Age: 39, Partner; Director, Business and Commercial Litigation
Gibbons P.C., New York City
A partner and director of business and commercial litigation department at Gibbons P.C., one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms, Ghillaine A. Reid is on the front lines of often complex and contentious litigation matters involving the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other federal and state entities. She strives for perfection in defense of her clients. “I invest every opportunity to perfect my craft,” she says.
Reid raced through undergraduate studies at Boston University and graduated from the university’s school of law in 1995. She was admitted to the New York and New Jersey bars a year later. Her career path was never impeded by race, gender or any notion of a “glass ceiling.” “To the extent that I have been slighted or denigrated because of my race or gender during my career, I cannot say that it has functioned as an impediment in reaching any goal that I have sought to achieve,” she says.
Reid attributes her success principles to her parents, who, she says, instilled principles in her at an early age. Her toughness as a corporate litigator comes, in part, from her father, a cancer survivor. “My parents worked hard and made incredible sacrifices for me. I attribute any success that I have to the opportunities they made available to me,” she says.
Her goal is to become the nation’s most widely recognized commercial defense litigator — a lofty goal, but one that she likely will achieve. She makes an effort to “work harder, longer and more creatively than my peers and competitors [and] to accomplish forty-eight hours’ worth of tasks in a twenty-four-hour day,” she says.
First job: Journalist intern
Countries visited: Ghana, Denmark, United Kingdom
What artist would you go on tour with: Lauryn Hill
Favorite charity: Inwood House
Favorite food: Chocolate
Favorite sports team: Celtics