Legal Announcements – Reed Smith Adds Another Top Lateral In California

Former Zappos GC, Steve Gasser to Help Develop Silicon Valley Base in E-Commerce and New Media

For more information, contact Brad Wise, newsPRos, 415-659-5669
(October 1, 2008, San Francisco, CA) – Reed Smith LLP, one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, continues its West Coast expansion with the addition of another high-profile lateral partner from the General Counsel ranks.

The firm announced today that Steven O. Gasser, former General Counsel, Executive Vice President and Secretary of the highly successful online retailer Zappos.com, has joined the firm’s Corporate and Securities team, effective immediately.

“Steve will play a key role in collaboration with other recent laterals and firm management to add capabilities for our Bay Area clients,” said John Iino, Reed Smith’s firmwide head of Corporate and Securities. “He brings a wealth of knowledge in practice areas that are in high demand, including venture financing and emerging and mature company representation, and his experience with one of the Internet’s greatest e-commerce success-stories will be a terrific addition.”

Gasser had been recruited by Zappos in 2006, to build a legal department suitable for a company that was expanding onto the world stage. During his tenure at Zappos, the company has expanded to more than 1600 employees, with profits from world sales doubling from more than $500 million to a projected $1 billion in 2008.

Gasser was responsible for overseeing all legal affairs at the company, including managing the corporation’s copyright, trademarks, patents and overall IP portfolio; corporate governance, helping Zappos become SOX-compliant; strategic acquisitions; trade and non-trade agreements; credit arrangement; facility expansion; equipment leases; insurance; foreign trade zone operations; labor issues; privacy law compliance; and outside counsel management.
Prior to joining Zappos, Mr. Gasser was a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Shartsis Friese, where he specialized in venture capital, debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and other transactions for emerging and mature companies.
“After nearly 20 years practicing in regional law firms and two years as a GC, I’m very enthusiastic about returning to private practice with a global law firm,” said Mr. Gasser. “The opportunity to help support the development a new Silicon Valley office for Reed Smith certainly played a role in my decision, as did the chance to work with an outstanding group of experienced colleagues in supporting entrepreneurs in Northern California and around the world.”
Gasser said that he was also attracted to Reed Smith’s commitment to hiring former GCs, like himself and Sergio Garcia, who, really ‘get’ the legal challenges today’s businesses must face.
Mr. Gasser is the 22nd lateral partner to join Reed Smith’s West Coast offices since January, including Valley partner Rich Scudellari, and Northern California-based Sergio Garcia, Rob Dellenbach, Catharina Min, Brad DeJean, and Devin Cuyler.
“Steve is a great addition to the San Francisco office,” said David Thompson, Reed Smith’s San Francisco Managing Partner. “In a period of rapid expansion, it’s great to have so many new partners who can hit the ground running. Steve is among those we’re counting on as this firm continues to enhance its Bay Area presence and reaches out to establish itself as a premier one-stop legal resource in the Valley.”

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 attorneys provide litigation services in multi-jurisdictional matters and other high stake disputes, 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 and media, shipping, international trade and commodities, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com
U.S.: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Princeton, Northern Virginia, Wilmington, Century City, Richmond

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