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Horace Van Smith

also known as H. Van Smith, Van Smith

About me


H. Van Smith practices family law and estate planning from his Virginia offices in both the Richmond metropolitan area and Williamsburg.


He is the sole owner of SMITH STRONG, PLC and a member of the family law sections of the Virginia State Bar, the American Bar Association, and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. 


Van has been featured several times in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Virginia Gazette, Daily Press, WRVA 1140AM, William & Mary News and UVA Today; he welcomes the opportunity to educate his community on divorce, custody, and family law issues in Virginia.


In 2013, the Virginia legal community welcomed Van Smith’s first book in the Legal Strength Series:  The Ultimate Guide to Divorce and Custody in Virginia: Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life.


And Van was honored in 2013 with Avvo's Client Satisfaction Award for Family Law.


In 2014, the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys awarded Van the prestigious Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in Virginia, under the age of 40.


Also in 2014, Van was nominated as one of the "10 Best Under 40" Attorneys for the State of Virginia, as determined by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys.


Van’s practice focuses on family law matters, including divorce, related tax and business issues, custody and support plans, property distribution, integrated solutions for wealth preservation and management post-separation, collaborative law, and civil litigation. 


Smith Strong, PLC offers a comprehensive range of family law services from advice and counseling on the most sophisticated and complex business and legal issues to negotiating agreements, mediating disputes, and litigation involving:


Premier Family Law, Divorce & Child Custody Representation

  •  Divorce, Matrimonial Law, Family Law

  •  Litigation in Trial Courts

  •  Negotiated Settlements

  •  Collaborative Law

  •  Premarital and Postnuptial Agreements

  •  Marital Settlement Agreements & Separation Agreements

  •  Child Custody, Visitation & Support

  •  Spousal Support & Alimony

  •  Integrated Solutions for Wealth Management & Preservation

  •  Parentage & Paternity Cases

  •  Retirement Plans & Benefits

  •  Property Division and Distribution

  •  Adoption

  •  Business Valuation

  •  Military divorce

  •  Post-Divorce Disputes

  •  Appeals   


Juvenile & Domestic Relations-Related Criminal Defense Representation

  • Domestic Violence & Protective Order Hearings

  • Assault & Battery Charges

  • Juvenile Crimes (including several cases to reinstate a student following charges related to the possession, sale, or distribution of alcohol, prescription drugs or narcotics on school property or on public property)


Personal, Skilled Representation of Political Consulting Firms, Elected Officials, Public Servants & Professional Athletes


  • Discreet Negotiation on Behalf of Individuals and Firms in Crisis Situations

  • Negotiation of Settlement Agreements and Contract Disputes (often with political implications).

  • Civil Litigation, when needed and appropriate.



Premier Trust & Estate Planning Counsel


  • In-office or In-home, personal estate planning

  • Wills, Advanced Medical Directives, Power of Attorney

  • Trust Advisory & Management Services

  • Gift & Wealth Succession Planning

  • Probate & Trust Administration


Van resides in central Virginia with his wife Katie and daughter Farah.  He attended William & Mary for undergraduate and law school, where he met his wife while studying in the law library in Williamsburg.Van Smith and family


Prior to forming Smith Strong, Van worked under highly regarded divorce and family law attorneys in Northern Virginia with the law firm Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White; he began his legal career with Williams Mullen in Richmond, Virginia, practicing civil litigation for a wide range of corporate clients. 


His experience also includes holding management positions at the University of Virginia Foundation, The College of William & Mary, and abroad with the U.S. Department of Defense, where he was named an Honorary Iraqi Firefighter for his service in the Coalition Provisional Authority throughout Iraq.  


Van has addressed groups from a few dozen to several thousand on a variety of topics, from working in a nonprofit serving war-traumatized children in Zenica, Bosnia to rebuilding the fire and ambulance services in Iraq. He has given inspirational messages to elementary and middle school classes as well as at high school graduations and baccalaureate ceremonies, as well as lectures on law and history in Virginia before university audiences and community organizations.


He enjoys working to improve his clients’ lives, while also spending time with his family, playing tennis, hiking, cycling, being on the James River, fly fishing, and reading—beginning his day with coffee and a newspaper and ending it with tea and a good book.  


Van is licensed to practice law in Virginia, the United States District Court for Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, and United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.


To schedule an interview or private meeting, please call 804.325.1245 or 757.941.4298.


Languages spoken: Spanish

Photos and videos

1819717 1392730995

1819717 1392730964

Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 30%
  2. Divorce: 30%
  3. Child Custody: 20%
  4. Elder Law: 15%
  5. Family: 5%



Hourly ($195-359/hour), Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

27 total 

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Contact info

Smith Strong, PLC

123 Bulifants Boulevard, Suite 1
Williamsburg, VA, 23188

Smith Strong, PLC

5803 Staples Mill Rd.
Richmond, VA, 23228



VAAuthorized to practice law200803/31/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 10 Attorneys Under 40National Academy Of Family Law Attorneys2015
"10 Best" Attorneys for VirginiaAmerican Institute of Family Law Attorneys2015
Rising StarSuperLawyers2015
Reader's Choice, Lawyer NominationRichmond Times-Dispatch2015
Rising StarSuper Lawyers2014
Top 100 LawyersThe National Advocates2014
Client Satisfaction AwardAVVO2014
10 Best Under 40American Institute of Family Law Attorneys2014
Top 10 Attorneys Under 40National Academy Of Family Law Attorneys2014
Client Satisfaction AwardAVVO2013
Most Likely to Become Law School DeanWilliam and Mary School of Law, Class of 20072007
Honorary Iraqi FirefighterIraqi Ministry of Interior, Civil Defense Fire & Emergency Service2004
The Benjamin Stoddert Ewell AwardCollege of William and Mary2003
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney & OwnerSmith Strong, PLC2012 - Present
AttorneySevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White2011 - 2012
Program & Development ManagerUniversity of Virginia Foundation2008 - 2011
Associate AttorneyWilliams Mullen2007 - 2008
Policy AdvisorDepartment Of Defense2003 - 2004
InternMcGuire Woods Consulting2002 - 2002
InternUnited States Senate2001 - 2001
Director of Public Outreach (promoted from intern to Director)The College Of William & Mary2000 - 2003
Association namePosition nameDuration
Lawyers with PurposeMember2015 - Present
American Institute of Family Law AttorneysMember2014 - Present
WealthCounselMember2013 - Present
Richmond Bar AssociationMember2012 - Present
Historic Richmond FoundationQuoit Club2012 - Present
Virginia Trial Lawyers AssociationMember, Family Law Section2011 - Present
Virginia State BarMember, Family Law Section & Litigation Section2008 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember, Family Law & Law Practice Management Sections2008 - Present
Chesterfield County Bar AssociationMember2012 - 2013
Loudoun County Chamber of CommerceMember2011 - 2012
Loudoun County Bar AssociationMember2011 - 2012
George Wythe Society of Citizen LawyersFormer President2005 - 2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
William & Mary Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor2007
College of William and MaryGovernment & HistoryBA - Bachelor of Arts2003
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Estate PlanningTwo Phases of Estate Planning: A Secure Retirement & Avoiding Going Broke in the Nursing Home2015
George Wythe Walking Tour & ReceptionThe Role of the Citizen Lawyer in Society2006