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(November 1, 2006, Pittsburgh) – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Reed Smith LLP, a top-25 international law firm, today announced that former Mellon Financial Corporation General Counsel Michael E. Bleier will join the firm as a partner in the Financial Services Group in the Pittsburgh office, effective January 1, 2007.
Mr. Bleier was most recently Special Counsel to the Chairman of Mellon Financial Corporation, a post he assumed after spending almost 14 years as General Counsel and manager of legal affairs for the Corporation and for Mellon Bank. As Mellon’s General Counsel, he was responsible for day-to-day operations of the Corporation’s Legal Department, which employs a staff of more than 70 lawyers in 12 locations worldwide.
“Michael is already well-known and universally respected at Reed Smith,” said Gregory B. Jordan, firmwide Managing Partner. “Many of us have worked closely with him on corporate and litigation matters over the years and thoroughly enjoyed our collaboration. He is widely regarded as a phenomenal regulatory lawyer and exceptional colleague. We know Michael will contribute to our regulatory efforts and strengthen our recruitment and training of the next generation of Reed Smith’s business and regulatory professionals.”
Mr. Bleier joined Mellon in 1982, and was actively involved in the institution’s expansion through both banking and non-banking initiatives, as well as in its dealings with federal and state regulatory authorities, the U.S. Congress and state legislatures. He played a key role in Mellon’s growth and transformation into a worldwide financial services institution.
Mr. Bleier was intimately involved in Mellon’s statewide expansion in Pennsylvania, including creation and implementation of Mellon’s “good bank/bad bank” transaction; the transformative and groundbreaking Boston Company and Dreyfus acquisitions; and in dealing with federal regulators and Congress on Basel II risk-based capital rules. In addition, his creative thinking and expertise was instrumental in finding a way for Mellon to invest, along with other Pittsburgh-based entities and corporations, in the Pittsburgh Pirates, thereby helping to keep the Pirates in Pittsburgh for the next generation of Western Pennsylvania baseball fans.
“Michael’s substantive skills as a financial services regulatory lawyer give him a positive and high profile in the banking industry, and he has extensive experience on banking regulatory issues,” said Frank Guadagnino, head of Reed Smith’s Financial Services practice. “His arrival immediately enhances the capacity and credibility of our regulatory practice, and his understanding of the client’s perspective will be invaluable as we continue to extend our services to other financial institutions.”
From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Bleier served as chairman of the Lawyers Council of The Financial Services Roundtable, a national trade association representing major financial service organizations. In that capacity, he chaired and actively promoted a number of regulatory and legislative proposals that were eventually implemented. Mr. Bleier also served as vice chairman of the American Bankers Association’s Bank Counsel Committee. He has been a guest speaker at American Bar Association sessions and at numerous professional seminars.
“In my many years of experience in dealing with Reed Smith’s practice heads and attorneys at all levels, I came to know first-hand this firm’s standards for integrity and professionalism and its concern for clients,” Mr. Bleier said. “I am confident that in joining Reed Smith, I become part of another organization of which I can be proud and within which I can continue to contribute to the practice of law and the legal profession.”
Prior to joining Mellon, Mr. Bleier was Assistant General Counsel of the Legal Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In addition, he co-authored the Board’s staff studies, Bank Holding Company Acquisition of Thrift Institutions and Commercial Banking as the ‘Line of Commerce’ and the Role of Thrifts. Mr. Bleier also authored Operational Risk in Basel II for the North Carolina Banking Institute.
Mr. Bleier is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pittsburgh Symphony and a member of its Artistic Committee. He is also a director of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Company and a member of its Executive Committee and Production/New Works Committee. Mr. Bleier was a long-time director of Pittsburgh First Night. He also has an exceptional record of grassroots community service and advocacy, including service as the PTA president for three schools. He has presented before local governmental authorities and coached local children’s teams at various levels in soccer, basketball and baseball.
A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Bleier is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and in the District of Columbia. He and his wife, Carol, reside in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh. They have three children and eight grandchildren.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith LLP is a top-25 international law firm with 1,100 lawyers located in 13 U.S. and four European cities. Upon completion of a merger with Richards Butler on January 1, 2007, the firm will have nearly 1,400 attorneys, and its largest office will be London. The integration will double Reed Smith’s presence in Paris and will add offices in Greece and the Middle East. The firm represents clients ranging from Fortune 100 to mid-market and emerging companies. They include financial services firms, life sciences companies, health care providers, technology companies and entrepreneurs, power generators and suppliers, manufacturers, real estate companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations throughout the world. For more information, visit www.reedsmith.com.