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Historical Highlight
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.

From SoCal to Shanghai
The firm has been expanding aggressively since the new millennium, adding a number of new practice areas and seven additional offices to its roster, each location selected to better serve the needs of our clients. Although most of the offices field a full complement of specialties, recent growth reflects an increased emphasis on regional specialization: representation of motion picture studios and media companies is a major emphasis for lawyers in Century City, those in Del Mar target the region’s biotech companies, and attorneys in D.C. devote much of their time assisting clients with issues related to government contracts and regulations. The firm now services such clients as The Walt Disney Company, Amgen Inc., and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

See all of the firm's office locations here.

In the Chips
In April 2008, Sheppard Mullin's 11th office opened shop in Menlo Park, in California's Silicon Valley. This office represents clients in the "high tech" sector and complements Sheppard’s Shanghai office, which opened a year earlier.   The office moved to Palo Alto in 2010. 

Big Deals/Big Suits

Yippee! Yahoo!
Sheppard Mullin client Yahoo! Inc. announced a landmark deal in July 2009 with Microsoft under which Microsoft will become the Internet search platform for Yahoo!, and Yahoo! will become the exclusive sales force for Microsoft's paid search services to premium advertisers. Sheppard Mullin was lead outside counsel on the deal and the partner on the deal, Brian Pass, was named "Dealmaker of the Week" by The American Lawyer . The parties finalized a binding Letter of Intent and committed to reach a definitive agreement during the fall of 2009. The value of the 10-year deal is enormous and provides Yahoo! with greater flexibility to focus on its core media properties and display advertising business.

DC Gov Con Win Takes Off
Sheppard Mullin's D.C. Government Contracts team scored an important victory for Northrop Grumman Corporation when the General Accountability Office denied a multi-count protest brought by Lockheed Martin against a multi-billion dollar award to Northrop Grumman for a Broad Area Maritime Surveillance System. "BAMS" is a remotely piloted air vehicle that can generate an image of an individual standing on the deck of a ship from an altitude of 50,000 feet. It is designed to operate -- using a minimum number of aircraft in a constellation -- to provide surveillance over a range of 2,000 nautical miles and to do so on a continuous basis, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, for 20 years. Lockheed Martin challenged the award in six separate protests that raised more than 20 separate grounds. The proceeding entailed four rounds of pleadings and a 5-day evidentiary hearing.

Winning Big!
Since January 2009, the firm has had major litigation victories for clients Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Costco Wholesale Corporation, eBay Inc., Fox News Network, LLC, Hyundai Motor America, State Fund Compensation Insurance Fund, Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and airlines Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc., Southwest Airlines Co. and US Airways Group, Inc.. The cases involved issues ranging from defamation and wage and hour, to anti-SLAPP and land use entitlement.

You Can Bank on It
Sheppard Mullin has long specialized in representation of lenders, and its stable of clients in the financial services sectors includes financiers of real estate development, affordable housing, ships, trains and jet aircraft. Over the past decade, the firm represented Bank of America, N.A. as the lead bank in multiple syndicated credit facilities, consisting of loans ranging from several hundred million to several billion dollars, for the construction of various luxury hotel, casino and restaurant-retail projects in Las Vegas and on Native American lands. Sheppard Mullin lawyers also represented the lenders who financed other landmark projects, including "The Grove" shopping center and "L.A. Live", both in Los Angeles.

Winning Winery Deal
The firm advised Northern California winemaker Sebastiani Vineyards, Inc. in its sale to Santa Barbara-based Foley Wine Group, which added the winery to its considerable portfolio. Prior to the deal, Sebastiani had been family-run for more than a century.

Doing the Right Thing
Sheppard Mullin works with organizations such as the Los Angeles Network of Human Rights Watch, the Legal Aid Society of San Diego and the Child Care Law Center on an amalgam of advocacy projects, from helping the poor pursue federal benefits to which they are entitled to advising appellants in capital cases. In December 2008, New York associate Gabriel Matus and Sheppard Mullin shared an award from Aid for AIDS International, for representing the nonprofit on matters ranging from corporate governance to litigation.

I Think Therefore I Blog
In June 2009, Sheppard Mullin launched its latest blog, the Video Game Industry Legal Blog ( The online resource focuses on issues important to the gaming sector. The firm's 15 other law blogs address legal issues pertaining to: Advertising & Promotions, Antitrust, Art Law Gallery, Bankruptcy and Restructuring, China Law Updates, Corporate and Securities Law, ESOP, FCC, FDA, Fashion and Apparel, Financial Institutions, Government Contracts, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, and Real Estate and Construction.

Click here to read the Sheppard Mullin law blogs.

Truly a Great Place to Work
Of course, Sheppard Mullin management would be expected to say that Sheppard Mullin is a great place to work, but if you don't believe them, just ask the associates and staff…..which is exactly what various business journals have done in Los Angeles/Century City, San Francisco, San Diego and New York. In those cities, the firm was named one of the "Best Places to Work" in 2008-12 surveys, as well as in prior surveys.