Reid Collins & Tsai has tapped founding partner Lisa Tsai as the trial firm’s new managing partner, succeeding William T. Reid IV, as the firm diversifies its top leadership.
“Putting Lisa in this role I hope says something to the market about our commitment to diversity,” said Reid, also a founding partner of the Austin-founded firm.
But Reid said Tsai, who also moved onto the firm’s executive committee, is simply well-qualified to serve as the firm’s leader.
“There’s a reason her name is on the door of this firm. There’s a reason why she’s managing partner. She’s that good,” Reid said.
As a founding partner of Reid Collins, Tsai said she has handled some management responsibilities over the years at the firm, perhaps most significantly as the partner who spearheaded recruiting.
Her aim is to continue the firm’s growth path.
“The framework we have already worked so hard to build is creating a holistic firm that gives meaningful work to our people, where people can really find a place to land, not just a place to jump to as a springboard to something else,” she said.
She said a holistic practice allows lawyers to have a “fulfilling and meaningful life,” even though they may still be juggling a lot.
She notes that the firm takes on litigation for plaintiffs that some other firms don’t, such as legal malpractice, and representing asset managers and fund managers in claims for meaningful losses. The firm also represents bankruptcy trustees, liquidators and receivers.
She said that kind of plaintiffs work illustrates her holistic take on the practice of law at Reid Collins.
“As plaintiffs lawyers, we really feel we are fulfilling a certain need in society. And in the legal community as a whole there is a dearth of really competent plaintiffs lawyers who are willing to bring certain claims…and quite frankly are willing to take on some of the most elite institutions in the world,” she said.
The trial firm is known for paying associates above-market compensation, and when revenue from settlements or judgments come in, all lawyers and employees receive bonuses.
“It is a bedrock tenet of our firm,” she said. “Everyone has to be rewarded.”
Since its founding in 2009 with nine lawyers, Reid Collins has grown to 37 lawyers in Austin, Dallas, New York, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, Delaware.
Reid said having Tsai as managing partner and a member of the management committee — along with him and Dallas partner Eric Madden — may help the firm in recruiting, an area Tsai has been working on for years.
“I’m both a woman as well as an ethnic minority. It is important that we continue to seek out the best and the brightest, and seek diverse candidates. We have been successful,” said Tsai, a past chair of the State Bar of Texas Asian Pacific Interest Section.
Tsai was part of the Reid Collins team that won a $121 million judgment in June on remand after the Texas Supreme Court affirmed a 2014 jury verdict that Credit Suisse committed fraud. Tsai and Reid and a team represented Claymore Holdings, a subsidiary of Highland Capital Management, a Dallas-based investment management firm, in the suit filed in connection with a dispute over a major real estate transaction just before the housing market crashed in 2008.
She has handled other litigation related to fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and professional negligence.
The management transition took place in July, but the firm just announced it.