2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The people I work with.”
“The hours are unpredictable and sometimes overwhelming.”
“Lack of transparency.”
About Reed Smith LLP
A Pittsburgh native long intertwined with the city’s industrial kingpins, Reed Smith joined the crowd in globalizing via international mergers in the 21st century. With litigation at the forefront, the firm’s practice strengths also include cross-border transactional and regulatory work.
Steel City Origins
Reed Smith LLP’s rise to prominence can be at least partly credited to a symbiotic relationship with an American industrial tycoon. Attorney James Reed, who founded the firm in Pittsburgh with Philander Knox in 1877, cultivated strong ties with the man most singularly responsible for giving Steel City its blue-collar identity: Andrew Carnegie. In addition to leading the firm’s representation of Carnegie at the peak of his empire-building, Reed served as a charter director of Carnegie’s U.S. Steel. Other industry titans followed Carnegie’s lead in enlisting the burgeoning outfit, and names such as Mellon, Heinz, and Frick soon graced the firm’s client roster.
Edwin W. Smith and other partners joined the firm in the 1880s, and in 1922, the firm adopted the name Reed Smith Shaw & McClay. In more recent years, a series of strategic mergers has resulted in the firm as it is today, with nearly 1,800 attorneys worldwide and the simpler moniker: Reed Smith.
Making Its Mark
While known for its litigation prowess, Reed Smith is a full-service shop, serving corporate and commercial clients on litigation, transactional, regulatory, and other matters. It also fields multi-disciplinary industry groups dedicated to clients in the life sciences, media and entertainment, energy and natural resources, shipping, and financial services sectors. According to the firm’s internal stats, it represents more than half of the world’s 100 largest companies, including top oil and gas companies, auto manufacturers, commercial and savings banks, and pharmaceutical distributors.
The firm has a stand-out labor and employment practice that handles everything from discrimination issues, executive compensation, labor law, pensions, wage and hour, and unfair competition. The firm also works together with clients to develop global HR strategies and to execute global investigations.
Reed Smith’s health care practice is another highly regarded area for the firm, which handles litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is experienced in a range of health care sectors—from health insurance to life science, and more.
School’s (Not) Out
Reed Smith is committed to educating its attorneys and staff. In 2004, the firm established Reed Smith University (RSU) through the University of Pennsylvania. The curriculum covers legal skills, leadership, business development, technology, and professional support. RSU is one part of the firm’s CareeRS program, a method of formal training unique to Reed Smith and aimed at covering 12 “competencies” that the firm believes makes for exceptional lawyering and providing developmental opportunities to attorneys.
News & Awards
Washington, DC office managing partner A. Scott Bolden was featured on American Lawyer's Legal Speak podcast discussing the historic protests for racial justice, his own experiences with racism, and how to practice authentic leadership in the struggle for greater understanding and inclusion in the legal profession and in the nation. Recent conversations with Scott about racial injustice are also featured in the National Law Journal and Washington Business Journal.
Stanford University recently featured Washington, DC‐based partner Colette D. Honorable, who chair the firm’s Energy Regulatory team and was a former FERC Commissioner, on its "Global Energy Dialogues" live‐cast, of which you can see an edited video of the event, or read a featured article about it. "Diversity is key in the grid, in energy innovation and in the energy industry,” says Honorable.
In July 2020, Reed Smith was again awarded “Gold Standard Certification’ by the Women In Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for integrating women into their highest leadership positions. With this year’s ranking, Reed Smith is now the only law firm in the world to have met all objective criteria for Gold Certification in the United States every year since the awards were inaugurated in 2011, and has also achieved Certification in the UK every year since the award’s inception there in 2019.
The Recorder featured a Q&A San Francisco‐based with litigation partner Jesse Miller, who is a colonel in the California Army National Guard. Since deployed March 17, 2020, Jesse and his unit have been on the front lines of the COVID‐19 pandemic, helping out at, and delivering needed supplies to food banks, nursing homes and other facilities across the United States. The article also highlights RS Vets and how Reed Smith has supported Jesse during his mission.
- In July 2019, the firm’s client Huntsman International and co-defendants defeated plaintiffs’ whistleblower claims in excess of $90 billion. Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP v. BASF
- In April 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Reed Smith’s clients were entitled to more than $12.5 billion in unpaid risk corridors payments. Maine Community Health Options v. U.S.
- After 10 years of litigation, the firm successfully negotiated a settlement with the DOJ regarding more than $6 billion in R&D tax credits. Bayer v. U.S.
- In September 2019, Reed Smith's $53M trial verdict for U.S. Bank was named to the New York Law Journal “Hall of Fame”
- Perfect 100% rating in the 2020 Disability Equality Index, the highest score given to any law firm in this year's index, 2020.
- Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers award for best “New Business and Service Delivery Models,” 2020
- “Best Legal Services Innovation,” “Best Client/Law Firm Team,” one of three finalists for "Law Firm of the Year,” and firm’s Client Value Team shortlisted for “Best Business Team,” 2019—2019 American Lawyer Industry Awards
- One of ‘America’s Top Trusted Corporate Law Firms’ (with special recognition in the areas of litigation and dispute resolution), 2019—Forbes
- Global 20 list, 2019—Law360
Reed Smith Centre
225 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 288-3131
Global Managing Partner: Alexander Thomas
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
1.5K - 2K
Austin; Century City; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; New York; San Francisco; Tysons; Washington, DC
1st year: $190,000
Summer Associate: $7,917/semi-monthly Miami; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Princeton; Richmond; Wilmington 1st year: $160,000-$175,000
Summer Associate: $6,667-$7,292/semi-monthly
Director of U.S. Legal Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 17
No. of International Offices: 12
Century City, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Wilmington, DE I Abu Dhabi
Energy & Natural Resources
Entertainment & Media
Financial Industry Group
Global Corporate Group
Global Commercial Disputes
Global Regulatory Enforcement
IP Tech & Data
Labor & Employment
Life Sciences Health Industry
Records & E-Discovery
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.