Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood ()

In his first announcement as head of Reed Smith’s New York office, Douglas Wood said first-year associate salaries in Manhattan would increase to market-rate standards.

Wood and other New York partners had been pushing for the increase, and firm management decided this summer to raise pay for first-year Manhattan associates to $160,000, considered standard for large firms, from $145,000, which the firm set during the recession. Second year associates will make $170,000. The change is effective Jan. 1, 2015. “We’re a big player here and we ought to be one and act like one,” Wood said, adding the pay helps the firm compete for the best talent.

Wood, who became managing partner of the 175-attorney New York office in August, succeeds Edward Estrada, who was appointed to the Pittsburgh-based firm’s senior management team as global head of strategy.

Wood, 64, said he plans to continue Reed Smith’s efforts to increase head count in New York, with partners in trusts and estates, real estate, financial services, pharmaceutical, shipping and media practices. The firm is in discussions with lateral groups and individuals, he said. “In the past two weeks, I’ve interviewed half a dozen candidates,” he said.

Wood is co-chair of the firm’s media and entertainment group and also advises clients in advertising law. His clients include the Association of National Advertisers, the Ad Council, Sony, Estée Lauder, Lancome and Reebok. Wood joined Reed Smith in 2004, when the firm took on a group of 22 lawyers from Hall Dickler, where Wood was executive partner.

The firm also appointed Cindy Schmitt Minniti, who advises management in labor and employment law issues, as Wood’s deputy managing partner.