Noelle M. Reed, Skadden

Noelle M. Reed


Editors’ Note

Noelle Reed is the head of Skadden’s Houston office and the Houston litigation practice. She has extensive experience representing clients in complex litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts and arbitrations. She was a trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Division and an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of Texas. As a prosecutor, she handled criminal cases involving terrorism, public corruption, fraud, organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, environmental violations and tax offenses. Reed recently served as a member of Skadden’s Policy Committee, the firm’s governing body. She is a member of the American Law Institute and is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as well as The Best Lawyers in America and Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. She also was named Best Lawyers’ 2021 Houston Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year.


Founded in 1948, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and affiliates (skadden.com) is one of the world’s most highly respected law firms. Skadden has 21 offices, approximately 1,700 attorneys and more than 50 distinct areas of practice. The firm’s clients include more than 50 percent of Fortune 250 corporations, as well as financial and governmental entities, startup companies and nonprofits.

You served as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Division and as an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of Texas. Will you discuss these experiences and how valuable they have been in your current work?

Working as a prosecutor gave me the opportunity to try a wide variety of cases in multiple jurisdictions – invaluable experience that is very difficult to replicate in private practice. The intense pace of the Laredo docket and the nature of terrorism investigations both required me to hone my ability to make high-stakes strategy decisions quickly and often with less than perfect information. And because trials and investigations are always team efforts, I learned how to work collaboratively and leverage the different skills of team members to achieve a common goal. The biggest change for me in switching to civil litigation was the addition of a client to that mix. As a prosecutor, your client is more of an abstract concept. I already loved trials, but I’ve really enjoyed helping clients get through – or avoid – litigation and working with them to achieve their business goals.

Will you provide an overview of your position and areas of focus?

I serve as Skadden’s Houston office leader and head of the Houston litigation practice. I split my time between securities litigation and commercial trial work. I’m still really a generalist as a trial lawyer, which means I often get to work closely with my partners across the firm who have deep expertise in a particular subject matter or field of law. It’s a testament to the success and strength of Skadden’s platform that we are able to bring robust trial experience and deep industry knowledge together to build extraordinary litigation teams.

In my role as leader of the Houston office and its litigation group, I am acutely focused on the related tasks of growing our office and continuing to develop and retain our next generation of talent through mentoring and training young lawyers.

Please describe Skadden’s Houston office and its areas of focus.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of our Houston office. We serve clients in the energy, financial and petrochemical industries in commercial and corporate transactions, as well as in all types of litigation and investigations. We have handled some of the largest deals involving Texas-based companies along with precedent-setting litigation in courts throughout the state.

We are deeply committed to serving the local community through our pro bono work in a broad range of matters. And we put our competitive nature to good use as spirited competitors in the Houston Food Bank’s annual Food From the Bar Campaign.