US firm Reed Smith today announced it will merge its two New Jersey offices and wind down operations in Newark by early 2007.

The move is part of Reed Smith’s attempts to internationalise the firm ahead of its trans-Atlantic merger with the UK’s Richards Butler.

“As Reed Smith continues its growth and evolution into a leading
international law firm, we continue to assess where and how to operate
to best serve our clients,” said managing partner Greg Jordan in a statement.

The four partners currently working out of the firm’s Newark office will
be moving to Reed Smith’s Princeton office in the coming months.

“When combined with the firm’s substantial presence in Princeton, our
strong growth in New York City has led us to conclude that we can serve
our clients in New York and New Jersey from those two offices,” continued Jordan.

The firm stated that the move should not adversely affect service to New Jersey clients, which include a large chunk of the firm’s life sciences and healthcare sector clients.

The firm’s statement concluded: “Reed Smith is in the process of discussing employment and severance options with staff and associates, with a goal of maximizing continued employment opportunities.”