Emer Simic
Green Griffith & Borg-Breen LLP
Patent law
40 Under Class – 2020

Emer Simic's peers call her a natural leader, one who inspires confidence in her clients, earns respect from opposing counsel and has quickly risen to become one of the most successful patent attorneys in the Chicago market. 

Leadership doesn't come easily. Coming to law with a science background from Cambridge University, Simic has dedicated herself to mastering the intricacies of patent law. She isn't afraid to spend long hours researching her cases and digging into the science. And she does whatever is necessary to achieve the best results for her clients. 

"Emer is confident, always prepared and truly passionate about advocating as best she can for her clients' interests," said Ashlee Szelag with Leydig Voit & Mayer. "Because of her experience, preparation and knowledge of the law, she has great instincts when it comes to litigation strategy, and she communicates clearly and quickly to internal litigation teams that she manages and to her clients."

Those who have worked with Simic say she displays knowledge far beyond her years. Just ask Leigh Ann Buziak, an attorney with Blank Rome LLP. Buziak has worked with Simic as co-counsel on a challenging trade secret and non-compete case for more than two years. 

The case focuses on allegations that departing employees stole confidential and trade-secret information to help them as they start a new company. The matter has turned into a complex one. But no matter how the case has evolved, Simic has adjusted. 

And having Simic on her side has been a true benefit, Buziak says.

"The trade secret issues are complicated, which is where Emer's technical expertise shines," Buziak said. "But the case also involves a story and developing evidence around that. Emer's skills at pulling together complicated and intertwined factual and legal arguments is tremendous. It's been an asset to the client to have her advocacy on the case."

Emily Rapalino, an attorney with the Goodwin Procter in Boston, has worked closely with Simic. The two served as counsel for different co-defendants in a patent case. During this time, Rapalino quickly learned how talented Simic is. Rapalino also came to respect Simic's integrity, intellect and deep knowledge of patent law. 

Their mutual trial involved high stakes and featured plenty of tense moments and interactions. But Simic never got rattled, Rapalino said. 

"Emer had a knack for knowing the right thing to say to diffuse tension and get the job done with the least amount of drama," Rapalino said. 

While Simic's legal skills are impressive, she also earns praise for her community service. A partner at a majority women-owned intellectual property firm, she has been an advocate for women during her career and spearheads Green Griffith's diversity and inclusion focus. She also serves on the board of the Chicago chapter of the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law and is co-chair of the coalition’s Community Outreach Committee. That group works to foster recognition for the coalition members through the promotion and nomination of deserving members for legal awards and recognition.

Simic's Committee also focuses on supporting and encouraging emerging Chicago lawyers: hosting an annual law student networking and career education event at Chicago-area law schools and bestowing an annual scholarship fund on high-achieving female high school students from the city of Chicago who demonstrate an interest in pursuing legal careers.