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Ponder Brings Practice to Sheppard Mullin


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP announced today that John Ponder has joined the firm as a lateral partner, effective immediately. Ponder will work in the Real Estate/Land Use & Natural Resources/Environmental Practice Group in the firm’s San Diego office.

Ponder comes to Sheppard Mullin from Sparber, Ferguson, Ponder & Ryan, a 16-attorney firm in San Diego. He specializes in the representation of clients involved in real estate development. His practice focuses on advising and representing major residential, industrial and commercial developers through all phases of the land use regulatory process and environmental compliance. His land use experience includes real estate due diligence investigations, negotiating and drafting development agreements, processing land use entitlements, and appearing before governmental agencies and commissions. He has represented some of the largest development firms in San Diego County over the past 20 years.

"Sheppard Mullin has an excellent reputation throughout the legal and business communities and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to join the firm," Ponder said. "In addition, the firm’s specialized expertise in land use, particularly on issues related to wetlands and endangered species, will prove to be extremely beneficial to my existing clients."

Ponder is an experienced litigator, having handled actions involving construction defect, real estate transactions, and development disputes. He also lectures to the construction industry on topics including licensing, contract negotiation and collection remedies. He is a member of the Building Industries Association, where he serves on the Legal Action Committee as well as the Regional Metropolitan Legislative Committee. Ponder has participated in the preparation and implementation of local legislation regarding the Multiple Species Conservation Plan, along with updates to the City of San Diego Zoning Code and the Equal Employment Opportunity Ordinance.

"John fits perfectly with the firm’s cutting-edge Land Use Group," commented John Collins, the Sheppard Mullin partner who led the team recruiting Ponder. "Adding John to our San Diego practice enhances our depth, and increases the range of expertise and the breadth of services we provide to Southern California’s important real estate development industry."

A San Diego native, Ponder earned his B.A. from San Diego State in 1976 and his J.D. from California Western School of Law in 1980. After graduating from law school, he joined the Law Office of John D. Butler. In 1987, Butler— the former Mayor of San Diego and former San Diego City Attorney— and Ponder merged their practice into what became Sparber, Ferguson, Ponder & Ryan.Sheppard Mullin has more than 340 attorneys among its seven offices in San Diego, Del Mar Heights, Orange County, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. The full-service firm provides counsel in Corporate, Securities, Healthcare, Trial Practice, Finance, Bankruptcy, Labor and Employment, Intellectual Property, Real Estate, Environmental, Construction, Tax, Employee Benefits, Trusts & Estates, Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Government Contracts, and Business Crimes. The firm will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2002.

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