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Reed Smith Crosby Heafey has new faces leading its Oakland and San Francisco offices. Managing partner for the Oakland office is Sonja Weissman, a lawyer who helped lead the firm’s defense team for Sulzer Orthopedics Inc. while it was embroiled in litigation over thousands of faulty artificial joints. Kenneth Philpot, a securities attorney who was the former managing partner of Jackson, Tufts, Cole & Black, will lead the San Francisco office. Several changes have taken place in the Oakland firm formerly known as Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May since it merged with Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith on Jan. 1. Temporarily, the combined firm will be called Reed Smith Crosby Heafey in California markets, but it will eventually be known as Reed Smith. Although Crosby acquired several smaller firms since Weissman joined the firm in 1991, the Reed Smith merger is new territory, she said. “Rare is the day that two firms of our size merge,” said the attorney, adding that she was excited about the integration. “It’s amazing how similar the firms’ cultures were.” Weissman has been with Crosby, Heafey since she graduated from Hastings College of Law. Before the merger she was chair of Crosby’s complex litigation group and diversity committee. She is on the board of directors of the Alameda County Bar Association. She replaces John Lynn Smith, who will now head the firm’s East Bay marketing efforts. Philpot came to the San Francisco office in 2000, 18 months after several attorneys were absorbed by Crosby, Heafey from Jackson, Tufts. He has been a commercial litigator for 25 years, specializing in legal malpractice and representing corporate officers and directors. Philpot was Jackson, Tufts’ managing partner for nine years. Philpot replaces John Siamus, who now leads the firm’s California recruiting efforts along with firm partner Morgan Tovey. After managing Jackson, Tufts as it grew from 40 to 80 lawyers, Philpot joked that he vowed to “be smart enough never to do it again.” But “in this context, it was a real opportunity for me to � make sure [the Reed-Crosby merger] was handled in a way that works, he said. Philpot pledged to help the San Francisco office reap the benefits of working at an international firm and to ensure that the firm didn’t feel “bureaucratic, overwhelming and large.” The announcement caps a series of leadership changes that have occurred since the marriage, which created a 995-attorney firm with offices on both coasts and in the United Kingdom. Jack Nelson, the former Crosby chief operating officer, will oversee all the California offices. Former firm CEO Kurt Peterson and Crosby partners Colleen Davies and Michael Brown were named to Reed Smith’s 18-member executive committee. The Los Angeles and Century City managing partners will remain the same. Janet Kwuon manages the L.A. office, and Irwin Barnet handles those duties in Century City.

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