Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP at a Glance


  • “Stable, conservative growth”
  • “No prima donnas”
  • “Jeans on Fridays”


  • “Lack of East Coast recognition”
  • “Work can be up and down “
  • “Impossible deadlines”

The Buzz

  • “Happy associates”
  • “Underrated”
  • “California”
  • “Fratty”

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

With expertise in a variety of practices, including corporate, litigation, employment, IP, antitrust and finance, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has grown aggressively in recent times. The firm has added a number of industry focused practices, such as healthcare, insurance, communications and entertainment, serving such clients as DaVita Inc., Liberty Mutual, Charter Communications and Disney.   

Starting Up

Today's Sheppard Mullin entered the world in 1927 as Haight & Mathes, the brainchild of two young lawyers who left a small Los Angeles firm to strike out on their own. At the behest of Harvard Law classmate Bill Mathes, James Sheppard ditched O'Melveny & Myers to join the nascent firm the following year. After co-founder Ray Haight left to form yet another startup in 1932 (before an unsuccessful bid for the California governor's chair), two men who would develop into name partners-J. Stanley Mullin and George Richter-cut their teeth as law clerks in the Great Depression's waning days. Richter briefly left the firm for Security First National Bank's legal department in the mid-1930s, a stint that afforded him a knowledge reserve he'd tap to build up the firm's commercial and banking offerings upon his return. With the 1938 hiring of Harvard grad Gordon Hampton, the firm closed out its recruitment of the quartet that formed the nameplate maintained through today-a rarity in this age of mergers, spinoffs and partner raids.

Mathes answered President Truman's call in 1945, when he accepted Give 'Em Hell Harry's nomination to join the federal bench in L.A. While the partner's ascendance clearly lent additional prestige to the Sheppard Mullin letterhead, it also cost the firm its senior trial lawyer; another OMM lawyer, Frank Balthis, stepped in to help fill the void, earning his own judiciary invitation in 1961 after 15 years with the firm. Meanwhile, a third Sheppard Mullin attorney-turned-jurist, Kathleen Parker, made headlines in becoming one of L.A.'s first female attorneys and, later, one of the region's first female judges. Parker joined the firm in 1946 and was the first woman to practice at the firm.

Go for Golden

Given the history of prestigious attorneys who have graced Sheppard Mullin's halls, the firm's continued success and growth is no surprise. The firm opened offices throughout the Golden State in the 1970s and 1980s; added niche practices in such areas as aerospace, defense, land use and real estate in the 1990s; and launched a slew of new branches as the third millennium dawned. In addition to its major California presence, the firm also has offices in DC, New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, London and Brussels. Recent growth has reflected an increased emphasis on regional specialization: lawyers in Century City focus largely on entertainment law, those in Del Mar target the region's biotech companies and attorneys in DC pass much of their time helping clients land government contracts.  


June 2015

Howdy Partners

Sheppard Mullin added three partners to the firm's growing Intellectual Property practice group: James G. Gatto, D. Benjamin Esplin and Bradford C. Blaise.  Gatto and Blaise joined Sheppard Mullin's Washington DC office and Esplin joined the firm's Del Mar office.  Guy Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin, noted:  "As extremely well-regarded IP specialists, they are sought out coast-to-coast by technology and game companies for patent portfolio strategy and business model advice.  Jim, Ben and Brad are first-rate attorneys who significantly add depth and breadth to our existing IP and technology capabilities, especially in the games, social media, internet, open source, mHealth and FinTech industries."

Defense Verdict

Partner Kevin Puvalowski and associate Sarah Aberg represented Abacus Federal Savings Bank, the only bank to face trial on criminal charges in connection with the financial crisis and the first bank indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office since 1991.  The indictment, which was handed down in May 2012, charged Abacus and 11 former employees with conspiracy and substantive fraud charges alleging that the bank knowingly approved mortgages to unqualified borrowers based on falsified documentation and then sold those fraudulent mortgages to Fannie Mae.  In June 2015, following a four-month trial, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all 80 counts against the bank.   

