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Charlie Wittmack


Des Moines

(515) 282-7800

(515) 282-8700



Charlie is a civil litigator, trial attorney, and strategist, who draws on over two decades of experience in high-conflict, high-value matters. Charlie crafts strategies for clients that get results with a 360-degree perspective that draws on his experience in complex litigation, business strategy, and public relations.

As a litigator, Charlie has earned a reputation as a relentless and effective trial attorney. His cases frequently appear in the local and national media, including stories in The New York Times and Washington Post, among others. When discretion is required, Charlie has experience with developing and advancing strategies that keep complex matters out of the public spotlight. In many instances, the matters for which he is the proudest, remain confidential. He is licensed to practice before the state and federal courts of Iowa and North Carolina and is eligible for pro hac admission in proceedings across the United States.

As a strategist, Charlie serves clients that range in size from ambitious, local, start-ups, to large multi-national corporations. He primarily works with high-growth and highly-scalable companies, where he acts as a single point of contact for a wide variety of corporate needs, from start-up issues to exits. He routinely works with companies considering or engaged in sales and acquisitions, including private equity transactions ranging in value from the low millions to the high hundreds of millions. In addition to working with clients from California to New York, Charlie also serves international clients on projects in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nepal.

Charlie also has a busy pro bono practice dedicated to serving individuals and organizations which would otherwise be unable to afford high-quality representation. He typically donates in excess of 500 hours of professional time per year.

Representative Matters

  • Represented individuals in numerous high-conflict, high-value divorce matters, primarily involving marital estates in excess of several million dollars, high-conflict custody disputes, or other complex matters that require the attention of a civil litigator and trial attorney.
  • Multiple appearances on behalf of physicians and healthcare professionals in litigation related to the enforceability of healthcare non-compete agreements.
  • Development and maintenance of organizations that provide healthcare services in Iowa in accordance with doctrines related to the corporate practice of medicine.
  • Prosecuted multiple suitability claims through FINRA related to the Auction Rate Securities market collapse for clients with portfolios valued in the tens of thousands to the tens of millions.
  • Prosecuted a complex construction case alleging engineering malpractice and breach of contract, obtaining a seven-figure settlement from one defendant and a seven-figure jury verdict against a second group of defendants.
  • Obtained a six-figure settlement from a residential window manufacturer outside of a related national class action and without filing a complaint.
  • Successfully prosecuted nearly 100 F.E.D. proceedings in English and Spanish for a real estate developer who was converting a group of mobile home parks into retail space.
  • Founded numerous charities including the drafting of organizational documents, independent contractor agreements, state charitable solicitation filings, and strategic partnership plans.


  • Doctor of Law (JD) with Distinction (2003-2006)
    University of Iowa, College of Law
    Iowa City, Iowa
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Management and Marketing (1997-2001)
    University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business
    Iowa City, Iowa
  • National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) (1995)
    Semester in East Africa
  • Theodore Roosevelt High School (1995)
    Des Moines, Iowa

Civic Engagement

  • Director, Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines, Iowa (2020-current)
  • Member, Science Center of Iowa Capital Campaign Committee (2021-current)
  • General Counsel, Keystone Montessori School, Charlotte, North Carolina (2013-2018)
  • Fellow and Counsel, The Explorers Club, Manhattan, New York (2010-present)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Global Health, Des Moines University (2010-1017)
  • Ambassador, Save The Children, Washington, D.C. (2010-2011)

Honors & Awards

  • Iowa Law 150, University of Iowa, College of Law (2015)
  • Hall of Fame, Des Moines Roosevelt High School (2012)
  • Fellow National, The Explorers Club (2010)
  • Iowan of the Decade, The Des Moines Register (2009)
  • Forty Under 40, Business Publications (2007)
  • Commencement Speaker, University of Iowa (2004)
  • Executive Proclamation, Governor Tom Vilsack (2003)
  • Honorary Senate Resolution, Ambassador Mary Kramer (2003)

Selected Publications

  • “Antarctica: Before It Melts,” NEWSWEEK Magazine, videos and photographs (2016)
  • “The Teen Issue: 50 Years Later,” NEWSWEEK Magazine, videos and photographs (2016)
  • “An Interest-Based Approach to Management and Leadership,” Kendall Hunt, contributor (2011)
  • “The Dichotomy of Security and Adventure,” The Leader, The NOLS Alumni Magazine, author and photographer (2011)
  • “Committed to the Core,” 220Triathlon Magazine (U.K.), author and photographer (2011)

Personal Interests

Charlie has swum the English Channel and climbed Mount Everest (twice), and was the first American to have done both. He has completed ocean marathon swims around the world, scaled peaks on five continents, trekked across East Africa with the Maasai tribesmen, and sailed the Indian Ocean in a handmade boat. His expeditions have been featured in the national and international media including ESPN, CNN, Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, AOL, Huffington Post, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and many more.

Lately, Charlie’s adventures have been keeping him much closer to home as he works to keep up with his three children, Aoife (EE-fa), Jack, and James.

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