NEW YORK – Global law firm Reed Smith today announced leadership changes in three U.S. offices, naming new office managing partners in Austin, Chicago and Philadelphia. Rebecca Jones McKnight was appointed to lead the Austin office, taking over from Jeff Layne; Jennifer Yule DePriest was appointed to lead the Chicago office, succeeding Jim Hultquist; and Joseph J. Mahady was appointed to lead the firm’s Philadelphia office, taking over from Wayne Stansfield.

“We are looking forward to the growth of these three offices and the energy these new leaders bring to our people and our practices,” said Julie Hardin, managing partner, Americas. “Reed Smith has a long history of cultivating leaders who are committed to an inclusive and collaborative culture, and we are pleased to welcome Becca, Jen and Joe to the firm’s leadership team.”

The new office managing partners are:

AUSTIN – Rebecca (Becca) Jones McKnight

McKnight, who joined the firm in 2022, is a partner in the firm’s Life Sciences Health Industry Group, advising companies on a range of FDA and health care matters. She works with both U.S. and internationally based manufacturers of FDA-regulated products, providing strategic regulatory counseling and compliance advice, with a particular emphasis on advising clients on emerging areas, such as digital health, where FDA and health care laws intersect. She has decades of experience helping clients to commercialize their products and address ongoing regulatory matters throughout the product lifecycle, and on corporate transactions involving FDA-regulated products and companies.

CHICAGO – Jennifer (Jen) DePriest

A highly regarded member of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice, DePriest is a veteran litigator and trial lawyer who focuses her practice on complex disputes involving trade secrets, patents, trademarks, copyrights and unfair competition. Having spent her entire career at Reed Smith and legacy firm Sachnoff & Weaver, DePriest is also a major supporter of the firm’s pro bono efforts, serving on the firm’s Global Pro Bono Committee and co-chairing the Chicago office’s Pro Bono Committee.

PHILADELPHIA – Joseph (Joe) Mahady

An experienced litigator in the Global Commercial Disputes practice, Mahady has earned national recognition for resolving complex disputes and regulatory matters for health care and financial services clients. He litigates major cases in state and federal courts across the U.S., including serving as one of the lead trial lawyers for a major wholesale pharmaceutical distributor in its opioid litigation. Mahady also has extensive experience managing nationwide class actions and multi-jurisdictional litigation.

“We are grateful for the many significant contributions that Wayne, Jim and Jeff made to their offices and to the firm during their tenures,” Hardin said. “They are champions for our people, and their dedicated leadership helped the firm reach new heights while navigating a global pandemic. We wish them every success as they continue to excel in their busy practices.”

Stansfield served as managing partner of the Philadelphia office for more than five years and has been one of Reed Smith’s longest serving office managing partners. A highly regarded trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience, he leads clients’ most complex commercial disputes in both court and in arbitration.

Layne was elected in July to serve on the firm’s global executive committee. In addition to advising industry leading health care and life sciences companies, Layne was the founding managing partner of the firm’s Austin office, taking it from a start-up to the thriving office it has become.

Hultquist has served as managing partner of the Chicago office for the past year. He previously chaired the global Intellectual Property practice. His practice focuses on IP and complex commercial litigation, representing clients in trials, arbitrations and mediations.