The size of Reed Smith’s partnership may have declined slightly in recent years, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the firm over the last few weeks.
On Thursday the firm added J.P. Duffy, formerly of Baker McKenzie, as a partner in its international arbitration group in New York, preceded Monday by the addition of Cheryl Hader in trusts and estates. In Texas, the firm is opening a new Dallas office with as many as six partners from Bracewell and Perkins Coie. Last month it added insurance recovery partners in Miami and a tax partner in New York.
In a statement, José Astigarraga, the leader of Reed Smith’s international arbitration practice, said, “With his experience, talent and drive, JP is a fantastic addition to our practice.”
Astigarraga noted that the firm has also added key arbitration lawyers in Paris, Dubai, Singapore, Miami and other leading arbitral venues.
Duffy cited Astigarraga as one of the driving forces behind his move. Astigarraga joined the firm two years ago after 17 years as owner of Astigarraga Davis. Duffy called the move a sign of Reed Smith’s “commitment to the practice” and said he felt that he could continue to best expand his practice there.
“The buildup of our international arbitration practice across our global footprint is an important part of the firm’s overall strategy to further strengthen its position as a global disputes leader, in both litigation and arbitration,” said Peter Hardy, co-chair of the global commercial disputes group.
Duffy would not comment on which clients and or additional lawyers might be joining him from Baker McKenzie.
According to a firm statement, Duffy has represented clients in international arbitrations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has also worked in arbitration-related litigation before U.S. state and federal courts. Duffy is eligible to practice in New York and England & Wales, and previously practiced as a foreign legal consultant in Dubai, the firm said.
“With the addition of JP, we are advancing our strategic focus to build our office in New York with a global reach,” said Cindy Minniti, managing partner of Reed Smith’s New York office, in a statement. “Duffy’s arrival follows the recent addition in New York of leading practitioners with cross border practices, so we are delighted by how our efforts are playing out.”
Duffy was an associate at Hughes Hubbard & Reed and a partner at K&L Gates and DLA Piper prior to his run at Baker McKenzie.
Overall partner head count at Reed Smith in both the equity and nonequity tiers hasn’t changed much over the last decade. The total partner count has slipped modestly each of the past three years, according to data collected by ALM Intelligence. Last year there were 646 partners, compared with a 10-year high of 708 partners in 2013.