Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Washington, D.C. Adds Three Partner Communications Practice

Litigation Trio Bolsters Communications Team & Continues Office Expansion

May 7, 2013

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has added three partners to the firm's Business Trial practice group and Communications team: Gardner Gillespie, Dave Thomas, and Paul Werner. Gillespie, Thomas and Werner join Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office from Hogan Lovells’ Washington office. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Gardner, Dave and Paul.  All experienced litigators, they are tremendously talented and bring a wide range of communications law experience to our firm, including a specialization in cable and communications regulatory, commercial and infrastructure law," said Guy N. Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.  "Additionally, the team’s practice fits perfectly with our communications and litigation practices in the D.C. office, as well as our firm’s entertainment, media and technology practices, and they will be filling a strategic need at the firm in Washington and beyond."

"We are really pleased to be joining the terrific lawyers at Sheppard Mullin.  Not only do they practice at the highest levels, with an interesting and diversified practice, but they are very entrepreneurial, collaborative and friendly.  We could not be happier,” Gillespie commented.  Thomas agreed:  “We are all very impressed with the firm's successful strategic growth both in DC and firm wide.  I am especially pleased that Gardner, Paul and I will be able to continue – and expand – our practice together at Sheppard Mullin."  Werner added: “Sheppard Mullin offers all of us a unique, dynamic and exciting platform to expand our practices within the communications and broader technology arenas here in Washington, nationally and internationally.  I am delighted.”

“Gardner, Dave and Paul are superlative communications lawyers and litigators with a significant book of business that comprises a virtual who’s who of the United States cable and broadband communications industries.  This group diversifies our Communications practice, adds to our regulatory, policy, commercial and litigation bench strength and enhances our profile as a destination firm in the electronic communications and technology markets, here in Washington, nationally and beyond,” said Brian D. Weimer, DC-based head of Sheppard Mullin’s Communications team.  “Their entrepreneurial spirit and collaborative work ethic ensure a seamless transition to the Sheppard Mullin platform.  I am thrilled to be partnering with them and to be further deepening and broadening our Communications and related practices.”

Gillespie practices primarily in the communications and litigation areas with particular emphasis on cable television and telecommunications regulation and litigation.  He appears regularly before state agencies and state and federal courts, in addition to the FCC.  Gillespie devotes substantial time to franchising, rights-of-way, infrastructure and local competition issues.  He has represented clients in connection with virtually all types of regulated communications in courts, agencies and state legislatures.  Gillespie received a J.D., Order of the Coif, from University of Virginia School of Law in 1973.

Thomas has a national practice in the telecommunications and broadband communications industries and was Practice Area Leader of Hogan Lovells’ Communications practice.  Dave’s practice focuses on the deployment of competitive networks and services, with a particular emphasis on representing broadband providers in matters involving local franchising, rights-of-way, pole attachments, and similar issues.  For more than 20 years Thomas has been counsel to the nation's top cable and broadband companies, cable and telecommunications trade associations, and other competitive communications organizations.  He is a nationally recognized authority on electronic communications infrastructure, pole attachments, rights-of-way, federal, state and local broadband and telecommunications regulatory and communications plant deployment issues and has handled cases in approximately 40 states.  Thomas received a J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1990. 

Werner is a seasoned litigator, whose prodigious representations over the past decade have been before all levels of courts and administrative tribunals, federal and state, and spanned a wide range of industries and complex litigation matters.  He has extensive experience representing cable operators and other broadband providers in matters involving communications law issues, including local franchising, PEG programming, rights-of-way, pole attachments and infrastructure deployment, and a host of other related issues.  Werner has represented providers on these issues in state and federal courts and participated in rulemakings and adjudications before the FCC, as well as represented companies in high stakes commercial litigation and in defense against putative class action claims.  He received a J.D., Order of the Coif, from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2002.

Sheppard Mullin has 60 attorneys based in its Washington, D.C. office and the firm’s Business Trial Practice includes more than 200 attorneys firm wide.