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August 16, 2010 11:32 AM

New Rangers Owner Bolts Pepper Hamilton for Reed Smith

Posted by Brian Baxter

UPDATE: 8/16/10, 1:40 p.m. The last paragraph of this post has been updated with a link to The Legal Intelligencer's story on Greenberg's move to Reed Smith.

Charles "Chuck" Greenberg, the former head of Pepper Hamilton's sports practice who recently became the managing partner and CEO of the Texas Rangers baseball team after more than two months of contentious bankruptcy proceedings, is taking his practice to Reed Smith.

Reed Smith announced the move Monday morning in a press release. Pepper Hamilton corporate partner Kristin Wells is joining Greenberg in moving to Reed Smith, which in May added a 14-person group from Pepper Hamilton led by former real estate cochair Dusty Kirk. Greenberg, who like Kirk was a former member of Pepper Hamilton's executive committee, will have the title of counsel at Reed Smith.

"Chuck has built one of the nation's top sports and entertainment practices, and we are very pleased to add him and his team to Reed Smith," said global managing partner Gregory Jordan in a statement.

Greenberg grew to sports prominence in the late nineties by helping save the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins as the lawyer for former team star Mario Lemieux, who fronted a group that bought the ailing franchise out of bankruptcy in 1999.

Greenberg joined Pepper Hamilton from Pittsburgh firm Cohen & Grigsby in 1998. After helping resuscitate the Penguins, he became involved in minor league baseball by taking ownership interests in the Altoona Curve and Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

As Greenberg begins to focus on his Rangers duties, Wells will help his practice make the transition to Reed Smith while taking on a larger leadership role. She is also a veteran sports attorney, having advised on the Penguins sale and acquisition of the NHL's Florida Panthers by an investor group. Reed Smith said in its statement that Wells continues to provide "day-to-day business counseling" to the Penguins and other major and minor league sports franchises.

Richard Thomas, the head of Pepper Hamilton's Pittsburgh office, told sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer that Greenberg withdrew from the firm's partnership last month to focus on the Rangers acquisition. The Intelligencer has more on Greenberg's move to Reed Smith.

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