This site is not supported on Internet Explorer. Please view this site on the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge.

Update your browser


Apr 12, 2024

Mary Kay CLO Goes To Private Practice At Lynn Pinker

Author: Christine DeRosa

The longtime top attorney for Mary Kay Inc. has returned to private practice at trial litigation firm Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann LLP after more than two decades in-house, in what she calls a full circle moment bringing her back to her roots.

Julia A. Simon
, who joined the firm as a Dallas-based partner, served as Mary Kay's chief legal officer and corporate secretary since 2016, in addition to serving as chief privacy officer and chief diversity officer, she told Law360 Pulse during an interview Friday.

Simon first joined the company in 1995 as an employment attorney but said she realized she needed more experience and wanted to try lawsuits, leading her to rejoin the law firm Locke Purnell Rain Harrell, now Locke Lord LLP.

She got a phone call from a friend who was leaving Mary Kay and asked if she had any interest in returning to the company. Simon said she had made partner and just had a baby and was interested in returning to Mary Kay, leading her to spend the next 23 years with the company.

Simon spoke highly about her two decades with Mary Kay, calling the team great and her career at the company incredible, but said the decision to start a new chapter came when reflecting on her retirement.

A litigator at heart, Simon said she didn't see herself not practicing law and when thinking about the 10 to 15 years left in her career, she questioned if that was at Mary Kay.

"When I thought about 15 years from now, I thought that doesn't seem right," Simon said. "Not because I don't love the company, but because there are different things I could be doing. I just felt it's time to go, you have this big runway ... the longer you wait, the fewer options you have in that next chapter."

Private practice wasn't even on her list when she started thinking about her next chapter. Instead, Simon thought she'd mediate or be a consultant but instead found herself at Lynn Pinker, which she said was probably the longest-running trial counsel for Mary Kay.

The firm represented the beauty company in a 2021 lawsuit accusing a former employee of unfairly profiting off its copyrights in an upcoming book. In June 2023, Mary Kay told a Texas federal judge that it was dropping the lawsuit and the parties agreed to cover their own costs and attorney fees.

The firm also represented Mary Kay in a suit by a former Mary Kay national sales director over retirement payments and in a trademark infringement suit against an LLC and two men for allegedly selling bogus Mary Kay products on Amazon.

Simon said it felt right to go to a place where they already value her litigation skills and they approach law as she would approach law for her clients.

"It truly is a testament to this firm that they would bring somebody like me in," Simon said. "They're excited about it, they're energized by it and they saw that value. That's energizing to me too."

In her practice, Simon will offer clients much of the same as she did at Mary Kay. While with the beauty company, she oversaw legal, risk management, governance, compliance, public affairs, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility functions.

Chris Schwegmann, the firm's managing partner, said in the firm's statement that he's extremely pleased to welcome Simon to Lynn Pinker.

"She's a legal powerhouse, and I've had the pleasure of working closely with her as a client, friend, and mentor for almost 20 years," Schwegmann said. "Julia brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and has a clear vision of the opportunities she can bring to the firm."