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With all of Reed Smith’s growth the past two years, including a number of significant mergers both domestically and internationally, it wouldn’t be surprising if some wondered if the firm’s Philadelphia office had gotten lost in the shuffle. Guess again. Big changes are coming to its office in the City of Brotherly Love. The firm has made three leadership changes out of its Philadelphia office, placing some relative newcomers into the positions of Philadelphia office managing partner and firmwide intellectual property group leader. Claudia Z. Springer, who came to Reed Smith in 2002 after 16 years at Duane Morris, has taken over the role of managing partner in Philadelphia from Robert A. Nicholas. Nicholas was asked by senior management to fill the vacant New York office managing partner role. Tracy Zurzolo Quinn, who joined Reed Smith in 1999 from Morgan Lewis & Bockius, will head up the firm’s intellectual property group. She took over the role from Karl A. Fritton, who will continue as the firm’s deputy litigation head for specialty groups. Reed Smith lifer Barbara Binis, who joined the firm after law school in 1991, is set to take over as leader of the firm’s 139-lawyer products liability group. While Springer and Quinn stepped into their positions Jan. 1, Binis will take over for Steven M. Kohn in July at the conclusion of two pharmaceutical products liability trials she has ongoing. Reed Smith chairman Gregory B. Jordan said the firm resets its management organization every three years, and sometimes that means changes. When W. Thomas McGough Jr. left his position as leader of the firm’s litigation department to head up integration efforts in Chicago between Reed Smith and Sachnoff & Weaver, Colleen T. Davies took over the position. She too has only been with the firm for a short time, joining in 2003 as part of the firm’s merger with Crosby Heafey Roach & May in California. It is up to Davies, Jordan said, to select leaders for various practice groups. It was at her suggestion that Quinn and Binis be named to their respective roles, he said. The firm decided to move Nicholas up to New York in an effort to repeat there the success firm leadership felt he had in growing the Philadelphia office, Jordan said. When Nicholas agreed to the change, Springer said he called her in December inquiring whether she would like to fill his spot in Philadelphia. “I didn’t really expect to be offered that role because I’ve been at the firm for only five years,” she said. Jordan called her a week later to officially offer the position, she said. Springer hadn’t really held a leadership position at the firm before now, with the exception of unofficially assisting bankruptcy partner Peter Clark in his role as leader of that group. Her being chosen as office managing partner shows that the firm embraces and is willing to integrate new hires, she said. “It does send a very positive message to our partners and associates who are not homegrown,” Springer said, adding that the message can be felt by potential lateral hires as well. Springer said several of the larger firms are recognizing that in order to attract top lateral talent, they can’t later judge new hires for not starting their career at the firm. In the age of leaping laterals, firms are trying harder to integrate new people well, she said. For Springer, the integration process into her new role is just beginning. She said it takes up almost all of her time now, but she anticipates it taking 10 to 20 hours a week once she settles in. Springer, 51, focuses her practice on bankruptcy and restructuring work, and while she said she loves her practice, she is excited for a new challenge. She said she felt rejuvenated when she came to Reed Smith and expanded her practice to include more than mainly the representation of secured lenders in bankruptcy matters. That is what she said she is hoping for with this new position. While she doesn’t anticipate giving up her practice, Springer said the slight slow-down in the bankruptcy world makes this as good a time as any to take over as office managing partner. “I won’t tell you that this isn’t a good time in my career for this to happen,” she said. As part of Springer’s plan for the 140-attorney Philadelphia office, she said she would like to see an increase in the civic and charitable involvement from the office whether it is by sitting on a board or making a financial contribution. Springer will also look to grow the office, but there is no set number or limitation to that growth, she said. Quinn is looking at growth opportunities for the intellectual property group, particularly in conjunction with the firm’s financial services, life sciences and pharmaceutical clients. She said she has identified cross-selling opportunities in those areas specifically, but will travel to each firm office to hear of any other potential prospects. Coming into a leadership role at an early stage in one’s partnership can be difficult to juggle and hard on one’s practice, she said. “Timing-wise, it’s definitely going to be a challenge,” Quinn said, adding that she is just at the point where she would start to develop her own clients. The benefits, however, come in the form of deeper integration into the practice group globally, which could ultimately build her practice, she said. Quinn isn’t coming into the role cold. For the past two years, she and other Reed Smith attorneys from varying offices served as deputy managing partners under Fritton in the intellectual property group. Each deputy handled different aspects of the practice, with Quinn focusing on IP litigation for the eastern part of the country. Fritton had been the leader of the firm’s specialty groups litigation practice, under which IP happened to fall. As the practice grew, it became clear that it would need its own leader, Quinn said. For two years Fritton worked with a group of five main deputies who were thought to be potential candidates for the head of the IP group. “It’s sort of a two-year training course,” Quinn said, joking that she eventually “drew the short straw.” Quinn isn’t foreign to leadership positions at Reed Smith. Other than serving as a deputy practice group leader for IP, she has served as the firm’s hiring partner for the Philadelphia region and has been involved with the firm’s diversity and mentoring initiatives. Reed Smith’s interest in diversification and inclusion of new attorneys has not gone unnoticed. “When I first knew of Reed Smith, it was known as the white-shoe firm of Pittsburgh,” recruiter Maura McAnney of McAnney Esposito & Kraybill Associates in Pittsburgh said. McAnney said the firm has transformed itself into one that has a “join the ranks of a good firm” atmosphere. Jordan said that over the last six or seven years – which also mirrors his reign as chairman – the firm has changed into one that selects its leaders based on merit and not seniority. He said the firm’s initiative at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is one focused almost solely on developing the leadership skills of all of its attorneys. The change at the firm over the past few years has been “deliberate” and “dramatic,” Jordan said, and the firm has been successful because of its new partners, not despite of them. Placing laterals in leadership positions is becoming more common in many firms, McCanney said, because they are looking for fresh ideas. Firms have recognized that women in the legal field are here to stay, and they have realized that younger attorneys can often bring a needed change, McAnney said. In the age of technology, a younger attorney may be more appealing as a leader than a senior attorney who still dictates rather than turn on a computer, she said. Quinn said she has noticed that Reed Smith is more tolerant of diversity and lifestyle choices than other firms. While talking with Fritton the other day, Quinn said they noticed that nearly all of the firm’s practice group leaders are not senior rainmakers but “up-and-comers.” Adding to the examples of that style of leadership is a transition in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. Jordan said Pittsburgh office managing partner Carolyn D. Duronio was elected last year as the firm’s corporate secretary on its executive committee. She has been succeeded in her role as office managing partner by corporate and securities partner James J. Barnes. Barnes joined the firm in 2002 from then-Buchanan Ingersoll.

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