Ivan Smith concentrates his practice on labor and employment law, litigation, and entertainment law. He has substantial experience in employment discrimination cases, with particular emphasis in class and multi-plaintiff cases that are both regional and national in scope. His class action experience includes handling wage hour cases, disability and web access matters along with cases concerning race, age national origin and gender discrimination.

Mr. Smith represents clients in collective bargaining, contract and grievance arbitrations, litigation pertaining to unfair labor practices and matters before the National Relations Labor Board. He represents these clients from a wide variety of industries, including education, healthcare, sports, entertainment, food service, hotel construction, maintenance, shipping, airline, trucking, and engineering.

Mr. Smith’s entertainment practice includes representing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy award winning producers, writers, directors and artists in the music, television and film industries. He also represents institutional investors who invest in film and music projects. Ivan has also represented entertainment and tech companies in licensing and protecting their intellectual properties.  Ivan has negotiated licensing deals in the film, sport and tech industries along with litigating numerous copyright and trademark infringement cases on behalf distributors, producers, writers. He serves as general counsel to various not-for-profit groups.

From 1991 to 2009, Mr. Smith served as an adjunct professor for the Cornell University Industrial School of Labor Relations, where he taught courses in labor and employment law, collective bargaining and arbitration.

As an active member of the legal community, Mr. Smith is often sought for legal commentary by such publications and programs as Time Magazine and Black Enterprise Magazine. He has been featured on 60 Minutes on CBS News, in a story titled “Southern Exposure.”


  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Eastern District of New York
    • Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • Second Circuit
    • Fourth Circuit


  • Albany Law School of Union University – J.D.
  • Tufts University – B.A.

Community Service

  • The Urban Black Music Project, Founding Member (1993 – 2005)
  • The Field, Board Member (1993 to 1995)
  • Lawyers Coordinating Committee (1989 to 2007)


  • Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health “Leadership Award” (2015)
  • Super Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2009 – 2013, 2015, 2016)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • New York Magazine “Top Rated Lawyers” (2012, 2013)
  • National Black Lawyers “Top 100”
Super Lawyers Martindale Hubbel AV Preeminent Law 360