PITTSBURGH – James J. ”Jim” Restivo, Jr., former head of Reed Smith’s firmwide Litigation Department and nationally esteemed insurance litigator who played a leading role in negotiating a historic nationwide asbestos settlement, died Dec. 28 in Pittsburgh. He was a longtime linchpin of the firm’s Pittsburgh office and contributed significantly to its regional, national and international growth and its reputation for excellence in civil litigation.

“Jim was respected and loved by his colleagues and known far and wide, not just for his legal acumen, but also for his keen sense of humor, which endeared him to everyone with whom he came into contact,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner.

A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1997, Jim was among the nation’s leading insurance recovery attorneys. For almost five decades, beginning in the early 1970s, he represented corporate policyholders in complex asbestos coverage disputes, including serving as one of the principal negotiators and founders of the nationwide Asbestos Claims Facility in 1985, which the Legal Times characterized as “the boldest attempt ever” at interparty cooperation to settle complex litigation out of court. Jim himself humbly described the unprecedented private alternative for the resolution of asbestos disputes as “a fairly revolutionary concept.”

“Jim was a legal giant and a one-of-a-kind talent who helped shape the careers of many Reed Smith lawyers,” said Gregory B. Jordan, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of The PNC Financial Services Group and former Global Managing Partner of Reed Smith. “He was a great leader, partner, friend and mentor to many and cared more for the advancement of others than he did for himself.”