Yvette Austin Smith

  • New York
Senior Managing Director and Chair of Global Finance Practice
  • MBA in Finance, Columbia Business School
  • AB in Government & Philosophy, Harvard University

Yvette Austin Smith is a Senior Managing Director and Chair of Compass Lexecon’s Global Finance Practice. Ms. Austin Smith specializes in M&A and bankruptcy disputes with subject matter expertise in valuation and credit and solvency analysis. She provides testifying and consulting expert services in litigation and disputes related to breach of representation and warranties, breach of fiduciary duty, material adverse effect, dissenting shareholder actions, leveraged buyouts, financing transactions and recapitalization, debt recharacterization, avoidance actions, and M&A custom and practice.

Yvette has also served as an expert in international trade subsidy disputes. Ms. Austin Smith has submitted expert oral and written testimony in multiple venues including state courts in Delaware, New York, and California; U.S. federal bankruptcy and district courts; international courts in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom; and the World Trade Organization and other international arbitration forums. In addition to providing expert testimony, Ms. Austin Smith advises special board committees on M&A matters and serves as a bankruptcy trustee.

As representative bankruptcy engagements, Yvette has been retained as a solvency or valuation expert in connection with the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers (on behalf of JPMorgan Chase), Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (on behalf of Apollo Global Management), Physiotherapy Associates Holdings (on behalf of a litigation trustee), U.S. Steel Canada (on behalf of United States Steel), Purdue Pharma (on behalf of a large group of states and U.S. territories), LTL Management (on behalf of the Tort Claimant Committee) and Millennium Laboratories (on behalf of a litigation trustee).

Ms. Austin Smith has written a number of publications and presented on valuation and credit analysis, for organizations including the American Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the Delaware State Bar Association, Thomson Reuters, and Bloomberg Law. She is a contributing author to the Model Merger Agreement for the Acquisition of a Public Company, published by the ABA’s Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, and a contributing researcher to The Standard & Poor’s Guide to Fairness Opinions: A User’s Guide for Fiduciaries.

Ms. Austin Smith has also been a member of the teaching faculty of Harvard University Extension School, where she taught a graduate finance course and a past faculty member of the American Bar Association’s National Institute of Negotiating Business Acquisitions.

Prior to joining Compass Lexecon, Yvette provided investment banking advisory services including mergers and acquisitions, fairness opinions, solvency opinions, and commercially reasonable debt opinions.