2024 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“I have lots of flexibility over how I structure my day and complete my work. This allows me to complete challenging work but nevertheless have a life outside the firm.”
“My colleagues are the best thing about working at my firm.”
“Hour requirement is very high (at market), while compensation does not match market pay.”
“Lack of mentoring, lack of deal flow to meet hours requirement.”
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 1,700 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 & healthcare, media and entertainment, energy and natural resources, transportation, 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.
Reed Smith has a leading Insurance Recovery practice, acting on behalf of policyholders regarding catastrophic property losses, products claims, securities litigation, and cyber losses. The firm also reviews clients’ insurance policies and advises them on negotiating data privacy and security liability insurance policies.
The firm has a standout 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 Life Sciences & 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 life sciences & healthcare sectors—including health insurance, pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, diagnostic, and more.
They also work in the entertainment and media space, advising clients from the worlds of advertising and marketing, film and television, music, sports, technology, telecoms, internet, social media, video gaming, interactive, and beyond.
The firm’s international arbitration capabilities have grown over the past several years, forming a cornerstone of Reed Smith’s overall disputes offering.
School’s (Not) Out
Reed Smith is committed to preparing its people for success. The firm has been providing formal training for career development since 2004. In 2022, the firm restructured, expanded, and rebranded its global competency-based career development program. The new program focuses on core competencies in legal skills, business skills, clients, and citizenship. New offerings include Reed Smith Associate Advantage, a program that is designed to focus on lawyers in their first three years of practice, and Reed Smith Campus, a global learning management system.
News & Awards
- Reed Smith helped achieve a complete defense win in 2022 involving three of the U.S.’s largest wholesale distributors of prescription drugs.
- Reed Smith successfully represented Hugh Caperton in a 15-year case against Massey Energy (Hugh M. Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.).
- Reed Smith obtained a groundbreaking summary judgment for plaintiff Realtek that clarified RAND obligations for standards-essential patents. This decision has had far-reaching impacts for leading tech companies with large patent portfolios.
- Reed Smith secured a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of Wyeth Corp. in a diet drug (Fen-Phen) trial, the first‐ever defense verdict in this type of case.
- BTI Client Service A-Team list, recognizing top law firms for superior client service, 2023—BTI Consulting Group
- Legal Technology Trailblazer award for the firm’s Innovation Lab, 2023—National Law Journal
- Mansfield Certified Plus for the fifth year running, 2022—Diversity Lab
- 100% on Corporate Equality Index, 2022—Human Rights Campaign
- 100% on Disability Equality Index, 2022—Joint Initiative, American Association of People with Disabilities & Disability:IN
599 Lexington Avenue
New York 10022
Phone: (212) 521-5400
Global Managing Partner: Casey Ryan
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
1.5K - 2K
No. of Partners Named 2022:
1st year: $215,000
Summer Associate: $215,000
Director of U.S. Legal Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 18
No. of International Offices: 13
Century City, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Wilmington, DE I