“Kristin Wells truly embodies the attributes and characteristics that are promoted each year with the ATHENA Awards Program,” said Reed Smith Global Managing Partner Sandy Thomas. “A longtime advocate for women in the profession, as well as a champion of women, children and families in underserved areas of Pittsburgh, she has had a positive impact in the legal community and for residents of Pittsburgh. We are thrilled that she has been selected for this year’s ATHENA Award winner.”
A member of the Reed Smith Global Corporate Group, Wells is one of the rare women operating at the highest levels in M&A, a male dominated practice area. She is head of Reed Smith’s Global Sports Practice and former head of the U.S. Corporate Securities Group. She is a trusted, go-to legal advisor for many high-profile firm clients in the sports, manufacturing, automotive, retail and life sciences sectors, including the Lemieux Group and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Dick’s Sporting Goods, SKF, and Volvo Cars USA.
Wells has garnered numerous professional accolades, including national recognition by Chambers USA, a inclusion in the Acritas Stars list of standout lawyer, The Legal Intelligencer’s Professional Excellence Award for her deal making in 2020, Global M&A Networks “Top US Women Dealmakers” in 2020, and she is ranked by the IFLR1000.
In addition to her thriving M&A practice, Wells is sought out as a mentor by young attorneys and devotes countless hours each year to guide young women and college students as they pursue college degrees and achieve their professional goals. Over the course of her career, she has mentored more than 20 women attorneys, with many going on to partnership or to become general counsels and C-suite executives at leading national companies, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, SKF and Volvo. She also mentors minority law students through the Legal Council on Legal Diversity, and non-lawyers through the 30 Percent Club, a global campaign led by Chairs and CEOs who are taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels in corporations worldwide.
A native of Pittsburgh, Wells’ influence extends throughout the community. She donates countless hours each year to numerous service programs that have positively impacted the lives and well-being of thousands of area women, children and families. She serves on the board of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, and has volunteered with various foundation programs including Austin’s Playrooms, Austin’s Military Playrooms and the Lemieux Sibling Center; the Lady Pens Shoebox Project; and various hockey programs for underserved youth. She also serves on the Shady Side Academy Board of Trustees, the University of Pittsburgh Law Alumni Association Board of Governors, the Women's Executive Committee of the Association of Corporate Growth, and as vice chair of the Pittsburgh Conservancy’s Spring Hat Luncheon and Picnic in the Park annual fundraiser.
“I’m honored to have been selected for this year’s ATHENA Award,” Wells said. “Through their efforts, my fellow honorees are all dedicated to the advancement of women and girls, and improving quality of life in our community. It’s gratifying to be recognized alongside them.”
Each year, the ATHENA Awards recognize area women who actively assist women and/or girls in reaching their full leadership potential, provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession.