Reed Smith officially announced Monday that it has opened in Dallas, bringing on five lawyers from Bryan Cave, three from Bracewell and eight from Perkins Coie. Texas Lawyer reported on the new office last week.
Alexander “Sandy” Thomas, global managing partner of Reed Smith, said Dallas has been a key objective for the firm because of the amount of work lawyers have been doing for clients in the Dallas area.
The lateral partner hires in Dallas are Bobby Majumder, Ryan Preston and Lynwood (Lyn) Reinhardt, all from Perkins Coie, who joined the global corporate practice; Mark Johansen from Perkins Coie and Brian Mitchell from Bracewell in the global commercial disputes practice; Bryan Cave lawyers Keith Aurzada and Michael Cooley in the financial industry group, and former Bracewell partner Alfred Kyle in the real estate practice.
Before Reed Smith announced the hires, Bracewell confirmed last week that partners Kyle and Mitchell would join Reed Smith in Dallas, and Perkins Coie confirmed that a group of lawyers led by partner Majumder would also make that move.
The Dallas office is the third in Texas for Pittsburgh-founded international firm Reed Smith, which opened a Houston office in 2013 and put down a flag in Austin last year. Reed Smith now has 29 offices.
“We’ve had our eye on the Dallas market for a long time. That’s been driven almost entirely by the fact that our clients have a presence in DFW [Dallas/Fort Worth] and we do a lot of work connected to clients down there and have for many years. That’s the first ingredient for us,” Thomas said in an interview.
He said the firm has been actively working on the Dallas office for more than a year.
“When we approach a market with the sort of diligence we use, it takes a long time to build relationships, to give people the time to understand the culture of our firm,” Thomas said.
Additionally, David Thompson, head of Reed Smith’s San Francisco office and senior counsel in the energy and natural resources group and the real estate practice, has moved temporarily to Dallas to lead integration. He performed a similar role when the firm opened its Houston office in 2013. Thomas said Thompson will work there for at least a year.
Mitchell and Majumder will serve as co-managing partners of the Dallas office. Majumder will also co-lead the firm’s India business team along with arbitration and litigation partner Gautam Bhattacharyya of London.
Rounding out the new lawyer team in Dallas are counsel Jay Krystinik and Bradley Purcell, and associate Lindsey Robin from Bryan Cave; associates Brooke Dorris, Katherine Geddes, E. Steve Smith and Jared Wood, all from Perkins Coie; and associate Austin Whitmore from Bracewell.
According to Reed Smith’s announcement, the lateral hires in Dallas have advised clients in industries including finance, health care, transportation, real estate, retail, energy and natural resources, and technology. Thomas said that work fits into the five industry sectors that are key to Reed Smith—finance, life sciences and health care, energy and natural resources, transportation and media and entertainment.
Mitchell, one of the new office leaders, said he was not looking to leave Bracewell, but a friend he declined to identify urged him to take a meeting with Reed Smith. He said he walked away from that interview impressed with what he heard about the firm’s collaborative culture.
A complex commercial litigator, Mitchell said Reed Smith, with its global footprint, provides more reach for his clients, and its client roster also provides him with new opportunities.
In fact, Mitchell said, on his first day last Wednesday, he and another partner had a client interview about a litigation matter, were engaged by that evening, and filed multiple briefs over the next couple days. Mitchell was set to appear in court Friday on the matter.
“Talk about hitting the ground running,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell’s counterpart as co-managing partner, Majumder, also noted that Reed Smith provides him and his colleagues from Perkins Coie with a global reach for their practice. And he said he was attracted to the firm’s commitment to Texas, as shown by its presence in Houston and Austin.
Additionally, Reed Smith’s offices in London, Dubai and Singapore and its large New York office will assist Majumder in building the India practice, he said. A transactional lawyer, he said his clients include Yes Bank, a large bank in India, and Dallas companies Howard Hughes Corp. and TGI Friday’s.
Majumder and Thomas go way back—to law school at Washington and Lee University.
The new office was operational May 1, but the lawyers moved in over several days, and all were on board by Friday, according to Reed Smith. The firm expects to add more lawyers in Dallas. It has 76 lawyers in Houston and six in Austin.
Aside from Dallas, Austin was Reed Smith’s latest addition. That office opened its doors in 2018 as Reed Smith nabbed 14 lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright—a group that expanded the firm’s life sciences health industry group Washington, D.C., New York and in Austin.
Robin Dubas, managing partner of Bryan Cave’s Dallas office, said in an email that the firm wishes restructuring partners Aurzada and Cooley and the three other lawyers well in their move.