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August 1, 2011 5:58 PM

Reed Smith Adds Four from DLA to Corporate Group

Posted by Sara Randazzo

Reed Smith announced Monday that it has boosted offices on two coasts with the addition of four corporate partners from DLA Piper. For DLA, the departures mark a rare loss of laterals amid a months-long hiring binge.

The new Reed Smith hires are led by capital markets and M&A lawyer Yvan-Claude Pierre. Pierre joined DLA three years ago from Fulbright & Jaworski after being recruited by DLA global corporate and finance chair Roger Meltzer. Meltzer himself jumped to DLA in 2007 from Cahill Gordon & Reindel and has played a key role in beefing up New York–based corporate group's client base.

Pierre joined Reed Smith's New York office Thursday, along with William Haddad and Daniel Goldberg. The fourth DLA defector, Garth Osterman, has joined Reed Smith's San Francisco office in what marks a professional homecoming. Osterman became a partner at Reed Smith in 2006 and left for DLA in June 2007. Haddad and Goldberg had both been at DLA since 2000, rising to partner in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Since 2007, Reed Smith has launched three offices in Asia, giving the firm a global presence that Pierre says was a key factor in his decision to join the firm. And even though firms don't get much more global than DLA—since finalizing a merger with Australian alliance partner DLA Phillips Fox in May, DLA now employs more attorneys than any firm in the world—Pierre says he believes that Reed Smith tops DLA in its commitment to expanding its capital markets and M&A work internationally.

Contacted for comment about the departures, DLA’s Meltzer would say only that he wishes the group well. While there are no specific plans to replace the four, Meltzer says that lateral hiring is a "constant day-to-day process."

Pierre wouldn't reveal the names of any clients who may join the four new hires at Reed Smith. One major past deal came in 2005 when he represented Clear Channel Communications in its spin-off of Live Nation, according to a Reed Smith spokeswoman.

As for parties that the other three have represented, news reports show that Haddad advised Audible.com when Amazon.com acquired it in 2008 acquisition; Osterman helped pharmaceutical company PDL BioPharma Inc. sell off the rights to two drugs in 2008; and Goldberg worked on a $335 million initial public offering for Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc. in 2005.

According to Reed Smith's announcement, the four new partners represent public and private companies, investment banks, financial institutions, venture capital firms, and private equity sponsors on a range of securities matters, primarily international listings and domestic M&A.

Osterman's history with Reed Smith was central to the move, according to Pierre and Paul Jaskot, the firm's Philadelphia-based chair of the corporate and securities group. Osterman and the firm began talking earlier this year about a possible return, Jaskot says, and Osterman soon got his colleagues involved in the discussions.

Pierre said the four attorneys, all of whom are in their early fortiess, look forward to being at a firm that emphasizes collegiality and client service above all else. At DLA, Pierre said, "those sort of things are sometimes not necessarily the focus. It probably stems from being a large organization that hires quite a bit of laterals. Sometimes those things get lost." 

The Am Law Daily has reported extensively on DLA's recent growth spurt, including the hire of three lawyers in Brisbane in July, the addition of two partners apiece in New York and Houston in June, a new office opening in Delaware in March, and a ten-attorney expansion in Sacramento in April. The 4,200-attorney firm also announced the addition Monday of corporate finance partner Lisa Jacobs in Philadelphia from Pepper Hamilton. 

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