In Memorial, Stephen Douglas Smith MBE

In Memorial, Stephen Douglas Smith MBE

A year has passed since the world lost a great legal legend and we at Wilford Smith lost a great leader, mentor, friend and Godfather.

Steve’s sudden passing last year had an immeasurable impact. “Smithy” as Steve was so widely and affectionately known, had for so very long been such a reliable constant in a legal world long troubled by fluctuating changes and movement, often not for the better.

For 55 years Steve stood for everything that is right in this profession and in humankind. Originally born in Sheffield to hard working-class parents Steve grew up amid the aftermath and effects of the Second World War in a city, hit hard. Like for many at the time, things were not easy. Steve always thought of himself as a ‘dee dar’, a true Sheffielder, something he never lost throughout his legal career even though his practice took him across the country and abroad to defend the rights of those who could not defend themselves.

From the start, working all day as an office boy and working every night playing in a band to put him through night school, he couldn’t afford to go to University, but his employers at the time saw something in his character and offered to put towards his education and support him through it. His favourite books, The Count of Monte Cristo, The 39 Steps, The Prisoner of Zenda, To Kill a Mockingbird, which he read over and over, gave him a thirst for the legal profession, and to right many wrongs he saw along the way. His own books, mainly written to lighten the side of a profession many assume is disfigured by the evil and harm in the world, showed readers that actually, not everyone who has done a bad thing is necessarily all bad. There is often a history, a background and a story to why things are as they are. Steve told those stories better than anyone. His last book “Fiddlers, fakers and fleas - The Final Fable” was completed shortly before Steve passed and will soon be released for us all to read those stories in his own words, one last time.

We miss the stories. We miss the wisdom and the guidance, the gentle advice (which was always right in every instance), the nods to the right thing to do, the warm smile, and his treating everyone in the office to a breakfast sandwich and buns just because he thought people needed a pick me up; the kindness, and the fact he always had time for everyone no matter how little time he actually did have.

For us, this is a special tribute to you ‘Smithy’. You were everything right with the world, and we will miss that always.

Stephen Douglas Smith MBE will forever be the most fondly revered and remembered Solicitor this part of the world has ever known.

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  • Meadowhall Business Park
  • S9 2EQ
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


  • Smithy House 22 Westgate,
  • Rotherham S60 1AP
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


  • 20 Old Bailey
  • LondonEC4M 7AN
  • By appointment only
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2024 Wilford Smith is the trading name of WS Strategic Ltd. a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 07777022. Registered office – Meadowhall Business Park, Sheffield S9 2EQ. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 640898.