Reed Smith chooses Leeds for ‘billion dollar start-up’

Reed Smith is launching a “billion dollar start-up” in Leeds that will provide legal support services to the global law firm.

The firm confirmed that Reed Smith Global Solutions will have its initial base in the Platform building in Leeds, where Berwins and Shoosmiths also have presences.

Set to open in July, Reed Smith Global Solutions will be launched through targeted local recruitment.

The Leeds business will consist of a legal offering and a business services function.

The legal offering will see the creation of a records and e-discovery practice drawing on the firm’s offering in the US, as well as the hiring of associates and paralegals in key practice and industry groups to expand the firm’s services throughout the UK.

The business services function will draw on the firm’s success in launching its Global Customer Centre (GCC) in Pittsburgh in 2003, which provides accounting, human resources, information technology, business intake and conflict analysis, and central docketing services.

Tamara Box, managing partner in Europe and the Middle East at Reed Smith, described Leeds as the “perfect location” for the global solutions business. She said: “With its strong talent pool, high quality real estate, growing technology offering and two-hour connection with London; Leeds is the perfect location from which to launch our billion dollar start-up.”

“Reed Smith Global Solutions represents our commitment to the evolution of our working practices and to delivering high quality services, which are essential for the firm to remain competitive in today’s crowded marketplace.”

The law firm is committed to growing its Leeds base “through strategic local hires with disruption to our existing teams kept to a minimum”, according to Kevan Skelton, director of global recruiting at Reed Smith.

He said: “We have several existing vacancies throughout the business in our legal and business services functions which will form the start of our hiring and over time we will continue to assess new vacancies and whether they can be fulfilled in Leeds, London, or another Reed Smith location.”