Reed Smith Creates 225-Lawyer Financial Industry Group

Reed Smith has brought all of its financial industry attorneys under one umbrella through the creation of a 225-lawyer financial industry group.

The new practice group will include attorneys from all of the firm’s offices whose practices focus on the financial services industry, including attorneys who specialize in finance, litigation, regulation, bankruptcy and restructuring, investment management, financial transactions and services, compliance and investigations, commercial transactions, intellectual property and insurance.

“Creating a practice that combines transactional, regulatory and litigation capabilities means that all FIG attorneys will have substantive industry expertise and will operate more along the lines of how a number of its clients operate rather than as a traditional law firm organized along practice skill sets,” the group’s new chairman, London-based partner Paul F. Johnston, said in a statement. “By mirroring our clients we will be even stronger business advisors to them.”

Perry A. Napalitano, former head of the financial services litigation group, will serve as co-chairman of the new practice for the litigation attorneys. Peter S. Clark, head of the commercial restructuring and bankruptcy group, will serve as co-chairman in charge of transactional and regulatory attorneys.

Richard A. Spafford, a London-based commercial litigation partner, will serve as co-chairman for the group’s European, Asian and Middle Eastern services.

While this isn’t in response to or focused solely around the subprime lending fallout, that will be an issue immediately facing the group, the firm said.

“As for the issues facing this industry today, we don’t see a need to form a group specifically to respond to the subprime fallout because we’ve been a leader in this arena for more than a century and are handling significant matters across the board that have developed out of this crisis,” Napolitano said in a statement. “FIG provides a broader platform that will allow us to address issues for our clients arising from the current credit crisis that reach beyond the subprime mortgage industry.”

–Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

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