Exodus From Irell & Manella’s Deal-Makers Continues – 2 More Leave to Join Reed Smith

Exodus From Irell & Manella's Deal-Makers Continues - 2 More Leave to Join Reed Smith 2
Exodus From Irell & Manella's Deal-Makers Continues - 2 More Leave to Join Reed Smith 6

The exodus of transactional lawyers from Irell & Manella continues with two corporate partners joining Reed Smith.  Irell & Manella is abandoning most of its transactional practices in an effort to focus solely on high-value litigation work, in a move that’s lead to the departure of a number of partners, including two more this week.

The press release regarding the most recent departures is below –

Powered by LawFuelLos Angeles, July 28, 2020 – Reed Smith today announced that prominent California transactional lawyers Ashok W. Mukhey and Mitchell S. Cohen have joined the firm as partners in the firm’s Global Corporate Group in Century City. Formerly with Irell & Manella, the duo brings the firm a diverse practice in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation and general corporate representation of public and private companies.

“Ashok and Mitch have worked with premier clients and financiers on sophisticated matters at the highest levels for decades,” said James Tandler, Chair of Reed Smith’s U.S. Corporate Group. “They offer impressive knowledge and extensive experience in our key industry groups, particularly entertainment & media, life sciences and financial services. The arrival of Ashok and Mitch is further commitment to our priority of adding top corporate talent in California and other key markets. We are excited to welcome them to the firm.”

Mukhey, formerly co-chair of the Irell’s Transactions practice, has more than three decades of experience advising companies in a broad range of industries including gaming, hospitality, entertainment, technology, life sciences, manufacturing, and medical devices. He handles mergers and acquisitions, private investment, corporate finance, and counsels clients on securities regulation and securities offerings. Both he and Cohen have worked on financing matters for a number of high-profile companies and organizations, such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and related foundations, including issuances of tax-exempt “Oscar Bonds” for the construction and development of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Mukhey received a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has spent his entire career at Irell. 

“Reed Smith’s reputation in the middle-market global corporate space and the firm’s platform is the perfect combination for us to grow our practices,” Mukhey said. “In addition, having the full range of disciplines available to support our transactional work is essential and a great benefit to our clients. We look forward to working with our new Reed Smith colleagues and helping the firm expand its corporate offerings in California and beyond.”

Cohen has significant experience in debt finance transactions, while his practice also focuses on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate representation in a variety of industries. He advises borrowers, banks, and institutional and investment fund lenders in a wide range of debt financings and restructurings. Cohen also represents entertainment and media companies with financing for the development and production of films, as well as the sale of film libraries and other assets. As part of his more than three decades of experience, he previously practiced in Tokyo advising Japanese companies on U.S.-based investments and transactions and has served as outside corporate counsel to a number of U.S. subsidiaries of multinational companies.

Cohen received an A.B. in Diplomacy and World Affairs, with an Economics emphasis, from Occidental College; a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Cohen began his law career at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in 1988 and later practiced at Riordan & McKinzie before joining Irell in 2000.

“Reed Smith’s strong capabilities in all aspects of finance, M&A and private equity is an excellent complement to my practice and for my clients,” Cohen said. “It is readily apparent that Reed Smith’s lawyers have a strong team approach to client service. Collaboration is built into the firm’s DNA. Working across offices and practice areas is both necessary and effective when working on complex corporate transactions; we are looking forward to integrating into the firm’s expansive platform and practice.”

“Ashok and Mitch are seasoned lawyers whose exceptional skills and business perspectives will benefit current and new clients,” said Cisca Mok, managing partner of the Century City office. “They will add to our already deep bench in corporate, entertainment, life sciences and hospitality in Southern California and will broaden the firm’s capabilities in various other areas such as manufacturing and gaming.”

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a dynamic international law firm dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward. Our belief is that by delivering smarter and more creative legal services, we will not only enrich our clients’ experiences with us, but also support them in achieving their business goals.

Our long-standing relationships, international outlook, and collaborative structure make us the go-to partner for the speedy resolution of complex disputes, transactions, and regulatory matters.

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