OBA Award for Excellence in Insurance Law 2022 Winner Profile: Keith Smockum

  • September 23, 2022
  • Bronwyn Martin

Photo of Keith SmockumKeith Smockum, recipient of the Ontario Bar Association Award for Excellence in Insurance Law 2022, has practiced exclusively in the area of insurance law since he was called to the bar in 1986. He began his career at Lawson McGrenere LLP, where he became partner, followed by managing partner in 1991. He started his current firm, Smockum Zarnett LLP, in 2008. Over the course of his career, Keith has earned a reputation as one of the best insurance litigators in this province.

Keith is a self-described “trial junkie” and has tried many cases all over Ontario. He fondly tells the story of being called to the bar and promptly losing his first trial the next week! Since then, he has gone on to great success with trials and appeals at all levels of court in a variety of fields, including product liability, professional negligence, personal injury, and occupier’s liability.

Keith has a solid reputation for his commitment to the mentorship of young lawyers and strong concern for the development of the next generation of insurance litigators and civil trial lawyers in this province. The time he has spent sharing his knowledge with the younger members of the bar is noteworthy, but Keith is also a leader in this industry to all lawyers, regardless of year of call or level of experience. Even after years of practice, Keith is the lawyer many turn to for guidance and advice; not only is Keith a fierce advocate, but a civil one.

Keith is first and foremost an exceptional storyteller. Anyone who has had the privilege of witnessing his ability in this arena, be it in the courtroom or anywhere an audience can assemble, would agree.