TMT Team of the Year
A cross-practice Reed Smith team based in London and New York advised Sony Music Entertainment, and a subsidiary, in relation to its acquisition of the music-recording business Kobalt Music Group Ltd.
The deal, one of the biggest and most complex acquisitions in music in recent years, enabled Sony to assert its leading position in the billion-dollar ‘DIY’ music space, which allows independent music artists to release, publish, distribute and license their music in the same way as global superstars. The transaction was conducted within a very short timeframe between the end of December 2021 and 31 January 2022, when the deal was signed.
The Reed Smith team was led by Michael Young, EMEA vice-chair of the firm’s global mergers and acquisitions group, and Gregor Pryor, head of the firm’s entertainment and media industry group.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year - Large Sized Firm
A Reed Smith team, led by partners Michael Skrein and Richard Gunn, and senior associate Ellie Ruiz, represented Channel Rescue in a legal challenge to the then UK Home Secretary’s policy to push back refugee and other migrant boats from English territorial waters into French territorial waters. Channel Rescue is a volunteer organisation set up to monitor the safety of migrants crossing the Channel.
The controversial “pushbacks” policy was challenged on multiple grounds in the Channel Rescue claim. Reed Smith leveraged its litigation capabilities in both public and admiralty law to put together a compelling case. The team worked round the clock for over 1,000 hours during a five-month period to ensure the successful management of this complex and important claim. Reed Smith represented Channel Rescue on a pro bono basis.
Given the urgency in this challenge, with lives potentially at stake, the timetable for progressing the judicial review, as ordered by the Court, was particularly tight. Reed Smith helped to get the case to a point where it was ready to be heard in the first week of May, just four months after being issued. A week before the High Court was due to hear the claim, the government withdrew the “pushbacks” policy entirely.
Transatlantic Firm of the Year
2021 was a record-breaking year of success for Reed Smith, with the firm achieving the best financial results in its 145-year history. With a client base that includes 66 of the world’s 100 largest companies, Reed Smith advised on around a dozen billion-dollar plus deals. Reed Smith was the first international law firm to appoint an external advisory board, to support the firm through constructive analysis and advice regarding its internal business operations and service to clients. It was also one of the founding members of Net Zero Lawyers Alliance.
Reed Smith has pushed the envelope in client-facing knowledge and innovation. An example of this was the launch of its Arbitration Pricing Calculator, a first-of-its-kind mobile app that enables users to forecast arbitration costs at key arbitral institutions around the world.
Reed Smith places great emphasis on pro bono and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. The firm recorded 88,000 pro bono hours globally in 2021. It also implemented a Diversity Billable Hour Credit allowing 50 billable-hours credit for all lawyers for work related to DE&I. Reed Smith established a Racial Equity Task Force, setting clear benchmarks for hiring, retaining and promoting Black lawyers and for advancing pro bono initiatives impacting Black communities.
Winners of the British Legal Awards will be announced on 23 November.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a dynamic international law firm dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward. With an inclusive culture and innovative mindset, we deliver smarter, more creative legal services that drive better outcomes for our clients. Our deep industry knowledge, long-standing relationships and collaborative structure make us the go-to partner for complex disputes, transactions and regulatory matters.
For more information, please visit reedsmith.com.