Cheryl Hader Cheryl Hader (Courtesy photo)

Cheryl Hader, a veteran New York attorney who has represented CEOs, celebrities and entrepreneurs, has joined Reed Smith as a partner in the firm’s trusts and estates practice. Prior to the move she had been chair of the individual clients group at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.

Hader’s practice has centered on trust and probate matters, tax and charitable planning for national and international clients, including wealthy individuals and families and closely held businesses.

“Cheryl is a highly credentialed and trusted advisor to a broad and diverse group of clients,” said Matthew Petersen, co-chair of Reed Smith’s global corporate group. He said her 25 years of experience brings greater bench strength and “incredible depth” to the firm’s trusts and estates practice, both in New York and nationally.

Hader said Reed Smith’s larger, more international platform will help her business grow, as many of her clients have interests overseas. While happy with her decade at Kramer Levin, the firm’s recent re-focus on a set of  “core practices” that didn’t include her own helped facilitate the move to Reed Smith, she said.

Hader was listed on Kramer Levin’s site as the only U.S. based partner in the individual clients practice, with the bulk of the other partners of that team located in France. Only one U.S.-based associate was listed. The firm didn’t respond to a request for comment on her departure.

“I wanted to be at a firm that was fully committed to trusts and estates,” Hader said. Other than the lack of proximity, the dearth of other practitioners at her previous firm also played a part in the move. “I like to bounce ideas off of people,” she said.

While happy about the transition, she said there were logistical challenges. She mentioned that about 125 boxes worth of files and paperwork had been delivered to her offices at Reed Smith, and she expects more. “It’s like working two jobs,” she said, referring to her and her staff getting the files in order.

Hader will be joined by her associate Jonathan Kane as well as two members of her staff. She mentioned that given the personal nature of her practice, it’s important to have people around her who know how to deal with her clients and understand their needs. She anticipates hundreds of clients following her over to Reed Smith.

“Cheryl is the right fit for the firm,” said Cindy Minniti, office managing partner of the firm’s New York office. “She is a highly respected member of the New York legal community and we are thrilled that she has chosen Reed Smith.”

Prior to her time at Kramer Levin, Hader had stints at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Ropes & Gray and Drinker Bittle & Reath. She is also the author of Estate Planning and Chapter 14: Understanding the Special Valuation Rules, now in its second edition.