Global law firm Reed Smith announced last week that its chairman and

managing partner, Gregory B. Jordan, would be leaving his position to become general counsel and head of regulatory and government affairs for PNC Financial Services Group.

Jordan, 54, will be succeeded at Reed Smith by Alexander “Sandy” Thomas, who formerly served as global chair of the firm’s litigation department.

“It has been a great honor to lead Reed Smith and work with so many wonderful people,” Jordan said in a statement. “It will be difficult to leave, but I am excited about this new opportunity to help lead a great company and client like PNC.

“I am proud of the firm we have built, and I know the firm’s strong core values and great talent will continue to make it successful,” Jordan continued. “There is an outstanding and experienced management team in place to lead Reed Smith into the future.”

At PNC, Jordan will also be responsible for the banking institution’s Foundation and the Corporate Ethics Office, and he will join the Executive Committee and report directly to PNC Chief Executive Officer William Demchak.

Jordan has helped transform Reed Smith into a global law firm, one that currently employs 1,800 lawyers in 25 offices, according to the firm, which represents global companies in everything from healthcare and life sciences, financial services, energy and real estate to the media and entertainment industries.

Reed Smith, which was recently named one of the 20 strongest global law firm brands, has about 150 lawyers and 300 total employees at its Philadelphia office, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

On the other side of the commonwealth, the Pittsburgh Business Journal, which reportedly broke the story about Jordan’s departure from Reed Smith, said that the firm is Pittsburgh’s largest in terms of lawyers based in that western Pennsylvania city, as well as Pittsburgh’s eighth biggest private enterprise by 2012 revenue, which was just over $1 billion.

Reed Smith reportedly employs 709 individuals in its Pittsburgh office.

Jordan told the Pittsburgh Business Journal in an interview that he was initially taken aback when offered the position with PNC, since he wasn’t looking for work, having been content with his position at Reed Smith, where he has been employed since the early 1980s.

Jordan had joined the firm after earning his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984, the Pittsburgh publication reported.

“I wouldn’t say it took me a month to make a decision,” he was quoted as saying in the Pittsburgh Business Journal. “It took me no time at all to understand how exciting an opportunity it would be but when you’ve worked somewhere for 29 years and weren’t thinking about leaving, that takes a little time.”

The publication reported that PNC is one of the nation’s largest banks, employing more than 50,000 workers and having assets in excess of $300 billion.

Thomas, who will be replacing Jordan at Reed Smith, is an experienced commercial litigator who joined Reed Smith in 1999 after serving with the U.S. Justice Department.

Thomas served for five years as a practice group leader followed by a two-year stint as vice chair of the Litigation Department.

In a statement, Thomas called Jordan a “tremendous leader” who has helped to transform Reed Smith into the “financially strong, global law firm that it is today.

“I look forward to working with our Senior Management Team, and all of our partners, to continue our focus on providing quality and value to our clients around the world,” Thomas said. “Reed Smith’s vision and direction remain clear and we are poised for growth and continued success.”

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