As Chairman and a Founder of McKool Smith, Mike McKool is largely responsible for creating what the Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” Since founding the firm in 1991, Mr. McKool’s leadership and courtroom achievements have helped McKool Smith grow from an 11-attorney litigation boutique to a national litigation powerhouse with 185 trial lawyers across eight offices coast to coast.
Mr. McKool’s rigorous case preparation and superlative courtroom skills have earned him a reputation as one of the country’s most prominent trial lawyers. Over the course of his 40-year career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials and developed an enhanced understanding of the psychology that governs how juries decide cases. His trial wins have secured billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients, including major airlines, energy companies, telecommunications firms, and investment banking houses, among others.
Mr. McKool is consistently recognized as one of the country’s leading trial lawyers by legal directories such as The Legal 500, Lawdragon, and Benchmark Litigation, among others. In Chambers USA, he is ranked Band 1 in both commercial and intellectual property litigation. His Band 1 national ranking for “Trial Lawyers” puts him among a small elite group of U.S. trial lawyers. In Chambers Global, he is again recognized as one of the country’s most esteemed trial lawyers, where he is ranked Band 1 in patent litigation.
Chambers USA describes Mr. McKool as “simply one of the best,” stating that he is “extraordinarily focused and extremely quick on the uptake” and that “judges have the highest respect for him.” Chambers Global notes that he is “sought by companies needing a powerful and effective litigator for their most sensitive cases.” Citing his “huge intellect and superb courtroom skills,” Best Lawyers in America lists Mr. McKool in several categories, including Bet-the-Company Litigation.
In 2014, Mr. McKool was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Texas Lawyer. In 2012, he was named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Dallas Bar Association. Mr. McKool is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been selected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to serve on the Federal Circuit Advisory Council.