William A.


William A Simms
William A.


Bill Simms is a third generation lawyer primarily focusing on litigation, insurance defense, products liability, personal injury, aviation, construction, and trucking law. Bill became a partner in the firm in 1977 and currently serves on the managing partners’ committee, which is comprised of the four most senior partners.

He entered college at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1964. There he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, as well as the Order of Gownsmen, an academic society, and other organizations. He graduated from Sewanee in 1968, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.

He was admitted to the University of Tennessee School of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1968 where he pursued a curriculum with emphasis on trial practice. He participated in the co-op program sponsored by the law school in conjunction with the legal office of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

In 1971, he was hired as a law clerk by the firm of Arnett, Draper & Hagood. While attending school and clerking for the firm in the summer of 1971, Bill was also selected as outstanding moot court attorney in his moot court class.

Upon graduation from law school in 1971, Bill accepted an associate’s position with the firm. He took the Tennessee Bar exam in 1972, and received his license to practice law later that year.

After joining the firm in 1972, Bill has practiced continuously with the firm since that time. He is also certified as a mediator pursuant to Rule 31 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court. He has an AV rating in Martindale Hubbell.

Bill is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), the American Inns of Court, Hamilton S. Burnette Chapter, the Defense Research Institute (DRI), the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He served as President of the Tennessee chapter of ABOTA in 2004. In addition, Bill is a Fellow in the Knoxville Bar Foundation, as well as the Tennessee Bar Foundation. Bill was a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) between 2011 and 2021.

Bill has been listed in the 2007, 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America, the 2012, 2013, and 2018 editions of The Best Attorneys in Tennessee, the 2013 edition of Knoxville Best Lawyers, and the 2010 and 2015 editions of Top Lawyers, City View Magazine, as well as the 2018 edition of Top Attorneys in the Mid-South.

Bill is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He enjoys fishing, camping, photography, archery, gun collecting, and the shooting sports.

A detailed curriculum vitae outlining Bill’s professional activities and accomplishments and his membership in various professional organizations is available upon request.

  • Civil Litigation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Litigation
  • Mediation
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Tennessee, 1972
  • University of Tennessee
    School of Law, J.D. 1971
  • Sewanee, 1968

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