2022 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The people and meaningful work.”
“Large footprint and vast resources.”
“Paychecks only once a month.”
“Hours can be demanding.”
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
- Reed Smith advised on the single most transformative change to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Listing Rules. The changes are reflected in new passages in the Listing Rules, but their significance is so much greater: They culminate in the single most transformative change to the market in a quarter century, dating back to the introduction of the H-share regime back in 1993.
- Reed Smith won a full jury verdict in favor of client Honeywell in defense of claims by plaintiff that their Bendix brakes contributed to his mesothelioma. The five-week jury trial, conducted entirely via Zoom during the height of the COVID pandemic, was one of the first of its kind for product liability in Alameda County, California.
- Obtained a $66 million jury verdict as lead counsel for LED manufacturer Lumileds in Lumileds LLC v. Elec-Tech International Co. After a one-month trial, a Silicon Valley jury found that a China-based company and its CEO misappropriated our client’s LED technology and used it to develop its own products at its facilities in China.
- Represented defendant Box, Inc., in a $270 million patent infringement suit involving 12 patents relating to collaborative software and file synchronization. Prevailed on motion to transfer the case from the Eastern District of Virginia. Defeated plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction. Invalidated five asserted patents on a motion to dismiss. Prevailed on summary judgment of no willfulness. Prevailed on motion to strike plaintiff’s damages expert. After a two-week jury trial, the jury awarded plaintiff less than two percent of its original damages claim. The case settled on appeal.
- Best Law Firms for Women, 2021—Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media)
- Champion for Disability Inclusion in the Legal Profession, 2021—ABA Commission on Disability Rights
- Perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, 2020—Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certified Plus, 2021—Diversity Lab
- Gold Standard Certified in the U.S. and the U.K., 2020—Women In Law Empowerment Forum
Reed Smith Centre
225 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 288-3131
Global Managing Partner: Alexander Thomas
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
1.5K - 2K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
1,900; 2,000 for discretely bonus eligibility
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: 13
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.