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.
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.
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.
Re-elected for Another Term
Sheppard Mullin announced that the firm's chairman of the
executive committee, Guy N. Halgren, was re-elected to a sixth
consecutive, three-year term leading the firm. Halgren was
first elected to this management role in 2001. Halgren is the
first Sheppard Mullin chairman to hold this position for more than
three terms, and he ran unopposed.
Promoting Their Very Best
Sheppard Mullin announced that the firm was elevating eleven of
its attorneys to partner. The new partners are Katharine E.
Allen (San Francisco), Rena Andoh (New York), Daniel P. Bane
(Orange County), Jeralin Cardoso (San Diego (Del Mar), Jeffrey S.
Crowe (Orange County), Ruben D. Escalante (Los Angeles), Brian D.
Murphy (New York), Jennifer E. Renk (San Francisco), James Rusk
(San Francisco), W. Ray Rutngamlug (Washington, D.C.) and Reid
The Finer Things in Life
Sheppard Mullin represented Diageo in the sale of its global
wine business to Treasury Wine Estates, announced Oct. 13, 2015.
The Sheppard Mullin deal team included Shon Glusky, Stephanie
Zeppa, Adam Freiman, Michael Peng, Bill Ziegelbauer, Adrian Smith,
Brian Anderson, Rachel Hudson, Mike Orlando, David Van Pelt,
Michael Chan, Amy Tranckino, Joan Story, Katherine Allen and Randy
Expanding Practices in Europe
Sheppard Mullin bolstered its presence at the heart of the
European Union by launching an EU Competition and Regulatory
practice at its office in Brussels. The California-based firm
initiated a series of lateral partner and counsel hires, starting
with prominent competition lawyer Jacques Derenne from Hogan
Lovells, who was joined by Robert Klotz from Mayer Brown to form an
EU team advising on competition, regulatory and other EU law. With
additional hires in Brussels (including partners Isabelle Rahman
and Wim Vandenberghe from Dechert on Nov. 23) and a preeminent
Antitrust and Competition team across the US, Asia and more
recently London, Sheppard Mullin has established a leading global
Gaining a Sharper Edge
Los Angeles-based glass industry supplier C.R. Laurence Co. Inc.
was acquired by Oldcastle Building Envelope, a subsidiary of Irish
building products giant CRH Group, for $1.3 billion in
cash. C.R. Laurence, which has been in the Friese family for
decades, is the country's largest supplier of custom hardware and
products for the glazing industry. The acquisition closed on
September 3, 2015. Sheppard Mullin represented C.R. Laurence
Co. in this deal.
It's in the Bank
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 eleven 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. On
June 4, 2015, following a four-month trial, the jury returned a
verdict of not guilty on all 80 counts against the bank.