Based on 17 reviews
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Posted by a Alimony client,
I first reached out to Van Smith a day after being served a notice for spousal support for 70% of my income. Scarred and worried, I found Mr. Smith on the internet and was encouraged by his specialization in divorce. He met with me outside of regular hours and while on vacation (over the holidays) making a special trip to Williamsburg just to meet with me. His office was very upfront with the purpose of the initial visit and cost (a one hour consultation) with no obligation. Mr. Smith called me himself to provide directions and confirm. After the hour, I hired him on the spot.
Since I have been working with him, I have received invoices at the agreed upon schedule. I go over them with a fine tooth comb and have not found any discrepancies yet. His staff has been upfront and honest and allowed me to complete work on my own to cut cost. His paralegal provides most of the information gathering for discovery, which is good because she is cheaper.
Mr. Smith makes it clear that he meets with his entire team every week to go over the case and make sure everything is on track. After this meeting, I often get calls for clarification and other information. It is helpful to know that at least once a week, everyone is on the same page. He provided me with his direct contact info and has answered every question the day of being asked. His staff is very responsive as well and I have never had to leave a message.
I have been to court once with Mr. Smith. It was clear that his experience has taught him very effective strategy. He was anticipating the opposing attorney's underhanded move to obtain temporary support without a formal hearing. He was able to squash this, and demonstrated that he expected this all along. My first hearing was a clear victory. After the hearing, he sat down with me one on one in the courthouse to move on to the next step.
I will say that he is personally involved in my very complicated case and has made an effort to understand all the intricate details. I have not had any abnormalities in my invoices, and I've looked. I work a lot with the paralegal, but just on information gathering. Strategy and court appearances have all been handled by Mr. Smith himself. At this point, I have no regrets in hiring him and would repeat in a heartbeat. My only regret is not hiring him sooner.
Posted by Alex, a Alimony client,
I worked with a lot of lawyer in my daily business as real estate developer and am very familiar with the legal profession. I used Van to create a proactive prenuptial agreement and was very impressed with his knowledge of the law and his ability to think strategically about issues. I feel that i got a responsive lawyer who helped me understand the context and make a strategic decision to protect myself proactively against any future issues. What else does one need from a lawyer?
Posted by Urmil, a Divorce client,
When I hired Van Smith in October of 2013, I was charged the retainer twice and I had to complain. Three weeks later I was charged an extra $10 an hour for each person, without any notice. He did not answer a few of my emails for weeks. He did not file for a court hearing date to get me child support, despite us discussing that this should be done. I provided his office with all of the required paperwork in time, but they did not send the paperwork to the opposite counsel until more than 3 weeks later. I was charged twice for a teleconference with the opposite counsel, but was never told what happened and when I called Van Smith, he said the teleconference had been cancelled. He did not know what was going on in my case, he let his paralegal handle the case. Most of my meetings were with his paralegal and not Van Smith himself. Their invoices are outrageous and I decided to change my lawyer in January. My new lawyer has already scheduled a hearing date for child support within a week, something I was trying to get Van Smith to do since October. I would never recommend Van Smith as an attorney.
Posted by Rolf, a Divorce client,
Recommended by a family friend , Van's name came out of concern that I might wish the best,most capable council possible. Matt, (another attorney)pressed home Van being the person he would choose should such a need arise . Professional, able ,and willing, the man who "wrote the book " has proven himself a faultless representative. Along with his excellent staff, Van has remained abreast of my desire for clarity and understanding regarding changes in my rapidly evolving settlement . An articulate personable negotiator, he creatively navigates the delicate balance between firmly expressing a clients views , and being too rigid to achieve the most positive result. My divorce is resolving now ,and I view my financial platform as a stable ship, due largely to his care and attention. By the way the book mentioned is titled"Divorce &Custody in Virginia:Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life", authored by one fine lawyer, H. Van Smith.
Posted by Alan, a Child Custody client,
I came to Van during a difficult time. He assured me we had a good case. Somehow Van was able to settle my nerves and get the exact result we wanted. He is very smart, and knows how to get results. Thanks a million!
Posted by Maria, a Family client,
Van is an excellent attorney, he made me feel like I was more than just another client like most lawyers do. He cares about what is right and he does whatever it takes to win.
Posted by Jacquelyn,
This firm is a great example of how a law firm should serve its clients. They kept me informed orally, electronically and by hard copy, every step of the way. My recommendations were considered at every point along the course of the case which made me an equal member of the team. The outcome was what we as a team agreed upon at the beginning of the case. I will recommend this firm in the future.
Posted by a Divorce client,
Represented me in a divorce. Could not have asked for anyone better. He offered ideas that I would not have known to think of, kept me abreast of all issues, and was extremely personally supportive of me and my situation. His staff are marvelous and I just cannot say enough. Do not chance getting another attorney - Mr. Smith and his staff will represent you well.
Posted by Matseliso, a Child Custody client,
I sought the legal services of attorney H. Van Smith approximately six months ago when I separated from my estranged husband. Van not only represented me in my child custody hearing; he also provided his services in a tangled web of protective order, child custody, child support, and divorce proceedings. I knew Van would be someone I could trust at/after our first meeting/consultation. While matters such as divorce and custody can be extremely stressful and sometimes cause one to lose sight of the issues at hand, Van has demonstrated that he does not and will not lose sight of what's in the best interests of his clients. His court room demeanor is knowledgable, attentive, direct, and probably best described as having the beautiful strength and effectiveness of a quiet storm. SmithStrong is also equipped with a WONDERFUL staff (Donna, Brittany, Abigail, and Stephanie)! EVERYONE is aware of your case and offers gentle guidance through the legal process. They keep their clients regularly informed of the status of their cases which proved to be especially helpful/appealing to me. Some people believe that when they seek legal services, they are retaining a lawyer. In my case (and I'm sure in the cases of Van's other clients), I gained a knowledgable TEAM of true friends, a wonderful support system, and an extended family who cares more about the interests of their clients and clients' children than lining their own pockets. Not choosing Van to represent me would have been a disservice to myself, and I'll never go with anyone else from this point forward.
Posted by a Landlord & Tenant client,
The services rendered achieved all of my goals in hiring this firm to represent me.