A. Scott Bolden A. Scott Bolden of Reed Smith. Jan. 29, 2013. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/The National Law Journal.

Reed Smith’s Washington, D.C., office has new leadership in 2018, as a familiar face returns to manage the firm’s outpost in the capital, and his predecessor takes his practice to a smaller firm.

A. Scott Bolden is taking over as managing partner of the office, replacing Gary Thompson, who has left Reed Smith to join Weisbrod Matteis & Copley’s insurance recovery group.

Bolden formerly served as Reed Smith’s D.C. managing partner from 2008 to 2014. He said he expects new challenges this time around, including maintaining morale and “high energy and connectivity between our lawyers.”

“And externally, how do I attack this issue of laterals and growing in a very dense market called Washington, D.C.?” Bolden continued ”What leadership skill set does that require?”

“It wasn’t a hard call, it was a nervous call internally for me, but I’m glad to be back,” Bolden said.

Bolden called Thompson an “excellent leader” and said Reed Smith will look to build on his efforts. He said his own priorities would include making sure lawyers in the office don’t develop internal silos that isolate them from one another’s practices.

Bolden also said he expected to recruit new lateral hires to the 75-lawyer D.C. office in 2018.

As for Thompson’s move to Weisbrod Matteis, chairman August Matteis said it was a longtime ambition to bring him to the firm. “We’ve been trying to recruit Gary since the day we opened our doors,” Matteis said in a release.

“Gary’s practice fits well into our growing firm, and he brings the whole package: expertise, dedication, a winning record, a pro bono legacy and unmatched character,” he said.

Thompson, a litigator and insurance recovery specialist, represents corporate policyholders in battles with insurers but also handles general disputes. In a statement, he called his new 28-lawyer firm “excellent from top to bottom” and said he was excited to join a smaller firm where he could offer clients more flexible pricing arrangements.

“WMC’s cutting-edge model is not subject to the relentless billing pressures of the Big Law world,” he said.