Global Powerhouse Taps DC for New Chief
For 137 years, 1,800-lawyer Reed Smith has had its center of gravity in Pittsburgh. Until now.
Last month, the firm's partners elected DC's own Sandy Thomas as global MP. We caught up with him to learn his ideas on new directions. He says clients want efficiency combined with expertise. The firm facilitates that with a support structure of full-time pricing specialists and project management pros working to navigate timelines and deliverables, so lawyers are free to practice law. Another boost to efficiency has back-office functions, which Sandy calls the "operations center," consolidated in Pittsburgh.
Sandy's three-year term starts August 1. We coaxed him out onto DC managing partner Scott Bolden's balcony for a picture. DC is a "real nerve center for us," says Sandy. It was one of the firm's first forays outside Pennsylvania, doing work for clients of the firm's other 25 offices around the world. Latest offices: Houston and Singapore.
Sandy previously headed the 850-lawyer litigation department. He's also had a taste of the smaller-firm life, having merged into Reed Smith in '99 with Hazel & Thomas, his father's firm. Keeping up the firm's diversity—its Executive Committee is 40 percent female—is another top priority, Sandy says. When he's not in the office, you can find him fishing, like in this photo with his uncle. Two of his favorite spots are in Virginia and Montana, particularly Yellowstone, where he can reel in brown trout.