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The Smokeball Story

At Smokeball, we're about Community: the communities where we live, the legal community where we work and our community of Smokeballers. Together, we help legal professionals like you Run Your Best Firm and Build Your Best Life.

The Smokeball Story
DEI Goals

Why We Do What We Do

Smokeball was founded by technology leaders and legal professionals with more than 20 years of experience delivering impactful software that helps law firms achieve success.

Our founder, Hunter Steele, was born into the legal industry — his father ran a small-town practice in rural Australia. Hunter’s dad loved working with clients, but he wasn’t a great businessman. After years of dinner table conversations about his dad’s passion for his work — and frustrations running the firm — Hunter wanted to help him find a better way. Hunter dove headfirst into the legal software industry. After years of trial and error, and with the guidance of entrepreneur Christian Beck, Smokeball was founded in 2012.

We’re Not Done Yet!

Today, we help thousands of legal professionals in dozens of practice areas Run Their Best Firm — and we’re not stopping here!

Our mission isn’t simple, but it is straightforward: helping law firms run a successful business to better serve our communities. We’re dedicated to creating the best legal practice management software; helping firms grow more organized, drive productivity and increase profitability.

Group photo
Smokeball team

What’s in a Name?

“Smokeball? Why Smokeball?” We get that all the time.

Our founders gave us a name that stands out from the crowd — and stands on British legal precedence dating back to 1893.

The defendants in Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company created an influenza remedy known as the “smoke ball,” offering to pay £100 to any person who found it ineffective. The plaintiff, on the faith of the advertisement, bought and used the ball as prescribed, but caught influenza. She successfully sued for the £100.

So again, why Smokeball? Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company is obscure to most Americans — but once you’ve heard the name, you won’t forget it. And like the plaintiff’s attorneys, we’re committed to helping our clients serve their communities.

Our Core Values

Our six core values drive everything we do, from communicating with our clients and each other, to developing our software and recruiting.

Our core values
Our core values
Our core values
Our core values
Our core values
Our core values

Our Leadership Team

At Smokeball, we lead by example. Our executive team comes from a wide variety of backgrounds, but we’re united around a shared goal: Helping our clients support their communities and Run Their Best Firm.

Hunter Steele

Hunter Steele

CEO of Smokeball

Hunter grew up in a small Australian town. As the son of a small-town firm owner, he learned firsthand the importance of attorneys in their communities — and the related business challenges. This experience inspired his education in law and technology, and his decision to develop a solution for all local law firms.

Hunter co-founded Smokeball in 2008 and launched the company’s U.S. office in 2012. As CEO, he’s responsible for running both the Sydney and Chicago offices. With decades of experience in building legal software, Hunter has a proven track record for pushing the boundaries of innovation to deliver innovative software solutions.

Ruchie Chadha

Ruchie Chadha

Smokeball President

As businesses, we are always looking to refine our processes and products. At Smokeball, we equally recognize the importance in the continued development of ourselves, our people, and our culture. If there is any chance we can do better, be better, or serve our communities better, we are going to invest the time, energy, and resource into it. Our commitment to DEI is one example of this.

We know diversity is an institutional strength. It is essential that we create an environment where underrepresented thoughts, experiences, and the institutionally marginalized are equitably represented, valued, and nurtured.

Ruchie Chadha

Jane Oxley

Chief Revenue Officer

Jane is passionate about helping small law firms work towards a more productive, profitable, and also less stressful practice. Having worked in the legal field for her entire career, Jane has a strong affinity with small law firms and the crucial role they play in the communities they serve.

Jane also understands how the right technology can help small law firms achieve better outcomes for their clients and their bottom line.

Ruchie Chadha

Adele Hoyle

Chief Product Officer

Adele has over 15 years’ experience in the legal software industry and is very passionate about solving problems for law firms and building products that clients love. At Smokeball Adele and her team work seamlessly with the Engineering team to deliver the best and most innovative small law firm products to the international market.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computing Information Technology and has a wide range of experience working in the UK and Australia where she developed a great understanding of the legal industry from her roles in software development, professional services and at LexisNexis where she spent several years heading up an international Product Management team.

Ruchie Chadha

Bart Vadala

Chief Technology Officer

As a leader of 30 developers, Bart is responsible for Smokeball’s design and architecture, and inspiring his team get creative and think outside the box. With over 10 years’ experience in building powerful legal software, Bart has played a significant role in transforming the way our clients work, and today he continues to build impactful intuitive software, keeping workflow efficiencies top of mind.

He holds a Bachelor Computer Science (Software Engineering).

Ruchie Chadha

Michael Campbell

Chief Financial Officer

As Financial Controller Michael is responsible for Smokeball’s global finance and accounting operations and strategies. With over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting roles in Australia and the UK, he has worked in a diverse range of industries including Utilities, Luxury Retail and Fine Art.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Tasmania and is a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (CPA).

We’re Hiring!

Join one of Crain’s top 10 best places to work in Chicago and grow your career with Smokeball!