News Releases
May 23, 2017
Polsinelli Elects Chase Simmons Vice Chairman and Chair-Elect

Real Estate Practice Chair will become firm’s third leader

Polsinelli is pleased to announce F. Chase Simmons has been nominated as the new Vice Chair and Chair-Elect of the Am Law 100 firm. Simmons, who has been with Polsinelli since 1997, currently serves as Chair of the firm’s national Real Estate Practice Group and Real Estate Equity Group. His election to these positions is expected to be confirmed by the firm’s shareholders on June 8, 2017.

On Jan. 1, 2019, Simmons would become the firm’s third Chairman, taking the reins following the lengthy and esteemed tenure of current Chairman and CEO, Russ Welsh, who has served in the position since 1998. 

“I consider it a true privilege to serve as Polsinelli’s Chair-Elect,” Simmons said. “Russ has demonstrated tremendous leadership and has served as a mentor to me as he has led our firm through growth and success. My goal is to continue the great momentum he has shepherded throughout the past two decades.”

Simmons will maintain the firm’s focus on priority practice areas which include Health Care, Real Estate, Financial Services, Intellectual Property, Mid-Market Corporate, Business Litigation, and Labor & Employment. The firm will continue to pursue the five-year strategic plan most recently updated and approved by its Board in January, which focuses on dedication to exceptional client service, growth through strategic talent acquisition, and implementation of efficiency and innovation efforts through use of technology and legal project management disciplines.

Under Welsh’s leadership, the firm increased from 90 attorneys to nearly 800. Polsinelli was named one of the fastest growing law firms in the U.S. and is among the 100 largest firms in the nation. 

“We have a very strong leadership team, and I attribute our success to their client-centric focus,” Welsh said. “Our strategic growth has been possible due to the level of talent that continues to join us, our ongoing incorporation of best practices from across the industry, and our ability to maintain a uniquely collaborative culture at Polsinelli. I have been truly humbled by the opportunity to have led the firm for nearly 20 years.”

Welsh will continue as Chairman and CEO through Dec. 31, 2018. The planned 18-month transition period has been designed to enable Simmons to continue to serve his clients, manage his practice groups, and work closely with Welsh before assuming Chairmanship responsibilities. 

“Chase is an extremely talented and knowledgeable attorney,” added Welsh. “He is a superior leader and demonstrates excellent character. I have the utmost confidence that he will lead Polsinelli to many successes in the future.” 

Simmons’ election as Vice Chair and Chair-Elect takes place during a very positive time for the firm. Polsinelli was ranked among the top three percent of law firms for client service excellence, listed at No. 17 on BTI’s 2017 Client Service A-Team, and at No. 20 on BTI’s 2017 Brand Elite list. Over the last year, the firm has been recognized by numerous industry leading publications and research institutions for its diversity policies, its commitment to women in law, leading practices in IP litigation and complex commercial litigation and strong client relationships, to name a few. 

As Chair of Polsinelli’s Real Estate Practice, Simmons’ forward-thinking and deep knowledge of the market has expanded the group’s capabilities and gained national recognition.  

Simmons counsels real estate investors, operating companies and health care institutions in all aspects of real estate transactions with a special emphasis on joint ventures and complex finance, including highly innovative work on incentives and public private partnerships. Simmons has been ranked in Chambers USA as a Band 1 (highest ranking) real estate attorney in the Kansas City area. He has been named in “Rainmakers” and “40 Under 40” by Ingram’s Magazine and an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.  He is a graduate of the Kansas City Tomorrow leadership program. 

Simmons is a Board Member for the Kansas City Area Development Council, Advisory Board Member for the Urban Land Institute Kansas City and Advancement Board for the University of Kansas Medical Center. 

Simmons earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law. 

For more information, contact Carrie Trent at ctrent@polsinelli.com.