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Sheppard Mullin Announces 2024 Partner Class

Eighteen Attorneys Promoted Firmwide

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that 18 attorneys have been promoted to partner. The 2024 Partner Class includes Valerie E. Alter (Century City), Adam Barton (San Francisco), Lauren K. Chang (Los Angeles), Jonathan E. Clark (Dallas), Theodore A. Cohen (Los Angeles), A.J. Dhaliwal (Washington, D.C.), Jordan E. Grushkin (Century City), Shin Y. Hahn (New York), Jason R. Jones (Del Mar), Julie K. Kadish (Chicago), Shannon M. Mandich (Orange County), Imad S. Matini (Washington, D.C.), Ramela Ohanian (Century City), Rambod Peykar (Los Angeles), Lindsay C. Stone (New York), Juthamas Judy Suwatanapongched (Los Angeles), Molly S. Unterseher (New York), and Douglas Yang (Los Angeles). The promotions are effective March 1, 2024.

“I am incredibly proud of these new partners. Their diversity of experience and practice areas reflects both the needs of the firm and of our clients,” said Luca Salvi, chair of Sheppard Mullin. “They are each proven leaders with a track record of excellence, and I am confident in their abilities to shepherd the firm and our clients into the future. It is my pleasure to welcome them to the partnership.”

Meet Sheppard Mullin’s 2024 Partner Class:

Valerie Alter, based in Century City, is a member of the Business Trial practice group and a co-leader of the Appellate practice team. Valerie is certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Appellate Law. She represents and advises clients in high stakes trusts, estates and fiduciary litigation; constitutional litigation, typically involving First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment issues; commercial litigation; and intellectual property litigation. Valerie has drafted and advised on dozens of anti-SLAPP motions and has advocated for and advised her clients on more than 100 appellate matters. She received her B.A., with highest honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar, and her J.D., Order of the Coif, from Stanford Law School, where she was editor-in-chief and articles editor of the Stanford Technology Law Review.

Adam Barton, based in San Francisco, is a member of the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group. He represents corporate borrowers, bank and nonbank lenders, investors and other financial intermediaries in structured finance, securitization, asset-based lending and other capital markets and commercial finance transactions. Adam has experience in a broad range of asset classes and industries, but specializes in working with clients leveraging cash-flow generating assets including residential and commercial mortgages, auto loans, marketplace/peer-to-peer loans, leases, timeshare receivables, litigation finance and energy tax credits, among others. He also represents clients in connection with the acquisition and sale of these types of assets and advises clients on related regulatory matters. Before joining Sheppard Mullin, Adam served as in-house counsel for one of the nation’s premier consumer lenders and at a high-growth fintech company, providing him an insider’s perspective on the challenges his clients face. He received his B.B.A. from the University of San Diego and his J.D. from Santa Clara University.

Lauren K. Chang, based in Los Angeles, is a member of the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use and Environmental practice group. Lauren advises and counsels property owners, private and public developers, and non-profit organizations regarding land use issues, subdivisions, entitlements, and environmental compliance. She negotiates and obtains land use approvals for projects of all sizes, from streamlined affordable housing developments to complex multi-year development projects requiring legislative approvals and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act. She advises clients from initial due diligence to final project approval and through the building permit stage. She has special expertise in projects that use housing streamlining tools at the state and local level, including SB 35, AB 2011, State Density Bonus Law, and others. Lauren received her B.A., with honors, from the University of California, Davis, and her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Jonathan Clark, based in Dallas, is a member of the Labor and Employment and Business Trial practice groups. Jonathan represents businesses and employers across a wide spectrum of industries in state and federal courts around the country. Clients frequently seek Jonathan’s advice, counsel, and experience to enforce restrictive covenant agreements, protect confidential business information and trade secrets, uphold fiduciary obligations, and minimize risk. Jonathan’s deep understanding of how complex litigation matters proceed allows him to provide clients with valuable insights on every phase of a litigation matter. His substantial experience also allows him to anticipate and deploy effective strategies to help clients achieve their litigation goals. His work on behalf of clients is not limited to the courthouse. Jonathan also counsels employers in crucial areas such as the drafting and development of employment and restrictive covenant agreements, handbooks, and policy documents. He also has overseen highly sensitive workplace investigations. Jonathan’s practice also includes areas critical to the business of any employer, including harassment, retaliation and discrimination claims, federal and state wage and hour claims, and defending EEOC charges. Jonathan received his B.A. from Southwestern University and his J.D. from Texas A&M University School of Law.

Theodore A. Cohen, based in Los Angeles, is a member of the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group. Ted specializes in creditors' rights and focuses on lender, indenture trustee and lessor representation in bankruptcies, loan and lease workouts, defaulted bond financings and secured transactions. He also represents distressed asset and stock buyers, sellers and assignees under Section 363 sales, UCC foreclosure sales, real estate foreclosure sales, receiverships and assignments for the benefit of creditors. His experience includes workouts, asset sales, stock sales, loan sales, cash collateral issues, debtor-in-possession financing, relief from stay proceedings, plans of reorganization, preference and fraudulent transfer litigation, pre-bankruptcy counseling for debtors and creditors, reorganization issues, trust indenture enforcement, lease and contract assumption issues and prejudgment remedies in state court, including writs of attachment, writs of possession, injunctions and receivers. Ted received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law, where he was executive editor of the Law Review.

