This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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In 2013, the firm announced the opening of its Houston office, marking the firm’s first move into the Texas legal market. Widely described as the “energy capital of the world”, having a presence in the city enables closer interaction between the firm and many of its clients, who have major operations in the region. The office is a key part of Reed Smith’s global network, as its Houston-based specialists have bolstered the firm’s already-established strength in sectors such as energy and natural resources, finance and life sciences.
|Business Crime Defence||1||Insurance & Reinsurance||8|
|Capital Markets||1||Labour & Employment||1|
|Commercial Litigation||2||Life Sciences||10|
|Construction||2||Product Liability Defence||5|
|Franchise||1||Sports & Entertainment||7|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||1||Trademarks||1|
The firm has been active in growing its Houston capability across a wide range of areas in the transactional, regulatory and disputes field, as exemplified by the November 2013 hire of two respected partners. Over the past year, the firm also demonstrated a commitment to the expansion of its international corporate practice with two hires to the Paris office, appointments which see the city’s corporate team grow to 14 lawyers, including five partners.
|Total Listings in WWL||44||Established||1986|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||650|
|Number of partners||188||Number of offices||15|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Reed Smith has a greatly respected life sciences practice and is recognised as a “key player” in the international market. The firm advises on the full range of life sciences matters including product development and management, regulatory demands and litigation risks, and serves clients who develop and market drug, device, diagnostic, and biotechnology products. John Wilkinson is a “true specialist” in the field who regularly acts for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology clients in relation to a range of transactional and regulatory issues. Known for his “technical excellence”, Wilkinson has represented clients in numerous complex alliances and joint ventures. The “exceptional” Steven Kohn focuses on product liability litigation and represents various pharmaceutical and medical device companies in high-profile cases. He is described as a “superb strategist” and advises manufacturers and distributors on product liability and risk management. Michael Brown is an “outstanding advocate” and has a practice focusing on complex product liability cases, multi-district litigations and class actions. A former chair of the firm’s life sciences health industry group, he acts for a wide range of major clients including Medtronic, CR Bard, Pfizer, Merck & Co and GlaxoSmithKline. Colleen Davies is the firm’s global head of legal personnel and has a “top-notch” practice encompassing pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer product liability defence. In Philadelphia, the “tremendously talented” Stephen McConnell has represented various major device and pharmaceutical companies, including Philip Morris and Wyeth, in significant litigation before federal and state courts.
The firm has a “particularly active” insurance and reinsurance practice and represents policyholders across a broad range of industries and insurance policies. Ann Kramer is “extensively experienced” in the field and specialises in insurance policy terms and renewals, claim presentation and management and negotiation. She is widely acknowledged for her “impressive attention to detail” and advises corporations on insurance issues that arise in connection with mergers and acquisitions. Jay Levin is a “real authority” on insurance-related dispute resolution and focuses on the representation of policyholders in conflicts with insurance companies concerning all types of coverage. He has “invaluable experience” in multimillion-dollar property insurance coverage cases involving policy construction and application, cause and origin and valuation issues. In Chicago, John Shugrue is acknowledged as an “undisputed expert” on insurance matters concerning general and excess liability, while James Restivo Jr is a former head of the firm’s litigation department who receives praise for his “first-rate” expertise in relation to insurance coverage for toxic torts, intellectual property infringement and claims against officers and directors.
Reed Smith is “well reputed” for its work in the sports and entertainment sector, and London-based Richard Philipps specialises in film and television, with a particular focus on production and acquisition financing. He is a “go-to” lawyer for advice on the financial and production aspects of media transactions, including international elements, completion guarantees and all types of financing and security documentation for the film and television industries. The “distinguished” Michael Sherman represents a wide range of individual and institutional clients in the motion picture, television, internet, music, theatre and sports industries.
In its capacity as a major international firm, Reed Smith is committed to ensuring that justice is made more widely available to those in jurisdictions where it has a presence. Three full-time lawyers in London, Philadelphia and San Francisco manage the pro bono practice, and as a charter signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Pro Bono Challenge, the firm devotes 3 per cent of its US lawyers’ billable hours to pro bono work. In the UK, Reed Smith is a signatory to the Joint Protocol for Pro Bono Work.
Reed Smith is a diverse entity and strives to realise the true value of its employees’ constituents – lawyers, staff and clients – by fully integrating their unique talents and perspectives into every aspect of the firm’s operation. A firm-wide diversity committee was established to oversee the implementation of the firm’s various programmes. One such programme is the Women’s Initiative Network, which promotes the successful development and advancement of female lawyers at Reed Smith; the firm is proud of its promotion of diverse lawyers to leadership positions throughout the firm.
Following the opening of its Houston office, in 2014 Reed Smith will continue with its plan for extensive growth across all areas of its transactional, regulatory and disputes practice at the location. On a global scale, the firm will maintain a policy of assisting its clients with their most challenging legal problems, while responding quickly and effectively to any challenges and opportunities that arise in key jurisdictions.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.