Morgan Lewis partner joins Reed Smith

William-Arthur Haynes

San Jose Business Journal

November 24, 2008

Reed Smith LLP is expected to confirm Monday that months-long talks with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP corporate and securities partner Armando Castro have come to fruition with the Silicon Valley veteran joining the firm’s nascent and growing Palo Alto office.

Castro, a recognized player in clean technology, said he would use the firm’s focus on renewable energy to expand his clean technology work and take advantage of Reed Smith’s presence in the Middle East and China.

“The investment interest from those regions is becoming a more common theme, not just in the energy space but in the renewable space and the clean tech sectors,” Castro said. “Early stage investors in the United States, as well as later stage investors, are increasingly looking to those regions for investment partners as they look to larger energy plays, things would normally involve project finance.”

Castro represents boards of directors, investors and investment banks with interests in upstart and mature public companies in a variety of industries, including synthetic biology, wireless technology, software and semiconductors among others.

Reed Smith’s recent bagging of a 14-attorney renewable energy group from the failed Thelen LLP firm was a factor as well, Castro said.

“It just created a platform where I felt like I couldn’t pass it up,” said Castro, who began talking with Reed Smith in August. “I talked to a number of business colleagues and a couple clients and they seemed enthusiastic about it and I decided this was something I had to do.”

Castro is a Silicon Valley mainstay having begun his career as an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC in 1992 following legal studies at Stanford University Law School. Castro subsequently spent two spells at the erstwhile Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison firm, sandwiching a stint as general counsel and corporate secretary of Cyras Systems Inc., which was acquired by CIENA Corp. in 2001.

Castro, director and treasurer of the Hispanic National Bar Association, will rejoin former Morgan Lewis intellectual property partners Craig Opperman and Carina Tan. Opperman and Tan joined Reed Smith’s Palo Alto office shortly after its Oct. 1 launch.

Alan Miles & Associates, the Santa Monica-based legal placement consultancy, has been instrumental in Reed Smith’s rapid Silicon Valley growth. Castro brings the Palo Alto roster to 16 attorneys, all of them partners in the firm. A handful split their time among the firm’s Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles offices.

Alan Miles & Associates is responsible for placing nine of those 16 partners, including Richard Scudellari, poached from San Francisco-born Morrison & Foerster LLP in September to anchor the shop, and most recently Opperman and Tan.

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