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Sandy Thomas sees off early challenge to leadership in Reed Smith’s contested managing partner elections

Alexander ‘Sandy’ Thomas has been elected as global managing partner at Reed Smith after John Martini, vice-chair of the firm’s global business and finance department, challenged his position less than a year into the role.


Thomas, who began his stint as global managing partner of the 1,850-lawyer firm in October 2013, when former global managing partner Greg Jordan resigned to become executive vice-president and general counsel of US bank PNC Financial Services Group, will serve a three-year term beginning 1 August. Washington DC-based Thomas has been at Reed Smith since 1999 and was previously global chair of Reed Smith’s litigation group, leading 850 lawyers across 25 offices.

Reed Smith posted a 6% revenue growth in 2013, taking it from $1.013bn to $1.075bn, while its profit per equity partner figure rose by 5.5% to $1.14m.

While many at the firm were shocked when Philadelphia-based Martini, who is also chair of the firm’s global executive compensation and employee benefits practice, contested Thomas position so soon after his appointment, Thomas said in a statement: ‘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. We will now move forward together.’

Thomas is the 11th managing partner of the firm, which last year opened offices in Singapore and Houston, in its 137-year history. He was twice elected by the partnership to serve on the firm’s executive committee before assuming leadership of the litigation department.