A.J. Dhaliwal, based in Washington, D.C., is a member of the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group and co-lead of the firm’s Consumer Finance team. A.J. represents banks, fintechs, and other non-bank financial institutions, such as mortgage companies, auto lenders, and payment processors, in matters before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and state regulators such as the New York Department of Financial Services and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, serving as lead counsel in numerous investigations, enforcement actions, and supervisory matters. His regulatory practice includes advising on laws related to licensing, usury, advertising, disclosures, artificial intelligence in banking, privacy, lending and servicing practices, and laws prohibiting unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. A.J. advises clients on negotiating commercial relationships, including joint ventures, and the development of consumer and commercial lending products. He also assists purchasers of financial services firms on regulatory matters, including due diligence of companies, and transactional structuring in light of federal and state licensing and regulatory requirements. A.J. serves on numerous national and local non-profit boards including the Washington Council of Lawyers, District Alliance for Safe Housing, and the South Asian Bar Association of North America. He received his B.A. from Simon Fraser University, his J.D. from Western New England School of Law and his LL.M. from The George Washington University Law School.

Jordan E. Grushkin, based in Century City, is a member of the Corporate practice group and Healthcare industry team. Jordan represents healthcare stakeholders, including hospitals, medical groups, pharmacies, payors and other risk-bearing and managed care entities. He counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, commercial arrangements, private equity investments and venture capital financings. Jordan also guides healthcare businesses through the regulatory approval processes and assists with various compliance matters on the federal, state and local level. He has represented provider and managed care clients with respect to licensure and certification matters, including obtaining new licenses and maintaining them in the context of change of ownership/control transactions. Jordan has also advised clients and strategic investors on compliance with corporate practice of medicine and fee-splitting prohibitions, laws governing value-based and risk-sharing arrangements, and state transaction reporting regimes. Jordan received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was senior editor of The Tax Lawyer.

Shin Hahn, based in New York, is a member of the Business Trial practice group. She has extensive experience in general commercial litigation, including international commercial arbitration, federal and state court litigation, white collar investigations and bank regulatory inquiries. Shin frequently represents foreign companies and financial institutions in connection with cross-border disputes, contract disputes, tort litigation, regulatory inquiries, and enforcement actions in the United States. Shin is a native Korean speaker and regularly represents Korean companies in a wide variety of litigation and investigation matters. She received her B.A. from Sogang University, her M.A. from Yonsei University and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.

Jason R. Jones, based in San Diego-Del Mar, is a member of the Corporate practice group. Jason represents private equity and venture capital funds, as well as private equity and venture capital-backed companies, on a wide range of transactions, including fund formation and management; convertible note and SAFE financings; preferred stock financings; growth equity investments; secondary sales of founder equity; tender offers; joint ventures; and mergers and acquisitions. He also serves as outside general counsel to start-ups and growth-stage companies and has advised several companies from formation to exit. Jason has worked with investors and companies in a variety of industries, including beauty and personal care, consumer goods, technology, real estate, video games and biotech. He has particular expertise in representing companies co-founded by celebrities and social impact companies, including public benefit corporations. Jason received his B.A. from Brigham Young University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Julie Kadish, based in Chicago, is a member of the Privacy and Cybersecurity team. She advises companies on how to lawfully collect, use and share information. She is particularly experienced in helping clients create global privacy programs. Her work includes conducting gap assessments, strategizing on remediation plans, and helping implement compliance measures with U.S. and international privacy regulations and standards. Julia regularly reviews company products and services for privacy implications and compliance. She drafts online terms and conditions and privacy policies, and advises clients on cross-border data transfers and compliance. She also assists with corporate transactions as a privacy and cybersecurity specialist across various industries, reviewing privacy and cybersecurity disclosures in public company filings and governance documents. Kadish also works on data security matters, including proactive measures as well as data breach response. She is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals for CIPP/US, CIPM and CIPT. She received her B.A., with distinction, Honors Notation, from Indiana University and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame.

Shannon M. Mandich, based in Orange County, is a member of the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use and Environmental practice group. She represents residential and commercial developers and builders in connection with the development and sale of master-planned communities, mixed-use developments, planned unit developments, condominium projects and commercial/industrial projects. She has extensive experience preparing legal management and association documents and other real estate transactional documents, including declarations of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), license and easement agreements, cost-share agreements, maintenance agreements, purchase and sale agreements, disclosure statements and conveyance instruments. Shannon advises clients in connection with the California Department of Real Estate subdivision regulatory process and other state, local and federal laws and regulations concerning the creation and operation of associations and the development and sale of property. She received her B.A. magna cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine, and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Imad Matini, based in Washington, D.C., is a member of the Business Trials practice group and Telecom industry team. He is a first-chair litigator with extensive trial and appellate experience and focuses his practice on business litigation and regulatory compliance, representing clients in complex and high-stakes litigation matters including cases involving healthcare, international law, trade secret, communications, and administrative law issues. He is a member of the firm’s recruiting committee and pro bono committee. Imad received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary and his M.B.A. and J.D. from West Virginia University.  Prior to joining the firm, Imad completed two federal clerkships on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. 

