Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton has opened a new seven-lawyer office at Chicago after hiring six lawyers from rival firms. This makes Sheppard Mullin the second national firm to set up shop in Chicago within the last two months. In an official statement, Guy Halgren, the chairman of Sheppard Mullin said, “Establishing a Chicago presence is a strategic step in growing and strengthening the firm’s national footprint, beyond the East and West coasts.”
Five of the new partners hail from K&L Gates and were previous partners at Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, which was acquired by K&L Gates in 2009. The sixth partner is leaving Winston & Strawn, while the seventh lawyer of the seven-lawyer office is relocating from Sheppard Mullin’s office at San Francisco.
The Chicago office of Sheppard Mullin would be headed by Lawrence Eppley, who was a corporate partner at K&L Gates and was former general counsel at Potbelly Sandwich Works. Other lawyers joining Eppley are Terrence Budny, Patrick Maloney, Paul Metzger and Kenneth Peterson. Kevin Cloutier from Winston & Strawn would be looking after labor and employment.
According to Eppley, the Chicago office of Sheppard Mullin is aiming to grow into a general service practice similar to Sheppard Mullin’s New York office. Eppley also compared the opening of the Chicago office to the New York office of Sheppard Mullin which had opened in 2004 and today has 55 lawyers.
The firm has also expressed its intentions to expand internationally and has applied for a new office in South Korea. According to the American Lawyer, Sheppard Mullin grossed $400 million last year and profits per partner had increased by 3.7 percent. The average partner income at Sheppard Mullin is now $1.27 million.