Rudnicki and Temple Bring Oil & Gas Industry and Labor & Employment Experience to Firm’s Fast-Growing Texas Presenc
(May 2, 2013, Houston) – Reed Smith LLP today announced the addition of two partners to its rapidly growing Houston office. Mark D. Temple and Leah T. Rudnicki bring the total number of partners in the firm’s newest office to 16 and the number of lawyers to 22.
Temple is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment practice; Rudnicki is a member of its Commercial Litigation practice.
“Mark and Leah are outstanding additions to our Houston office as we continue to build out our full-service practice,” said David Thompson, Reed Smith’s Houston Integration Partner. “Both have significant experience in areas where client demand is high, and they bring strong connections to Reed Smith within Texas and across their respective industries. They are well positioned to play key roles as we continue growing in the Lone Star State.”
A 1995 graduate of South Texas College of Law, Temple was formerly a partner at Jones Day in Houston. He provides general employment litigation and counsel to employers with an emphasis on non-compete litigation, protection of trade secrets, and wage and hour counseling, and handles broad-based discrimination claims. He litigates cases before regulatory agencies and courts involving all types of workplace-related matters, including wage and hour claims, Sarbanes-Oxley claims, breach of contract claims, and all forms of discrimination. His experience in these areas ranges from single-claimant cases to multi-claimant class actions.
“Reed Smith’s focus and emphasis on client relationships mirrors my approach to practice,” said Temple. “All of the attorneys who have joined together to establish this firm’s Houston presence are focused on partnering with our clients to deliver value to their businesses. I look forward to working with the team here and across the firm’s global platform.”
Temple is a frequent speaker at labor and employment seminars and regularly publishes on topics of interest to employers. He has been also been recognized by both peers and clients as an outstanding advocate. His move to Reed Smith reunites Temple with Wanda G. Holloway, with whom he has had a significant history of professional collaboration. Holloway joined Reed Smith’s Houston office earlier this year.
Leah Rudnicki is a 2001 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Formerly with Akin Gump, Rudnicki brings to Reed Smith a unique background as in-house counsel, an oil and gas company officer, and a litigator in private practice. She has significant experience providing strategic business counsel on every aspect of energy operations, including representing, counseling and advising diverse clients, from small independent companies to Fortune 500 companies. In addition to her oil and gas-related experience, she has experience in representing clients in a wide array of industries, including financial, logistics, manufacturing, infrastructure and waste disposal. Her practice includes energy litigation, complex business and commercial litigation, toxic tort, and product liability defense.
“Reed Smith provides an ideal platform to better serve my energy clients across the nation and internationally, and further develop my practice in other industries,” said Rudnicki. “This firm’s industry group structure works particularly well in the energy and natural resources sector, because energy companies today require a broader range of legal services than ever before. The firm’s team approach, coupled with the exceptional qualifications of the Houston partners it has recruited, are what sold me on Reed Smith.”
As in-house litigation counsel for a Fortune 500 oil and gas services company, Rudnicki advised the business on a range of issues, including responding to new regulations affecting the oil and gas service industry. Prior to that, as president, general counsel, and vice-president of a private independent oil and gas operating company with production and drilling operations in Oklahoma and Texas, she gained deep experience in every area of energy-company operations. As a result, Rudnicki is able to provide her clients with strategic business advice informed by years of experience on the front lines of oil and gas operations.
She also established a private consulting business to serve distressed companies, receivers, and financial institutions, which included the delivery of expert consulting guidance to law firms pursuing or defending oil and gas lawsuits, particularly disputes about royalties, working interest accounting and international exploration agreements. She was named a Texas “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers in 2006 and 2007.
Reed Smith’s Houston office – one of 25 worldwide – opened in the BG Group Place at 811 Main Street, in January.