Ramela Ohanian, based in Century City, is a member of the Entertainment, Technology and Advertising practice group. She represents studios, media companies, tech companies, producers, streamers, podcast companies and networks on a variety of transactional matters related to television (scripted and unscripted), digital media, short-form content, artificial intelligence, podcasts, the metaverse, and films. Her practice focuses on the development, production, and distribution of projects in the United States and internationally, including the handling of talent agreements, major first-look and overall agreements, rights acquisitions, and production services agreements. In addition, clients often turn to Ramela for her innovative thinking when they want to break new ground in the entertainment industry. Ramela has also served as production counsel, facilitating the localization of multiple foreign productions in Germany, Italy and Colombia. Prior to joining Sheppard Mullion, Ramela was the lead production attorney for a media and entertainment company where she managed agreements across multiple platforms, along with influencer marketing deals with brands, agencies and talent. Recognized frequently by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, Ramela is a recurrent speaker and author on entertainment and media topics. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Rambod Peykar, based in Los Angeles, is a member of the Corporate practice group. He is also a member of the firm’s Government Business Group, Mergers and Acquisitions and Private Equity teams. Rambod represents companies in a variety of transactions including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, entity formation and other general corporate matters. He works with clients in a wide range of industries, including aerospace and defense, technology, retail, fashion, apparel and beauty, manufacturing, construction, financial services, food and beverage, entertainment and healthcare. In addition, Rambod has advised entrepreneurs and start-up ventures in connection with formation and general corporate matters. He has also counseled public and private companies in all aspects of corporate governance. Rambod received his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Lindsay Stone, based in New York, is a member of the Labor and Employment practice group. She is an employment defense litigator who represents management against a wide array of employment claims in federal and state courts nationwide. She has particular expertise with high-stakes executive disputes, along with sensitive and complex discrimination, retaliation and pay equity litigations. Lindsay also has significant experience prosecuting and defending trade secret misappropriation and restrictive covenant breach claims, including employee raiding actions. In addition to her litigation practice, Lindsay counsels clients on employment matters that affect their business, including employee discipline and termination, internal investigations, crisis management, employment contracts, legal compliance and policy creation. She is passionate about pro bono work and regularly represents clients that include domestic violence victims, wrongfully convicted prisoners, individuals seeking asylum and non-profit organizations throughout New York City. In 2017, Lindsay was named Sheppard Mullin’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Union College and her J.D., cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law, where she was writing and research editor for the Fordham Urban Law Journal.

Juthamas Judy Suwatanapongched, based in Los Angeles, is a member of the Business Trial group. Judy represents clients in complex business and healthcare litigation involving breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, indemnification claims, commercial loan defaults, lender liability, violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act. Judy handles all stages of litigation, from case filing to dispositive motions to mediation, arbitration, trial and judgment enforcement. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University, Senior Thesis with Distinction, and her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where she was a member of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. Judy is a past President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County and was the Founding President of the Thai American Bar Association.

Molly Unterseher, based in New York, is a member of the Tax, Employee Benefits and Trusts and Estates practice group. Her practice is focused on advising tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, including private foundations, public charities, and donor-advised funds in multiple sectors, as well as philanthropic high-net worth individuals and for-profit companies. Molly guides clients through establishing charitable organizations, including applying for, and maintaining, federal and state tax-exempt status, and navigating ongoing compliance matters. She provides outside general counsel advice for organizations and individuals with respect to governance structures and board composition, domestic and foreign grant making, charitable activities and investments, charitable donations, estate planning, and philanthropic giving vehicles. Molly counsels clients to protect their tax-exempt status consistent with their organizational objectives, including regarding private benefit concerns, relationships and intercompany services with related taxable entities, grants to nonprofit and for-profit entities and programs, establishing endowment funds and restricted gifts, expansion of charitable activities, charitable programming and operations, and family dynamics in next generation board governance and succession planning. Molly specializes in the restrictions applicable to private foundations, including self-dealing transactions, conflicts of interest, termination taxes, excess business holdings, and program-related and mission-related investments. She received her B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University.

Douglas Yang, based in Los Angeles, is a member of the Labor and Employment practice group. Doug has a multi-faceted advisory and litigation practice, representing employers and executives in the private and public sectors. He is an accomplished litigator who has tried jury and bench trials, briefed and/or argued appeals and obtained summary dispositions in matters filed in federal and state court. Clients rely on Doug to leverage his significant litigation experience to advise them on pre-litigation, counseling and transactional matters. Doug has served as the employment law specialist on various transactions involving complex issues pertaining to employee mobility, compensation, and compliance with the myriad of federal, state and local laws and regulations. As an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), Doug also guides companies on data privacy matters relating to their workforces and contractors. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from Boston University, where he was an Edward F. Hennessey Scholar.

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