Reed Smith LLP is expanding its Washington, DC office with a strong core of
intellectual property lawyers. Seven attorneys are joining Reed Smith from Shanks &
Herbert, a boutique IP firm formerly based in Alexandria, VA, effective,
January 2. Shanks & Herbert will wind down its operations and dissolve the firm.
A total of 15 Shanks & Herbert’s attorneys, paralegals and support staff in
its Virginia office will relocate to Reed Smith’s Washington, D.C. offices.
“This combination substantially strengthens our intellectual property
capabilities in D.C., a key market for national IP practices,” said Gregory Jordan,
Reed Smith’s firmwide managing partner. “It will allow Reed Smith to more
readily provide IP services to our life sciences clients, as well as provide IP
legal services to clients currently using FDA, products liability and government
contracts as well as other legal services from the firm.”
In addition to partners Mark R. Shanks and Toni-Junell Herbert, the former
Shanks & Herbert staff who will become part of Reed Smith include one counsel,
Patricia Ann Johnson, five associates, two paralegals and several support
staff. They have extensive backgrounds in intellectual property litigation,
portfolio evaluation, patent related opinions and protection of inventions
domestically and abroad. They represent clients in all phases of licensing
transactions, trademark and copyright matters, and have extensive experience
corporate intellectual property issues; this includes advising venture capital
groups as well as providing counsel to investment banking institutions
involved in life science investments.
“This move represents another large step toward Reed Smith becoming a major
presence in the Washington, D.C. market,” said Judy L. Harris, Washington D.C.
managing partner. “We intend to build a strong core of IP lawyers in the
nation’s capital because our healthcare, life sciences and government regulatory
clients have significant and increasing needs for intellectual property
representation and counsel.”
Mr. Shanks and Ms. Herbert began their careers as associates at a premier IP
specialty firm in Washington, D.C., which they left in 1996 to start Shanks &
Herbert. Over the subsequent seven years, the firm has developed considerable
depth and breadth in the chemical, pharmaceutical and software areas of IP
A 1987 graduate of University of Iowa College of Law, Mr. Shanks’ technical
background is in chemical engineering and his main practice areas are patent
litigation and licensing. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical
engineering from Iowa State University in 1985.
Ms. Herbert received her law degree in 1990 from the University of Baltimore
Law School. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from the
University of Colorado. She has written extensively on biochemistry matters and has
had numerous articles published in scientific journals.
“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities we will have at Reed
Smith,” said Ms. Herbert. “Among the things that attracted us to the firm was that
it is a stable firm with an excellent work ethic and attitude of turning out a
top quality work product. We knew from our first contact with Reed Smith that
we’d found a compatible culture and way of conducting business. Quite simply,
it was a natural fit with the way we want to work. I expect that we will
individually and collectively thrive and grow here.”
Mr. Shanks concurred. “This is a thoroughly professional law firm,” he said.
“Toni and I are convinced that their down-to-earth and practical approach to
solving their client’s issues will work extremely well with the core IP
competencies we bring in areas such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
This move will allow us to provide a broader range of services to our current
clients in all areas as well as to expand the IP offerings for Reed Smith’s
life sciences clients.”
The other attorneys joining the firm from Shanks & Herbert are Chris E.
Aniedobe, Joanna M. Ducovcic, Thyulieu T. Kazazian, Tamara Jennifer Yorita and
James L. Lewis.