Press Releases

Former Sheppard Mullin Shanghai Managing Partner Appointed U.S. Ambassador To New Zealand And Samoa

David Huebner Named First Openly Gay Ambassador By Obama, First Ever Confirmed By Senate; Shanghai Partner Todd Bissett Named New Office Managing Partner

December 8, 2009

David Huebner, former managing partner of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP's Shanghai office, was sworn in Friday as U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa.  Partner Todd Bissett succeeds Huebner as the managing partner of the firm's Shanghai office.

"We are very proud of David as the first Sheppard Mullin attorney to be named United States ambassador.  He was invaluable in launching and growing our Shanghai office and we will miss him greatly," said Guy Halgren, chairman of the firm.  "As the first openly gay ambassador named by Obama and the first in U.S. history confirmed by the Senate, David is also a trailblazer.  We celebrate his achievement." 

Halgren continued, "We also congratulate Todd, who is taking over the leadership role in Shanghai.  He is eminently qualified to pick up the mantle from David, as Todd has practiced as a China specialist for his entire career." 

"I am deeply honored to represent our country as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, although I do regret saying goodbye to my colleagues at the firm, whom I consider the best in the business and a pleasure to know," Huebner said.  "I turn the reigns of the Shanghai office and the firm's China practice over to Todd, who I am confident will be an effective and insightful leader."  

"Sheppard Mullin is truly fortunate in its strong and broad platform, deep pool of talent, and amazing client base, and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for us," Bissett said. "I look forward to continue working with Guy, the Shanghai attorneys, and our China team as we help position the office for even greater success in the future."

While at Sheppard Mullin, Huebner specialized in international arbitration and mediation.  He has significant experience handling disputes in the Pacific Rim region.  Previously, Huebner was a long-time partner and served as chairman at Coudert Brothers.  While a resident in California, he chaired the California Law Revision Commission, served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission, and taught courses in international business and intellectual property at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law.  

Huebner has also guest lectured on international topics at several schools in the United States and abroad, and is licensed both as a solicitor in England & Wales and as an attorney in three U.S. jurisdictions. He has been active in non-profits, community organizations, and professional associations such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration, Los Angeles Committee on Foreign Relations, and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).  A native of Pennsylvania, he is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he majored at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  Huebner is also a graduate of Yale Law School.

Bissett is a partner in the firm's Corporate practice group.  Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, he practiced in O'Melveny & Myers' China offices.  Bissett practices in the areas of private equity and venture capital, equity and debt financing, mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions and general corporate and business law.  He has advised clients in various industries, including telecommunications and value-added services, infrastructure projects, education, semiconductors, financial services, software and medical products and services.  Bissett received a J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Georgetown University and a B.A. from McGill University, Canada.

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more 550 attorneys in 11 offices located in the United States and Asia.  Since 1927, companies have turned to Sheppard Mullin to handle corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.  In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100.