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Reed Smith Names Ross-Bown as Legal Operations Chief (Correct)

Oct. 11, 2022, 6:04 PMUpdated: Oct. 12, 2022, 1:50 PM

Reed Smith brought aboard Rebecca Ross-Bown as chief of legal operations, based in Washington, to oversee 30 offices in the US, Europe and Asia.

Ross-Bown, who was chief legal operations officer at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, succeeds Jack Nelson, who moves to a senior director role, according to the firm.

“Her extensive experience in the increasingly diverse spectrum of functions that make up legal operations will help us continue to drive progress,” said Nick Bagiatis, Reed Smith’s chief operating officer, in a statement.

Reed Smith, which had gross revenues of more than $1.4 billion in 2021, is among the country’s largest 30 firms, according to American Lawyer rankings.

Ross-Bown began her legal career as a litigation associate at WilmerHale, according to her LinkedIn profile. She moved to become chief of legal services for Ropes & Gray and then chief operating officer of Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt. She later moved to several posts at Cleary, the latest of which was chief legal operations officer.

At Reed Smith, she will be in charge of “driving operational efficiency, revenue growth and profit improvement,” the firm said in its announcement.

Her predecessor, Nelson, had been a commercial litigator at the firm for decades before taking on the chief legal operations role in 2016. He will now work with firm management on special projects, the firm said.

(A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Reed Smith's annual gross revenue at $1.3 billion.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson at egolson1@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com