Phillip Smith is a principal with The Van Winkle Law Firm, where he practices
in the areas of healthcare, construction, professional malpractice defense,
products liability, banking and commercial law. Since joining the firm
in 1972, he has supported the business operations of professionals in
accounting, architecture, dentistry, engineering and law. He successfully
defended physicians and their practices against multi-million dollar claims
of negligence and defended a hospital in a similarly large claim asserting
deprivation of due process, freedom of speech, breach of contract, slander
and contract interference.
- 28th Judicial District Bar, Past President
- American Health Lawyers Association
- Buncombe County Bar Association, Past President
- Defense Research Institute
- Harry C. Martin American Inns of Court
- North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
- North Carolina Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
Awards and Honors
- AV Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers in America
- Business North Carolina Legal Elite
- North Carolina Super Lawyers
- Successfully defended local hospital in U.S. District Court in a multi-million
dollar claim commenced by a surgeon as a result of his medical privileges
being summarily suspended at the recommendation of the hospital’s
medical staff. The action asserted claims for deprivation of due process,
freedom of speech, breach of contract, slander and contract interference.
Case is on appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Unwinding of two major medical practices and successful negotiation of
terms without litigation or alternative dispute resolution and no interruption
of practice business.
- Jury verdict in favor of surgeon who bypassed the wrong coronary artery
alleged to have been the result of negligence causing the plaintiff to
sustain a subsequent myocardial infarction.
- Successful defense of multiple physicians and an academic medical center
in a $24 million impaired baby case.
Born in Berkinhead, England, Phil grew up in Newtown, Pa., before making
his home in Asheville, N.C., upon graduation from law school. In his spare
time, he enjoys nature, gardening, bicycling, woodworking, snow skiing,
tennis and sailing.
Phil has two children with his wife, Pat, who is executive director of
the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
Favorite Food: My wife’s paella
Favorite Artists: Bierstadt, Renoir, Will Henry Stevens
Favorite Music: At the moment, big bands
Favorite Author: David McCullough
Favorite Movie: “The Shawshank Redemption”
Guilty Pleasures: Chocolate (preferably dark) and good wine
- Asheville City Schools Foundation
- Asheville Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Roundtable
- Asheville-Buncombe Christian Ministries Board of Directors, Former President
- Central United Methodist Church Board of Trustees, Former Chairperson
- Pisgah Legal Services, Former President
- United Way
- Wake Forest University Alumni Council
- YMCA Board of Directors