Reed Smith Names Global Managing Partner: Business of Law

Alexander Y. Thomas was elected global managing partner of Reed Smith LLP for a three-year term starting Aug. 1, beating out Philadelphia partner John Martini, the vice chairman of the global business and finance department.

“This election fostered an exchange of ideas that was tremendously valuable to our firm, and also confirmed that we are focused on and united under a common goal to provide the highest level of service and value to our clients,” Thomas said in a statement.

Thomas, who is based in Washington, is the former chairman of Reed Smith’s 850-member litigation department and handles antitrust, regulatory and compliance matters as well as litigation. He was picked by the executive committee to serve as global managing partner in October after Gregory B. Jordan left the position and the firm to become general counsel of PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Reed Smith has more than 1,900 lawyers in 25 offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


Wolff Samson Securities Litigation Chairman Joins Reed Smith

A three-lawyer team from Wolff & Samson PC, including the former securities litigation and enforcement group Chairman William E. Goydan, is joining Reed Smith LLP as a partner in the financial industry group in New York.

Kiran V. Somashekara and John O. Lukanski, former partners at Wolff & Samson, join Reed Smith as counsel in New York. They handle securities matters, with a focus on internal investigations and regulatory enforcement before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities and Exchange Commission and state regulators.

“Bill and his team significantly enhance Reed Smith’s ability to meet the challenges many of our financial services clients are experiencing as a result of surging regulatory activity,” Perry Napolitano, global co-chairman of the firm’s financial industry group, said in a statement.

Proskauer Expands Business Development Companies Team

Sandra Matrick Forman is joining Proskauer Rose LLP’s business development companies team as a senior counsel in New York. The team advises on transactional, financing and regulatory matters across its capital markets, private equity, multitranche finance and private investment funds practices. She previously worked at Harris & Harris Group, where she was general counsel and chief compliance officer, the firm said.

Steptoe Adds Tax and ERISA, Labor and Employment Lawyer

Steptoe & Johnson LLP added Joni Andrioff as a partner in the tax and ERISA, labor and employment groups from Littler Mendelson PC. Andrioff, who has more than 25 years’ experience in employee benefits and executive compensation matters, will work in the Chicago and Washington offices.

Holland & Knight Adds Structured Finance and Aircraft Partners

Richard B. Furey joined Holland & Knight LLP’s structured finance and aircraft finance practices as a partner in the New York and Miami offices. Furey, who focuses his practice on asset and infrastructure finance, was previously a partner with White & Case LLP in Miami.

Thompson Hine Adds New York Commercial Partner

Thompson Hine LLP said Christopher A. Bordoni, a transactional finance lawyer, joined its New York office as a partner in the commercial and public finance practice from Goodwin Procter LLP.

Foley Adds Labor and Employment Attorney Kamran Mirrafati

Foley & Lardner LLP announced that Kamran Mirrafati joined the labor and employment practice as a partner in the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Mirrafati, who was previously at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, focuses on management-side labor relations.


GM Ignition-Switch Defect Response Probed by Eight States

General Motors Co.’s delayed decision to recall almost 2.6 million cars for ignition-switch defects is being investigated by attorneys general in Florida, Connecticut and at least six more states.

GM has acknowledged 13 deaths tied to the defect, which can cut power to a vehicle’s steering and brakes and prevent air bags from deploying in a crash. Company executives were aware of the defect for at least a decade before the recall.

“We are a member of a multistate group that is looking into complaints about General Motors,” Whitney Ray, a spokesman for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, said yesterday.

Attorneys general in Connecticut, Indiana, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Louisiana are also investigating, representatives from their offices confirmed yesterday. Separately, federal prosecutors in Manhattan are running a probe, a person familiar with the matter has said.

The company this month fired 15 people it said played a role in the recall delay. It announced the firings immediately after releasing the results of an internal investigation led by former Chicago U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, now chairman of the law firm Jenner & Block LLC.

GM faces about 85 federal lawsuits filed by car owners claiming their vehicles lost value as a result of the recall and more claims over injuries and deaths attributed to crashes.

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U.S. CFTC Names Former Prosecutor Goelman to Head Enforcement

Aitan Goelman, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, was named director of enforcement at the U.S. regulator in charge of rooting out fraud and manipulation in derivatives markets.

Goelman, a Washington-based partner at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, will join the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, agency Chairman Timothy Massad said in a statement announcing his first high-profile personnel move since he was sworn in last week.

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