cross Dillard Fellow and served on the editorial board of the Virginia Tax Review while at the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Life Beyond the Law

Kelli enjoys volunteering. She has been involved with AmeriCorps; Children, Youth & Family Services; Make-a-Wish Foundation; Ronald McDonald House; Special Olympics; the Whitman-Walker Clinic; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; and Legal Aid Society of DC. 

In her spare time, Kelli travels, most recently to San Sebastian, Bordeaux, Brugge, and the Black Forest; goes to Orangetheory Fitness;  attempts (but fails) to train Felix, her giant Bernedoodle; and watches college basketball.