Reed Smith to open in Silicon Valley with MoFo hire

Reed Smith is to launch an office in Silicon Valley after hiring Morrison & Foerster Palo Alto partner Rich Scudellari.

Scudellari, who has joined the firm’s corporate and securities group, will initially be the only partner based in the office, but Europe and Middle East managing partner Roger Parker said the total headcount would rise to around 20 in coming months.

He added: “We are not a firm that generally has lots of smaller offices. Our general approach is to build offices to a critical mass and build centres of excellence rather than having offices in all the countries where the firm does business.”

Parker said that when the new base opens in the coming weeks, partners from the firm’s other Californian locations will use it as a base. Jack Nelson, Reed Smith’s San Francisco-based firmwide head of commercial litigation, will spend around two days a week in Silicon Valley.

Scudellari acts for clients in the electronics, software, internet, health sciences and biotechnology industries. Parker said this complements the focus taken in the firm’s San Francisco and Oakland offices.

“He’s a corporate partner but he’s got bags of experience with high-tech start-up companies,” Parker said. “This is indigenous in Northern California.”