2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The culture is outstanding. People genuinely enjoy the work they're doing and the people they're working with.”
“Sophisticated work and clients.”
“Up and down nature of the workload.”
“The work/life balance could be improved.”
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 several industry-focused practices, such as health care, insurance, and entertainment, and serves such clients as Mastercard, Liberty Mutual, Allstate Insurance, 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. James Sheppard joined the nascent firm the following year. Name partners J. Stanley Mullin and George Richter cut their teeth as law clerks in the Great Depression’s waning days. 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. Given the history of prestigious attorneys who have graced Sheppard Mullin’s halls, the firm’s continued success and growth is no surprise.
They’ve Got It Covered
You’ll need all of your fingers, all of your toes, and then some to count all of the industries that Sheppard Mullin handles. The firm’s experience includes blockchain, cannabis, venture capital, entertainment, esports, financial services, health care, insurance, life sciences, private equity, REIT, transportation, and so much more.
The firm is well known for its labor and employment practice—which ranks among the top 20 in Vault’s Practice Area ranking. The firm has experience counseling all kinds of clients, from Fortune 100 companies to startups. The firm serves as an every-day employment counselor to many clients, providing advice on employment agreements, employee arbitration agreements, employee handbooks, sexual harassment policies, and other workplace policies. Sheppard Mullin lawyers also handle myriad employment litigation issues—from affirmative action to discrimination to whistle blower actions to wage and hour, and much more. in addition, the firm counsels clients on union management and relations.
Sheppard Mullin also boasts a reputable health care practice, with more than 150 lawyers. With a cross-disciplinary approach, the practice handles a range of areas as they relate to health care, including antitrust, compliance, cybersecurity, fraud, HIPPA, licensing, litigation, private equity, regulatory matters, and much more.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Sheppard Mullin puts its money where its mouth is. In addition to its affinity groups for women attorneys, attorneys of color, and LGBTQ attorneys, the firm also has gender-neutral parental leave and mentoring programs. Plus, the firm gives billable-hours credit for attorney participation in external diversity programs—examples include MCCA, LCLD, and CMCP. In addition, the firm has achieved Mansfield certification. In 2019, the firm announced its sponsorship of the LA Galaxy OC Women’s Soccer Team—an effort to support the local community and demonstrate its commitment to women’s empowerment.
News & Awards
In February 2019, Sheppard Mullin announced its 2019 partner class, which included Fatema K. Merchant, a member of the Government Contracts, Investigations, and International Trade practice group in the Washington, DC office. Merchant was featured in a May 2019 article in Washington Lawyer, titled “Fatema Merchant Breaking Barriers For Muslim Women In The Law,” which described Merchant as “the first hijab-wearing woman to make partner at a Washington, DC, Am Law 100 firm.”
Sheppard Mullin has taken its experience in SEP and FRAND licensing disputes into the autonomous automobile world. On behalf of its client u-blox, the firm brought suit against InterDigital Inc. in January 2019. The matter was covered by a January 2, 2019 article in The Recorder, which noted that “U-blox accuses InterDigital of demanding ‘exorbitant non-FRAND’ royalties for patents that are essential to practicing the 2G, 3G and 4G wireless standards.”
The firm advised MRR Development in its purchase of the Lower East Side’s Hotel Indigo for $162.5 million. The transaction was covered by Law360 on October 23, 2018.
As reported in the February 23, 2018 edition of The Recorder, Sheppard Mullin experienced its 27th consecutive year of revenue growth in 2017. Per the article, “The Los Angeles-based firm saw revenue rise 10.5 percent in 2017, to more than $671 million, according to preliminary reporting by ALM.”
- Successfully represented TCL in the high profile, three-week trial (TCL v. Ericsson) that found that Ericsson had breached its obligation to the ETSI Standard Setting Organization to license its standard essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
- Represented Grab in a $2 billion financing round—widely reported as the largest single financing in the history of Southeast Asia.
- Secured a California Supreme Court victory on behalf of Orange Coast Medical Center. Sheppard Mullin was the only law firm to win an employment case before the California Supreme Court in 2018.
- Represented Mastercard in negotiating a multi-year, multi-million-dollar sponsorship agreement with Riot Games, making Mastercard the first global sponsor of the studio’s online multiplayer game League of Legends.
- 2019 Best Law Firms for Women, Working Mother
- Mansfield Certified Plus, Diversity Lab
- Rated 100% for LGBTQ workplace benefits on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index, Human Rights Campaign
- 2018 California Regional Powerhouse, Law360
- Ranked 4th on 2018 Best Firms for Minority Attorneys (600+ lawyers category) list, Law360
Why Work Here
Today’s Sheppard Mullin had a Roaring Twenties start in Los Angeles as a firm called Haight & Mathes. By the mid-1940s, and operating under its current name, the firm had become highly regarded (and still is) for its antitrust, finance, and employment law practices. Between 1977-86, the firm opened three other offices spanning the Golden State and added practices in key California industries, including aerospace and defense. In the '90s, the firm's specialties expanded to include a thriving corporate and securities practice, a prestigious real estate/land use/natural resources group, and a strong construction litigation practice.
To learn more about the firm's history click here.
333 South Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Phone: (213) 620-1780
Executive Committee Chairman: Guy N. Halgren
Hiring Partners: Ronda Jamgotchian (Century City); Daniel McQueen & Olivier Théard (LA); Jeff Kern(NY); Dan Bane (Orange County); John Booher (Palo Alto); Jeralin Cardoso (Del Mar); John Dineen & Whitney Hodges (San Diego); Dylan Ballard & Jennifer Renk (SF); Don Williams (Shanghai); Paul Werner (DC); Kevin Cloutier & Larry Eppley (Chicago); Seth Kim (Seoul)
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
750 - 1K
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
No. of Summer Associates:
39 total (38 2Ls; 1 1Ls) (2019)
Chief Human Resources Officer
See firm website for more information.
Los Angeles, CA (Century City)
Los Angeles, CA (Downtown)
New York, NY
Orange County, CA (Costa Mesa)
Palo Alto, CA
San Diego, CA (Del Mar)
San Diego, CA (Downtown)
San Francisco, CA
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Bankruptcy and Restructuring
Corporate and Securities
Entertainment, Technology and Advertising
Food and Drug Regulatory
Global Climate Change
Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade
Labor & Employment
Land Use & Natural Resources
Tax, Estate Planning and Private Wealth Litigation
White Collar & Civil Fraud Defense
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.