Ella-Marie Smith
Partner | Charlotte
Ella-Marie Smith

Ella-Marie Smith is a partner in Dechert's Finance and Real Estate Group also serves as a co-host on Dechert 4 Real, a commercial real estate finance podcast. While Ella's experience spans multiple practice areas, including Commercial Real Estate Collateralized Loan Obligations (CRE CLO), Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securitization (CMBS) including conduit as well as Single Asset Single Borrower (SASB) transactions, "Hybrid" CRE CLOs, Risk Retention Financings, Residential Mortgage-Backed Securitization (RMBS), Warehouse Structures, including Repurchase Facilities and Credit Facilities and Secondary Market High-Yield Debt and Private Equity Trading, she has focused her practice in recent years on CRE CLOs.

Ella regularly advises Real Estate Investment Trusts, Investment Banks and other Financial Institutions in their roles as Issuers and Placement Agents in managed and static CRE CLOs. Ella specializes in collateral diligence, taking the time to identify the risks, challenges and unique issues intrinsic in the transitional loan assets that comprise CRE CLO collateral to distill complex issues into accurate informative disclosures, while always keeping the client's objectives in the forefront. Ella is known for her collaborative approach, working closely with all deal parties to create efficiencies in and streamline the securitization structuring diligence processes, while creating goodwill and establishing long-standing relationships among deal participants.

Ella is an active member of the CRE Finance Council (CREFC), the CREFC Women's Network and the Loan Syndication and Trading Association (LSTA). Ella is the co-chair of the Dechert Family Network and is the Dechert Charlotte Pro Bono Representative and Liaison to the Global Women's Initiative.

In 2019, Ms. Smith was recognized as a "Working Mother of the Year" in the October/November issue of Working Mother and in 2020, Ella received Dechert's Exceptional Teacher Award in recognition of her having consistently gone above and beyond to support the learning and development of her colleagues.

  • The Ties That Bind: Distressed Debt in a Structured World — Dechert LLP, New York, NY (May 8, 2023)
  • Senior Industry Leader Fireside Chat with Leah Nivison of Goldman Sachs — presented by the CREFC Women's Network, New York, NY (June 30, 2022)
  • Spotlight on Women in CRE: Breaking the Bias — Third Anual Investor's Conference on CRE CLOs presented by IMN, New York, NY (April 27, 2022)
  • Senior Industry Leader Fireside Chat with Erin Stafford of DBRS, Inc. — presented by CREFC Women's Network, virtual (January 27, 2022)
  • Negotiating 201: Arm Wrestling for Beginners — CRE Finance Council Annual Conference 2022, Miami, FL (January 12, 2022)
  • CARES Act and COVID-19 (UPDATE) — Presented by Trustlaw, in collaboration with Humentum, webinar (April 28, 2021)
  • CARES ACT and COVID-19 — Presented by Trustlaw, in collaboration with Humentum, webinar (April 22, 2021)
    • James Madison University, B.A., English and Political Science, 2000
    • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2006, with Honors
    • North Carolina