Reed Smith Boosts West Coast Offices

William-Arthur Haynes

Daily Journal

October 2, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO - With the addition of 14 attorneys to its West Coast corporate and securities practice in 2007, including three new partners who joined the San Francisco office Monday, Reed Smith is aiming to become a major player in the global capital markets arena.

On the heels of merging with London-based Richards Butler and Chicago's Sachnoff & Weaver, practice team captain John Iino insists the West Coast build out is only in its nascent stages.

"There's more to come," Iino said. "As we absorb the opportunities [that come with two mergers], we're just constantly realizing the need for more and more skilled people. We're really poised to grow throughout California."

Iino said the number of corporate and securities attorneys, 38, the firm has in California was "not even close to where we want to get."

Since April, Reed Smith's Los Angeles office has attracted five corporate attorneys from O'Melveny & Meyers, Irell & Manella and the erstwhile Alschuler Grossman firm.

Monday, the San Francisco office welcomed corporate and securities partner Catharina Y. Min, formerly of Squire Sanders & Dempsey; Devin R. Cuyler, a Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman global sourcing partner; and Bradley S. DeJean of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner's business and finance group.

Gary Miles of legal placement consultancy Alan Miles & Associates brokered the deals.

The trio fit the blueprint for 1,500-attorney Reed Smith’s ambition to become a major player in the global markets, Iino said, adding that the growth of the firm overall and its West Coast corporate and securities group is attractive to people looking to expand their own opportunities.

Min said she is looking forward to "so many things" at Reed Smith - one being increasing the firm's client base as well as her own.

"This firm seemed to be very committed to growing its corporate practice and its Asia practice in California," Min said.

Min represents domestic and international clients in various corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and joint ventures.

Between stints at Cooley Godward and Squire Sanders, Min spent four years practicing at the Seoul, Korea-based firm Shin & Kim.

She represents a number of Asian clients, in particular Korean high-tech and bio-science companies that conduct business in the United States and Asia. She declined to specify any of those clients by name.

Cuyler's practice focuses on global sourcing and technology transactions, including IT sourcing, telecommunications services agreements, life sciences technology transactions and application development agreements.

Representative matters include a human resource outsourcing deal for an international multi-industry company and a complex data storage, system disaster recovery and business continuity sourcing transaction for an unspecified Fortune 15 outfit.

"Reed Smith has an actual, true, strong global platform," said Cuyler, who handles a lot of cross-border deals. "A lot of folks say they do, but Reed Smith actually does."

Along with offices in 13 domestic locations, Reed Smith maintains seven outposts throughout Europe and the Middle East.

DeJean's transactional experience encompasses financing energy, transportation, housing and other infrastructure projects.

Along with Reed Smith's presence in key financial markets around the world, DeJean said he was attracted to the opportunity take a leading role in helping the West Coast grow the type of finance practice he has.

Iino said Reed Smith's growth objectives are powered by the increasing global convergence of capital markets.

Last week's $4 billion Borse Dubai-Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. deal for Stockholm-based OMX AB, which operates seven stock exchanges in the Nordic and Baltic countries, and Qatar's subsequent 20 percent buy-in to London Stock Exchange Ltd. are cases in point, he said.

Iino credited the firm's senior management for their innovation and vision that led to the recent mergers.

"Right now, being on the West Coast is critical," he said.

Work in Hong Kong, China and India is increasing, as is California's role in the London capital markets.

The San Francisco office has handled more initial offerings on AIM, a segment of the London Stock Exchange tailored specifically to emerging businesses, than any other U.S.-based firm, including Enova Systems Inc., Bodisen Biotech Inc. and Econergy International.

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