Family Feud

The court case attacking Gore Vidal's estate by his half-sister, Nina Straight, was dismissed.  Sheppard Mullin partner Adam Streisand scored a stunning victory in the case for his client, Andrew Auchincloss, as the trustee of Gore Vidal's trust and Mr. Vidal's intended beneficiaries, the Huntington Library and Harvard University.

May 2015

Pro Bono Pro

Sheppard Mullin announced that Daniel L. Brown will receive the American Bar Association's 2015 Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors those who have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to our nation's poor and disadvantaged.  A partner in Sheppard Mullin's Business Trial practice group, Brown is also chair of the firm's pro bono committee.

March 2015

You Deserve a Promotion

Sheppard Mullin elevated 11 of its attorneys to partner in March 2015.  The new partners are William F. Ahmann (Palo Alto), Christopher J. Collins (New York), Pankit J. Doshi (San Francisco), Morgan Forsey (San Francisco), Kenneth D. Fox (Orange County), Michael M. Lauter (San Francisco), Amy L. McEvoy (Los Angeles), Marlene M. Nicolas (Los Angeles), James E. Pugh (Los Angeles), Jeffrey F. Rector (Del Mar) and Zachary M. Turke (Los Angeles). 

January 2015

Solving the Split

The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Sheppard Mullin client Hana Bank in the matter entitled Hana Financial v. Hana Bank. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion for a unanimous Court, affirming the Ninth Circuit's ruling that the doctrine of trademark tacking presents a question of fact appropriate for jury determination.  The Supreme Court resolved a Circuit split on the issue, which arose when the Federal Circuit and Sixth Circuit treated trademark tacking as a question of law.  This was the first substantive trademark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in nearly a decade, and the first time the Court considered tacking principles in nearly a century, long before the issue was coined "tacking." Carlo Van den Bosch argued the matter before the Supreme Court on December 3, 2014.  Hana Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in Korea. 

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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

333 South Hope St.
43rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Phone: (213) 620-1780


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Committee Chairman: Guy N. Halgren
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 700

  • Employment Contact
    Los Angeles
    Ms. Sally Bucklin
    Manager of Attorney Hiring and Lawyer Personnel Administration
    Phone: (213) 617-4101
    Century City
    Ms. Xavier Maurice
    Recruiting Assistant
    Phone: (310) 228-2283
    New York
    Ms. Nicolle Gibney
    Recruiting & Professional Development Administrator
    Phone: (212) 634-3026
    Washington, DC
    Ms. Maddy Kershek
    Recruitment and Talent Management Administrator
    Phone: (202) 747-2331
    San Francisco & Palo Alto
    Ms. Nadia Ferrari-Pashman
    Recruiting & Professional Development Administrator
    Phone: (415) 774-3274
    Costa Mesa
    Ms. Patty McGraw
    Recruiting Coordinator
    Phone: (714) 424-2849
    San Diego
    Ms. Cindi Robertson
    Recruiting Assistant
    Phone: (619) 338-6500
    Del Mar Heights
    Ms. Rheanna Smith
    Recruiting Coordinator
    Phone: (858) 720-7449         
    Ms. Betsy Zukley
    Office Administrator
    Phone:  (312) 499-0535

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    8th year: $280,000
    Summer associate: $3,080/ week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    32 out of 32 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust and Trade Regulation
    Bankruptcy and Restructuring
    Corporate and Securities 
    Entertainment, Media and Technology
    Food and Drug Regulatory
    Global Climate Change
    Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade 
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    International Business
    Labor & Employment
    Land Use & Natural Resources
    Real Estate
    Tax, Estate Planning and Private Wealth Litigation
    White Collar & Civil Fraud Defense

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL
  • Los Angeles/Century City, CA
  • Los Angeles/Downtown, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Orange County (Costa Mesa), CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • San Diego/Del Mar, CA
  • San Diego/Downtown, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Seoul
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