“I am honored to serve as global managing partner of one of the world’s most innovative and successful law firms,” Ryan said. “I began my career with Reed Smith as a summer associate nearly 30 years ago, and my time here has given me a deep appreciation and respect for what sets Reed Smith apart: excellent lawyering set against the backdrop of an exceptional culture. This is a firm where people excel, and that manifests itself in the best results for our clients. I am committed to building on that tradition as we evolve to meet the changing demands and opportunities that lie ahead.”
A 1996 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, Ryan joined Reed Smith that same year and has held numerous leadership positions, including global practice group leader of the Labor & Employment Group and vice chair of the firm’s Litigation Department.
For the past eight years, Ryan has been a member of the firm’s seven-member Senior Management Team and has served as the firm’s global head of legal personnel. In that key role, she has been responsible for leading the recruitment, learning, compensation and promotion functions for the firm’s more than 1,700 lawyers. During Ryan’s tenure, the firm expanded into six new talent markets, strengthening its European footprint with openings in Brussels and Frankfurt and adding to its U.S. operations with launches in Austin, Dallas, Miami and Orange County, Calif.
“Viewing issues from the client’s perspective is core to my approach,” Ryan said. “That means we will work to deliver the best results for clients, partner with them to understand their business needs, leverage our extensive industry knowledge to act as valued advisors, and help resolve their most difficult challenges.”
The firm’s strategy has and will continue to be focused on five key industry groups – energy and natural resources, entertainment and media, financial services, life sciences and health care, and transportation. Ryan also is committed to driving progress on other key initiatives, including the firm’s commitment to sustainability; wellness and mental health; diversity, equity and inclusion; pro bono; and innovation, an area in which Reed Smith’s Innovation team and the Gravity Stack subsidiary are differentiators in a crowded and competitive legal market.
As global managing partner, Ryan will continue to champion innovative talent development programs, such as Reed Smith Associate Advantage, an intensive three-year professional training program rolled out in 2022 that fast-tracks the preparation of associates in their first, second and third years of practice to position them for future career success.
“I am excited to lead Reed Smith at this pivotal time,” Ryan said. “We have a seasoned and accomplished team in place to support the firm’s forward momentum, and we are all pulling in the same direction. My goal is to ensure the firm expands its strong client partnerships and continues to deliver the impeccably high level of service and excellent results for which Reed Smith is known. We will continue to invest in the top talent that our clients expect and in technology and innovation to ensure that we remain at the fore of how legal services are delivered.”
Ryan was chosen to succeed Alexander “Sandy” Thomas as global managing partner by the firm’s executive committee. Thomas stepped down from the role to join international nonprofit KIND, Kids in Need of Defense, as its first chief legal officer. Ryan will serve the rest of Thomas’s term, until the next scheduled election in 2025.