K&L Gates has hired Belynda Reck as a partner for its environment, land and natural resources practice in Los Angeles.

Reck was most recently a partner at Reed Smith, a firm she joined nearly three years ago from what was then Hunton & Williams. At the latter, which earlier this year became Hunton Andrews Kurth, Reck helped the firm set up shop in Los Angeles in late 2006 after it absorbed the bulk of splintering boutique O’Donnell & Mortimer.

As an “environmental geek,” Reck said she chose K&L Gates due to its global platform, environmental strength on the West Coast and the “highly collaborative way” in which the firm’s lawyers work with one another and their clients.

“Now I’ll be in a position to respond to clients who have problems nationally,” Reck said. “Being in a firm the size of K&L Gates, with the number of jurisdictions they service, you are able to address the need not just with the kind of expertise I bring to it, but also the local expertise because they have practices and offices in so many different locations.”

Belynda Reck

The roughly 1,800-lawyer K&L Gates had nearly $989.9 million in gross revenue last year, according to reporting by The American Lawyer, while the 1,550-lawyer Reed Smith had $1.12 billion in gross revenue in 2017. Reed Smith’s profits per equity partner (PEP) were almost $1.18 million last year, compared with $932,000 at K&L Gates.

Reck, a veteran environmental litigator, has more than 26 years’ experience litigating such issues in both state and federal courts. She focuses her practice on advising large international companies, small businesses and public entities on a variety of environmental and health and safety compliance and litigation matters, including toxic torts, water rights, climate change, products liability, unfair business practices and California’s Proposition 65.

“We are excited to have Belynda join K&L Gates’ Los Angeles office,” said a statement from K&L Gates’ local managing partner, Timothy Pierce, announcing Reck’s hire. “She is a dynamic lawyer who will immediately contribute to both the office and firmwide environmental practice. Her addition is a solid step towards our objective to expand the K&L Gates presence in California.”

Firmwide, K&L Gates has more than 100 lawyers in its environment, land and natural resources practice. The Pittsburgh-based Am Law 100 firm now has about 25 lawyers in the city, where K&L Gates and its predecessors have had an office since 2000.

K&L Gates’ Los Angeles office did see recently see project finance partner Andrea Lucan leave to join Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in the city. K&L Gates, which received regulatory approval this summer to open an office in Singapore, also hired a pair of corporate partners earlier this year, one of whom, David Bronner, works out of Los Angeles and Chicago.