WASHINGTON, D.C. — Global law firm Reed Smith announced today that Alexander Y. “Sandy” Thomas will step down as the firm’s global managing partner, effective March 1, after 10 years in the firm’s top leadership post. Thomas will become chief legal officer of KIND, Kids in Need of Defense, an international nonprofit devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children who migrate alone in search of safety.

Related Professionals: Casey Ryan

Thomas will be KIND’s inaugural chief legal officer, based in Washington, D.C. The nonprofit was founded by Microsoft Corporation and Co-founder and Patron Angelina Jolie in 2008. KIND has assisted over 30,000 children in need of legal counsel and support. Reed Smith has provided pro bono support to KIND for the past decade.

Reed Smith’s Executive Committee has designated Casey Ryan, currently the firm’s global head of legal personnel, to succeed Thomas as the firm’s global managing partner. She will serve the rest of Thomas’s term, until the next scheduled election in 2025.

“Over the past decade, it has been a privilege to lead Reed Smith’s global team, a group of exceptionally talented lawyers and professional staff,” said Thomas, who has been with the firm for 24 years and has served as the firm’s global managing partner since late 2013. “I am proud of what we have accomplished together, including our inclusive culture and reputation for outstanding client service. A highly collaborative spirit has been at the heart of Reed Smith’s 146-year history and will continue to ensure its success.”

“One of Reed Smith’s guiding principles is giving back to our communities,” Thomas added. “Through the firm’s considerable pro bono work on behalf of KIND, I have gained a deep appreciation of KIND’s global mission – to protect children’s wellbeing and rights, while providing them access to justice – and how that manifests through its good works, be it social services, policy, advocacy or legal services. I am honored to serve KIND as it seeks to change the lives of children with the greatest of needs.”

Under Thomas’s leadership, Reed Smith has grown its revenue from $1.152 billion in 2014 to $1.436 billion in 2021; in that period, profit per equity partner grew from $1.203 million to $1.735 million and revenue per lawyer increased from $703,000 to $913,000. Over the past decade, the firm has established offices in significant markets, including Dallas, Austin, Miami, Frankfurt, Brussels and, just recently, Orange County. Thomas led the firm’s strategy to become the leading global law firm in five key industries: financial services, life sciences and health care, energy and natural resources, transportation, and entertainment and media. Today, the firm has 31 offices across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

Thomas has overseen transformative efforts that position Reed Smith as a progressive and innovative law firm that employs work processes and technology to solve its clients’ most pressing problems with maximum efficiency. With Thomas’s guidance, the firm is also a leader in areas that impact its personnel, including in DEI, wellness, mental health and talent development.

Under Thomas’s leadership, the firm has:

  • Launched a legal-tech and data solutions subsidiary (Gravity Stack) and a shared-services center (Reed Smith Global Solutions) to deliver an expanded array of cutting-edge client services;
  • Gained DEI recognition for promoting diverse and women leaders (Mansfield Certification and WILEF Gold Certification) and, among other things, achieving LGBTQ+ and disability equality in the workplace.
  • Launched the Racial Equity Action Plan in 2020, with a principal long-term objective of improving the hiring, retention and promotion of Black lawyers and professional staff.
  • Created market-recognized programs and benefits to support associate development at all stages, such as expanding the billable hours credit to cover DEI and ESG activities, and the firm’s launch of Reed Smith Associate Advantage, a three-year development program for junior associates.