Alexander “Sandy” Thomas is stepping down as managing partner of global law firm Reed Smith to join a nonprofit.
Thomas is departing March 1 to be the first chief legal officer at Kids in Need of Defense, an international nonprofit devoted to the protection of migrant children.
He will be succeeded by Casey Ryan, who currently serves as the firm’s global head of legal personnel. She will hold the managing partner position through Thomas’ term, with the next election scheduled for 2025.
Thomas had served in the managing partner role for 10 years, guiding the firm to more than $1.4 billion in revenue in 2021 and profits per equity partner of more than $1.7 million. The firm said Tuesday it recorded its highest annual revenue in history in 2022 but did not specify the amount.
Under Thomas’ leadership, the firm opened offices in cities including Dallas, Austin, Miami, Frankfurt, Brussels and in Orange County, California.
“Over the past decade, it has been a privilege to lead Reed Smith’s global team, a group of exceptionally talented lawyers and professional staff,” Thomas said in a statement. “I am proud of what we have accomplished together, including our inclusive culture and reputation for outstanding client service.”
Thomas said he learned of KIND through the firm’s pro bono representation of the organization, founded in 2008 by Microsoft Corp. and actress Angelina Jolie. KIND has assisted over 30,000 children in need of legal counsel and support, and Reed Smith has provided pro bono support to KIND for the past decade, the firm said.
“I am honored to serve KIND as it seeks to change the lives of children with the greatest of needs,” Thomas said.