Judy Simmons Henry

Judy tumbled from the gym to the courtroom and into the boardroom - and never looked back. A former elite gymnast and coach, today Judy is recognized as one of the South's top litigators.


Professional Experience

Judy Simmons Henry has been engaged in an active business litigation practice for 30 years and serves in management of the firm as its business litigation chair. Her practice centers on complex litigation including fiduciary and trust matters, bankruptcy, banking and class action litigation. Henry is a National Football League Players Association Certified Contract Advisor and is the firm’s Sports Law Group leader.

Outside of her legal practice, Judy dedicates a great deal of time working with community- and faith-based non-profit organizations.

Henry’s recent experience includes:

  • Lead counsel in healthcare litigation involving underpayment of claims in federal court.
  • Lead counsel in utility charges class action case in state court.
  • Lead counsel for the successful defense of the NCAA in penalties litigation in federal court.
  • Lead counsel in healthcare understaffing litigation in federal court.
  • Lead local counsel for national shoe companies in multiple class action cases in federal court.
  • Lead counsel for five class action cases involving a variety of issues including mortgage servicing, lender changes and recording fees.
  • Lead local counsel for a national bank in defeating class certification in alleged wrongful bank deposit account charges.
  • Lead counsel for dozens of commercial and residential foreclosure actions in state and federal courts, many involving class action and successful defense of lender liability claims.
  • Lead counsel for national trust companies in successfully defending breach of fiduciary duty claims in state and federal courts.
  • Counsel for state’s largest healthcare provider in successfully defending antitrust claims at federal, circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Lead counsel for numerous state business entities in general business issues, contract negotiations and collection actions.
  • Negotiated offensive and defensive NFL player contracts since 2011.

Before joining the firm, Henry served as an intern to United States Senator David Pryor in Washington, D.C. (1982) and as a Law Clerk in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Western District of Arkansas for Judge James G. Mixon (1985-88).

Recognition

Henry is a certified NFL Players Association Contract Advisor (2009) and is a member of the Sports Lawyers Association. She is a member of the American Bar Association (Business Law Section). She has also held several positions within the Arkansas Bar Association, serving in the Debtor-Creditor Rights Section as Chair from 2002-03 and as Vice Chair from 2001-02, as well as in the Business Law Section as Chair from 2004-05, Vice Chair from 2003-04, and Secretary/Treasurer from 2002-03. She is a member of the Pulaski County Bar Association and the Debtor-Creditor Bar Association of Central Arkansas where she served as president in 1991 and Vice President in 1990. She is also a Fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation. Henry was appointed by former Attorney Generals Mark Pryor and Dustin McDaniel to serve as an alternate member of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission from 2001 until 2014, and was recently selected to serve as the third member on the Arkansas Judicial Ethics Advisory Commission beginning in 2016. She is a charter faculty member of the Arkansas Professional Practicum. She has also served as a Special Justice to Arkansas Supreme Court.

Henry was named as one of The Best Lawyers in America (2005-2018) and an Outstanding Lawyer in America (2003-05). She was also inducted as a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America (2008) and recognized for Arkansas Best of Continuing Legal Education by the Arkansas Bar Association (1998-2006, 2013-2017). In 2016, she was honored by the Arkansas Bar Association at its annual meeting with a special CLE Award. Henry has been recognized by Mid-South Super Lawyers for Business Litigation (2006-2017), named as a Top 50 Arkansas Lawyer (2006-2017) and Outstanding Mid-South Female Business Litigation Lawyer (2012-2017).

Since 2009, Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers has recognized Henry for her business litigation practice. Henry is rated AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating through LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, www.martindale.com/ratings.

Henry’s publications include, “An Agent’s Perspective on Football’s Return,” Arkansas Business, p. 21 (2011, September 5); Henry and Coleman, “Bankruptcy 101 – Starting Over”, The Arkansas Lawyer, Vo. 40, No. 4, Fall 2005; Recovery of Creditors’ Costs From the Bankruptcy Estate: Reasonable, Necessary, and…Uncertain?, 18 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 199 (1996); and Henry and Babin, “Don’t Let Your Bankruptcy Cases Bankrupt You—Keeping On Top of Bankruptcy Cases”, The Community Connection, Arkansas Community Bankers Association (1/94). She also served as editor/writer for the Debtor-Creditor Bar Association of Central Arkansas Newsletter (1988-2002); contributing writer, Arkansas Debtor/Creditor Relations Handbook (Arkansas Bar Association 1994); and contributing editor, Arkansas Bankruptcy Handbook (Arkansas Bar Association 1994).

Community Involvement

Henry currently serves as Secretary for the Baptist Health Board of Trustees, where she is a member of the Executive Committee and chairs the Audit & Compliance Committee. In 2019, she will begin a term as Vice Chair of the Board. Henry is also a Board Member of Arkansas Health Group. She has served the community in the following ways: Central High School PTSA (2001-07); Gibbs International Studies & Foreign Language Magnet School (PTA Board, 1994-98, Vice President, 1997-98; 1998-99; 1999-2000); Volunteers in Public Schools (1992-2005); Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Committee for the Future (1989-1991); Riverdale Soccer Coach (1994-95); Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Trilogy 2000 Long Range Planning Chair, Ordained Deacon, 2005 Constitution and By-Laws Revision Committee Chair, Human Resources Committee (2005-07, 2016-2018), former Finance Committee Member; The Children’s Museum of Arkansas (Board of Directors, 1995-97, Membership Committee Chair, 1995-96).


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