Business of Law

Reed Smith Raids Pepper Hamilton for 7-Lawyer Real Estate Group


A former co-chair of the real estate practice group at Pepper Hamilton has led a seven-lawyer group to rival Reed Smith, starting work today at the Pittsburgh-based international firm’s headquarters office.

Besides Dusty Elias Kirk, who was also a member of Pepper Hamilton’s executive committee, the group includes partners Sharon DiPaolo, Jeffrey Mills and Alan Sable and three associates, Reed Smith says in a press release. Two Pepper paralegals and five support staff members are also making the move to Reed Smith with the group.

“This is a premier real estate practice that represents many of the largest real estate industry players in the country,” says global managing partner Gregory Jordan in the release. “Dusty and her team are already well-known to us as exceptionally skilled attorneys, well-respected and well-positioned in all aspects of this sector, and primed to provide leadership as this key sector of our economy recovers.”

Kirk says the opportunity to work with Reed Smith’s state tax practitioners and insurance coverage group was one reason why the group made the move. Others include the opportunity for a bigger international platform at the nearly 1,600-attorney firm. Pepper Hamilton has over 500 lawyers in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and Detroit, according to its website.

The move eliminated more than half of the real estate lawyers in Pepper Hamilton’s office in Pittsburgh, but left the Philadelphia-based firm with one real estate partner, one counsel and four associates in the Steel City, reports the Legal Intelligencer in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

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