Education

  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 2000)
  • Haverford College (B.A., Political Science, 1995)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Illinois, 2000 (voluntarily inactive)
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2001
  • District of Columbia, 2006
  • Delaware (Rule 55.1 in-house counsel admission), 2012-2015
  • Texas, 2016
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas, 2016

Professional Activities

  • Austin Bar Association
  • Barrister, Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court (2016-2018)
  • Member, Software and Information Industry Association

Jack A. Simms, Jr.

partner
512.960.4777  /  jack@wittliffcutter.com  /  vCard  / 

Jack Simms has more than two decades of experience representing clients in a national complex commercial litigation and arbitration practice. Wittliff Cutter clients rely on Jack’s deep understanding of the litigation process, his negotiation experience, ability to simplify complex issues, and his pragmatic results-focused approach.

Prior to joining Wittliff Cutter, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Boies Schiller & Flexner, where he practiced commercial and antitrust litigation. Subsequently, Jack served as Corporate Counsel at DuPont, where he managed complex commercial, antitrust, and intellectual property litigation and millions of dollars in legal spend across multiple firms and vendors. He also advised C-Suite executives and business leaders, sat on and led cross-functional teams, and played a key role in negotiations with competitors, suppliers and customers. Jack’s litigation practice spans across multiple industries and he is one of few lawyers with a substantial portion of his practice focused on disputes in the commercial corn and soybean industry.

At Wittliff Cutter, Jack has represented publicly traded and privately held companies, seed companies, large landowners, and individuals in a range of disputes including business torts, fraud, breach of contract, civil RICO claims, environmental contamination litigation, shareholder disputes, and theft of trade secrets and non-competition agreement litigation.

His Wittliff Cutter engagements speak to his experience and versatility: he has represented clients in state and federal courts in Texas, New York, California, Iowa, Tennessee, and Mississippi, often co-counseling with trusted, locally licensed counsel within his diverse and extensive professional network developed over more than 20 years. Jack recently spent six months seconded as litigation counsel for a large publicly traded solar technology company managing a nationwide docket of consumer-facing disputes, commercial and contract disputes with business partners, and personal injury and wrongful death cases. 

Since 2009, a significant portion of Jack’s litigation practice has been in the commercial corn and soybean industry. He has litigated for or against the major industry participants DuPont/Pioneer and Dow Agrosciences (now Corteva), Monsanto and Bayer (now Bayer), and Syngenta. He has also represented independent seed companies in disputes with trait licensors. Jack has litigated and advised on the core industry issues: co-branding, distribution, licensing, license terms and restrictions, IP rights, royalty disputes, and seed company acquisitions. He understands the business side of the seed industry and has extensive experience negotiating the complex and often inter-related agreements that define business relationships in that industry.

While at Boies Schiller, Jack led the DuPont-Pioneer trial team that delivered the company its first trial victory against Monsanto in a multi-hundred-million-dollar arbitration. Jack was also a key part of teams that delivered successful results for American Express and Philip Morris USA in antitrust litigation. He also represented privately held entities and individuals in high-stakes commercial litigation, including a businessman defending claims brought by his former business partner, Donald J. Trump.

After leaving Boies Schiller, Jack spent three years as a Corporate Counsel at DuPont, managing high-stakes competitor litigation involving its multi-billion-dollar corn and soybean business, DuPont Pioneer. He also represented the electronics business that manufactured silver paste for photovoltaic solar cells for use in solar panels. Jack resolved complicated problems, including a multiple years’ long negotiation with a competitor to resolve litigation involving over 20 patents in enabling technology played a lead role on the team that secured a nearly $2 billion licensing agreement after months of negotiations, and he led a cross-functional team comprised of colleagues based in the US, Asia and Europe that was tasked with protecting DuPont’s intellectual property in its patented silver photovoltaic paste.

Jack began his career as an associate in the Chicago office of Baker & McKenzie, where he practiced complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation and represented clients in professional liability matters. At Baker & McKenzie, Jack had the good fortune to be mentored by noted Chicago attorney Sidney M. Kaplan. Jack also spent time as a partner at the firm of Perry & Haas in Corpus Christi, where he worked under the supervision of famed Texas trial lawyers David L. Perry and Judge René M. Haas. He was part of the team that represented multiple severely injured individuals in the explosion at the Texas City Refinery and helped secure what was, at the time, the largest personal injury settlement in Texas.

At Haverford College, Jack was a captain of the varsity lacrosse team, a two-time all-conference selection, and was selected to the Haverford Men’s Lacrosse Team’s 25th and 50th year all-star teams. Before law school, Jack was an Admission Officer, history teacher, and coach at an independent school in Westchester County, New York, where he started the boys’ lacrosse program. Jack moved to Austin in July 2015 with his wife and their three children. He has been a volunteer lacrosse coach since 2016.

  • Defend largest privately held seed company in the United States in complex civil litigation, including RICO, fraud and racial discrimination claims.
  • Represent landowners in litigation against multiple mining and electric utility companies concerning breaches of agreements, negligence and other claims.
  • Lead trial counsel for DuPont and Pioneer in AAA arbitration defending multi-hundred-million-dollar claims brought by Monsanto for breach of license and tortious interference. Obtained complete defense award denying all claims for damages and injunctive relief.
  • Advise large privately held company in connection with its key licensing and collaboration agreements with various Fortune 500 businesses.
  • Defended largest privately held seed company in the United States in litigation brought by former general counsel.  
  • Defended DuPont and Pioneer affiliates against claims brought by Monsanto for breach of technology license agreements; prosecution of antitrust counterclaims.
  • Part of team that represented American Express in antitrust litigation against Visa, MasterCard and several banks, in which American Express obtained a record-breaking settlement in excess of over $4 billion.
  • Represented DuPont in breach of contract action against supplier of nylon intermediates.
  • Defended major U.S. corporation against claims it violated the Robinson-Patman Act and Section 2 of the Sherman Act where damages sought were in excess of $250 million. After being enjoined by trial court, obtained summary judgment for client, later affirmed on appeal.
  • Defended major U.S. corporation against claims it violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Obtained judgment on the pleadings; appeal dismissed.
  • Lead negotiator of litigation settlement agreement resolving years of multiple commercial, antitrust and intellectual property litigation with chief industry competitor.
  • Co-lead global team providing legal oversight of disputes and other strategic issues concerning competitors, suppliers and customers.
  • Co-lead global team in disputes with competitor regarding technology used in solar cells and devices.

Education

  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 2000)
  • Haverford College (B.A., Political Science, 1995)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Illinois, 2000 (voluntarily inactive)
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2001
  • District of Columbia, 2006
  • Delaware (Rule 55.1 in-house counsel admission), 2012-2015
  • Texas, 2016
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas, 2016

Professional Activities

  • Austin Bar Association
  • Barrister, Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court (2016-2018)
  • Member, Software and Information Industry Association