Reed Smith Brum soloists aim for rapid expansion

<a class=Reed Smith Brum soloists aim for rapid expansion” />The managing partner of Reed Smith’s Birmingham office, which is set to split from the firm in ­January next year, has set his sights on achieving rapid expansion.

The nine-partner office will operate as a separate firm under the name Hill Hofstetter and will be ­headed by Birmingham head Chris Hill.

Hill said: “We’re going to be able to make decisions much more quickly. We’ll be looking to grow significantly over the next few years.”

Hill said the move had been brought about by “Reed Smith’s focus on bigger things. They’ve got London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong. Where do we fit in?”

The new 25-lawyer firm will maintain links with Reed ;Smith ;and ;will ­continue to refer work and share clients.

The ;announcement comes after three months of negotiations with Reed Smith global strategy head Michael Pollack.

Hill, a corporate partner, insisted that the split was amicable, but added that he felt Birmingham had been low on the firm’s list of ­priorities.

“They’ve got to spend their dollars somewhere. We are not at the top of the list,” he said.

Reed Smith had merged with Coventry firm Warner Cranston in 2001 before deciding to move the office to Solihull in 2006.

One Birmingham partner, product liability head Paul Llewellyn, will remain with Reed Smith and move to the firm’s London office.

Reed Smith Europe and Middle East managing ­partner ;Roger ;Parker ­commented: “Consolidating our UK presence is a sound move for the firm. We look forward to maintaining a good working relationship with the Birmingham business and will continue to work on some projects and with some clients together.”