Former DLA Piper Partner Joins Firm’s Western Commercial Litigation Group

(December 7, 2011, Chicago) – Reed Smith LLP today announced the addition of Peter M. Ellis as a partner in the Western Commercial Litigation Group in the firm’s Chicago office.

Mr. Ellis was formerly a partner in the general commercial and business litigation department of DLA Piper in Chicago.

“Peter is a highly respected attorney with a proven ability to build and sustain strong relationships with clients, and a reputation for providing excellent services,” said Lorenzo Gasparetti, head of Reed Smith’s Western Commercial Litigation Group. “He brings a wealth of experience representing national and multi-national corporations in a wide range of business-related disputes, and will be a significant asset to our team.”

Mr. Ellis’ practice is concentrated in the area of general commercial and business litigation and advising clients in a wide variety of business-related disputes and transactions, including matters such as franchising, licensing and distribution, product liability, unfair competition, trademark, trade secrets and other intellectual property claims, contract disputes, and defending consumer-related claims in numerous jurisdictions. He has litigated complex commercial matters, including class action lawsuits and arbitration proceedings, and has extensive experience utilizing various methods of alternative dispute resolution.

“Reed Smith offers me a tremendous opportunity to further expand my practice while continuing to provide top-tier services to my current clients,” Mr. Ellis said. “The culture and focus on client relationships and client service is a perfect match for my practice.” He added, “The firm’s broad platform and diverse substantive offerings present an excellent opportunity for significant growth.”

A 1998 graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Mr. Ellis has significant experience representing food manufacturers and food services companies, shipping-related companies, and chemical and performance materials entities in business disputes and transactions. He often serves as coordinating counsel in domestic and international representations, including a wide variety of corporate and HR matters and real estate transactions.

Mr. Ellis has contributed to articles appearing in the International Journal of Franchising and Distribution Law, and has had articles published in the DRI, Voice For The Defense Bar on international class actions. He has also prepared numerous articles for the International Franchise Association’s Annual Legal Symposium, and has spoken extensively on global supply chain issues and improving diversity, collegiality and mentoring within the legal profession.

Mr. Ellis is active within the legal profession and the community. He is a member of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Advisory Board and is a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow. Earlier this year, Mr. Ellis was appointed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn as Chair of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. He is also a member of the board of trustees for The Harris Theatre for Music and Dance and the Chicago Horticultural Society (The Chicago Botanic Garden), and was a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.

Mr. Ellis joins four former DLA partners, Yvan-Claude Pierre, William Haddad and Daniel Goldberg who joined Reed Smith this past August in New York, and Garth Osterman who joined the firm’s San Francisco office, all in the firm’s worldwide Capital Markets and Mergers & Acquisitions practices.

“The addition of Peter to our team in Chicago continues the firm’s commitment to and steady pace of adding high-quality laterals,” said Mike LoVallo, the firm’s managing partner in Chicago. “Reed Smith provides a culture of client service and teamwork that laterals recognize as a positive platform both for their clients and their own practices.”

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,600 lawyers in 23 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, technology and media, shipping, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit

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