Mary Payne Expands Firm’s ETF and Insurance Investments Practice

(April 11, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – Reed Smith LLP today announced the arrival of Mary Thornton Payne as a partner in its Financial Industry Group (FIG) in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Payne was formerly a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, where her practice focused on representing financial services clients on a broad range of legal and regulatory issues relating to securities laws. She re-joins her former Sutherland colleague, Tom Conner, with whom she has built a robust practice focusing on commodities-based and securities-based exchange traded funds, and insurance-related investment products. Mr. Conner became a partner in Reed Smith’s Washington, D.C. office this past January.

“We are pleased to reunite Mary and Tom on Reed Smith’s international platform,” said Perry A. Napolitano, Chair of the firm’s Financial Industry Group. “We expect that together, Mary and Tom will continue to build a truly world-class, global ETF practice, and expand the firm’s U.S.-based insurance company investment products capabilities.”

Ms. Payne’s practice experience includes registration, compliance and regulatory issues affecting securities, commodities and insurance-related products. “As exchange traded funds have become more popular within the international investment community, it is essential to have a global practice platform upon which to respond promptly to clients’ needs and growth opportunities,” said Ms. Payne. “Reed Smith has an international platform second to none, as well as the relevant practice groups needed to service these complex products, including corporate, financial services regulatory, ERISA, tax, funds and derivatives.”

Ms. Payne joined Sutherland immediately following her 1995 graduation from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she was on law review and graduated Order of the Coif. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with highest honors with a business degree in accounting in 1992.

“Mary brings experience to the firm in an area that is strategically important for our clients,” said A. Scott Bolden, Reed Smith’s D.C. office managing partner. “The funds practice is on the upswing around the world, and the nexus for much of its growth is this region. We look forward to working with Mary and Tom as they expand this important practice.”

About the Financial Industry Group (FIG)

Reed Smith’s Financial Industry Group is comprised of more than 220 lawyers organized on a cross-border, cross-discipline basis, and dedicated to representing clients involved in the financial sector, advising most of the top financial institutions in the world. As well as being authorities in their areas of law, FIG lawyers have a particular understanding of the financial services industry, enabling them to evaluate risks, and to anticipate and identify the legal support needed by clients. FIG lawyers advise on transactional finance covering the full spectrum of financial products, litigation, commercial restructuring, bankruptcy, investment management, M&A, consumer compliance, and bank regulation, including all aspects of regulatory issues, such as examinations, enforcement and expansion proposals. For more information, visit

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