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12/04/06

Partners Approve Reed Smith & Sachnoff Weaver Merger

Prominent international firm Reed Smith LLP and Chicago-based firm Sachnoff & Weaver Ltd. received partner approval for proposed joint operations. The firms will merge beginning March 1, 2007. With the formation of the new firm came new opportunities for key leadership positions, to which a number of personnel were re-assigned.

Partners Approve Reed Smith & Sachnoff Weaver Merger


Representatives from Reed Smith say the firm is glad to extend its practice to Chicago. With the opening of the new joint office, which will be Reed Smith's 21st location worldwide, the firm has a launching point for expanding its presence in the Midwest. Reed Smith LLP has long intended to gain a foothold and expand its client base in that corner of the country. Joining with Sachnoff & Weaver, serves the firm's motives to expand geographically and to attract clients by leveraging the latter firm's commanding presence in the area.

Among those former Sachnoff & Weaver partners named for management positions in the new joint firm was Michael LoVallo, who will assume the role of Managing Partner of the Chicago office. Sachnoff & Weaver's veteran Managing Partner and recent CEO Austin Hirsch, along with Carolyn Rosenberg and Mark Brand, will fill in as new members of the Reed Smith Executive Committee. Eugene Tillman, Reed Smith's Director of Legal Personnel will co-chair the Chicago Integration Committee with Hirsch. The purpose of the Committee will be to act in a supervisory role, and to ensure seamless integration of the legal practices of the two firms, whether in terms of client services or administrative functions.

Other Sachnoff & Weaver members of the Chicago Integration Committee will include board members Sarah Wolff, who currently heads the firm's Litigation Group; Stewart Dolin, who heads the Business Services Group; and Jonathan Quinn, who will lead the Midwest Business Trial Group in the new joint firm. Former board member Brian Roche, who presently chairs the firm's Intellectual Property and Technology practice group, will also be part of the committee.

Reed Smith members who will take part in the Chicago Integration Committee include W. Thomas McGough, Jr., head of the firm's Litigation Department; Diane Frenier, second in command of Reed Smith's Business & Regulatory Departmen; and Jack Nelson, Reed Smith's California Market Managing Partner. Thomas L. Allen, a financial services litigation partner from their Pittsburgh location. Ian B. Fagelson, Senior Partner in the London office; and, Richard Swinburn, who works as a trade and commodities lawyer at Richards Butler in London, will each be taking specialty roles in the new joint firm. While Fagelson will focus on cross border transactions in Chicago, and investigate opportunities for growth there, Swinburn will hone the skills he gained in trade and commodities at Richards Butler, exploring opportunities to benefit the new firm in that sector.

Reed Smith's combination with Sachnoff & Weaver, along with their January merger with Richards Butler's London office, will augment the attorney strength to a count of nearly 1,550. At present Reed Smith commands 1,100 lawyers spread over 13 U.S., and four European offices. The firm's attorneys serve a wide array of clients in multiple practice areas. Mid-sized law firm Sachnoff & Weaver is a prominent firm in Chicago with more than 140 lawyers in its roster, and clients throughout the United States and abroad.

Attorneys form Biotactica LLP, life science practice
Kevin Buckley, Tara Nealey, and Saul Zackson, three accomplished patent and life science attorneys, recently left Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthall LLP, one of the largest St. Louis firms, to form a new law firm called Biotactica LLC. The new firm will meet the varying legal needs of the ever-evolving life sciences industry. Biotactica LLC will serve a variety of clients, from contract research organizations, to venture capitalists, to strategic consultants, and other commercial units. They plan serve the dynamic needs of such clients by combining legal practices, including intellectual property protection, licensing, regulation, funding, and marketing. In addition to this broad range of legal services, the law firm will also give its clients the benefit of alternative fee structures, like equity-based and contingency models. The founders of Biotactica LLC, one of the first firms of its kind, have extensive experience in a broad range of life science matters, such as medical therapy, pharmaceuticals, and various forms of bio-energy technologies. According to the Biotactica LLC website, the firm establishes a new standard in expediting the distribution process of cutting-edge technological innovations from the laboratory to the retail shelf.


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