Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin to Build a Major Institutional Entertainment, Media & Communications Practice

January 17, 2003

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP announced today that Louis Meisinger, Richard Troop and Robert Wynne have joined as Senior Advisors to the Firm and its cross-disciplinary Entertainment, Media & Communications Team.

Lou Meisinger will be joining the Firm from his position as General Counsel of The Walt Disney Company; Bob Wynne was previously Co-President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment and prior to that was one of the country's leading entertainment lawyers; and Dick Troop is a seasoned corporate and securities lawyer who has represented some of the top entertainment companies in the world.

Wynne, Troop and Meisinger, along with Dennis Hill, were co-founders of Hill Wynne Troop & Meisinger, where they built a national and international practice representing institutional entertainment and media entities and other businesses on a broad range of domestic and international corporate business, financing, strategic and litigation matters, including mergers and acquisitions; public and private offerings; venture capital transactions; strategic transactions; and banking, tax and other financing arrangements. Among the institutional entertainment and media clients that the three senior advisors have represented and counseled over the years are The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom and Paramount Pictures, USA Interactive, Universal Pictures, News Corp. and Fox, and Warner Bros.

The three senior advisors and Sheppard Mullin have joined together to realize their mutual vision of recreating a predominant institutional entertainment practice at the Firm.

"It is with great, great enthusiasm that we reunite and welcome Lou, Dick and Bob. These gentlemen did great things together, and individually in their separate careers. We are extremely proud to have them working under our roof," said Guy Halgren, Chair of the Executive Committee.

Added Larry Braun, Chair of the Firm's Corporate Practice Group, "This addition is consistent with our objective of becoming a leading law firm in California's major industries, including entertainment, technology, aerospace and defense, healthcare, biotechnology, restaurant services, and life sciences."

Commented Joe Coyne, trial lawyer and Executive Committee member focused on the Firm's strategic planning and growth initiatives, "It is rare that a firm gets the opportunity to bring together such premiere legal talent. These three advisors will be an exceptional resource for our clients, lawyers and management."

Three of the Entertainment Industry's Most Respected Lawyers Reunite

At Hill Wynne Troop & Meisinger, Mr. Meisinger was responsible for the firm’s litigation practice which included, in addition to the full range of entertainment industry matters for major studio clients, the representation of institutional clients in antitrust, securities, trade practices and other complex commercial litigation. At Disney, Mr. Meisinger was responsible for managing the global legal affairs of the Company which included an internal staff of over 275 lawyers. In 1999, Mr. Meisinger was named Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He also recently received the Bill of Rights Award from the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Mr. Meisinger received his B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles (Phi Beta Kappa) in 1964 and his J.D. from the UCLA Law School in 1967, where he was a Senior Editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

"We found the perfect place—Sheppard Mullin. I am excited to be joining my former partners. Together, we will build what we expect to become the leading institutional entertainment and media practice in the industry. Sheppard Mullin shares this vision, and as one of the most respected and entrepreneurial law firms is the perfect platform for this venture," said Meisinger.

Following the departure of Bob and Lou, Dick Troop continued as counsel at Troop Steuber until its merger, and since then has been Senior Advisor to Akin Gump. Over the course of his career, Mr. Troop has counseled and represented a wide range of public and private clients, as well as investment banks and institutional investors, in corporate and securities transactions. He has served as lead issuer or underwriters' counsel on more than 100 IPOs and other debt and equity securities offerings. His practice has also encompassed the representation on the buy-side, sell-side and banking side of a substantial number of M&A transactions, ranging to over $5 billion in size. Dick’s board membership includes The Los Angeles Opera, on which he is a member of the Executive Committee and a co-chair of the Development Committee. He received his B.E.E. from the University of Florida in 1963 and his J.D., magna cum laude, in 1969 from Loyola Law School, where he served as Comment Editor of the Loyola Law Review. Honors included the William Tell Aeggler Award for superior scholarship and noteworthy achievement (awarded to the student graduating first in his or her class).

Commented Troop, "It's been over 28 years since we launched Hill Wynne Troop & Meisinger, which became one of the most important law firms in the institutional entertainment arena. Sheppard Mullin has the same energy and feel as our old firm. I'm very excited to be getting back together with Lou and Bob, and associating with a dynamic firm like Sheppard Mullin."

As a co-founding partner of Hill Wynne Troop & Meisinger, Bob Wynne served for over 20 years as primary outside counsel to many of the world's top entertainment entities and media companies on a broad range of major corporate, financing and strategic transactions. During his tenure as Co-President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wynne was responsible for the management of the day to day business and financial operations of the Company and played a key leadership role in Sony Picture's successful operating performance and in positioning the Company to become an important element in Sony's global strategy for the digital age. Mr. Wynne most recently served as Senior Advisor to Akin Gump and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors or Advisory Board of several companies and institutions, including the Advisory Board of the UCLA Law School. Mr. Wynne received his B.A., with honors, from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1964 and his J.D. in 1967 from UCLA Law School, where he was a member and Articles Editor of the UCLA Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Said Wynne, "I am thrilled to be reunited with Lou and Dick and to be associated with Sheppard Mullin, long one of California's most highly respected and successful law firms. I am confident that the three of us, together with our former partners who have also just joined the Firm, will be able to assist Sheppard Mullin to assemble a gifted team of exceptional, experienced entertainment lawyers which will form the foundation of an institutional entertainment and media legal powerhouse for the long term."

Acquisition Increases Breadth and Depth of Cross-Disciplinary Entertainment, Media & Communications Team

The three Senior Advisors will collaborate with Marty Katz, Tom Leo, Linda Michaelson, and David Sands, all former partners at Hill Wynne who joined as partners at Sheppard Mullin this week, to build the predominant institutional entertainment, media and communications practice in the nation.

The presence of the Senior Advisors, when coupled with these new Sheppard Mullin partners, not only immediately establishes Sheppard Mullin as a major player in the institutional entertainment legal community, but also increases the breadth and depth of Sheppard Mullin's practice, including corporate and securities, litigation, intellectual property, finance and bankruptcy, and insurance. The newly-formed Entertainment, Media & Communications Team will both expand and strengthen the range of legal services offered to clients within the entertainment industry, including domestic and international institutional entertainment companies, such as motion picture studios, television and cable networks and channels, broadcast and cable companies, financial institutions, e-commerce and new media companies, institutional investors and entertainment trade associations.

Sheppard Mullin has demonstrated its commitment to the entertainment, media and communications industries by seeking to assemble the most respected and qualified talent to serve its clients' needs in these fields. The Firm welcomes these attorneys whose expertise and commitment to their clients align perfectly with Sheppard Mullin's goal of providing top notch legal service.

Sheppard Mullin has more than 340 attorneys among its seven offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, San Diego, Santa Barbara, West Los Angeles, and Del Mar Heights. The full-service firm provides counsel in Antitrust & Trade Regulation; White Collar and Civil Fraud Defense; Business Litigation; Construction, Environmental, Real Estate & Land Use Litigation; Corporate; Entertainment, Media & Communications; Finance & Bankruptcy; Financial Institutions; Government Contracts & Regulated Industries; Healthcare; Intellectual Property; Labor & Employment; Real Estate, Land Use, Natural Resources & Environment; and Tax, Employee Benefits, Trusts & Estates. The firm celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2002.

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