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Sheppard Mullin Announces 2021 Partner Class

Thirteen Attorneys Promoted Firmwide

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that 13 attorneys have been promoted to partner.  The 2021 Partner Class includes Daniel Belzer (Century City), Vinay Bhupathy (Century City), Matt Bonovich (Chicago), Kira N. Conlon (Los Angeles), Matthew J. Goldman (Century City), Hayley S. Grunvald (San Diego (Del Mar)), Kristin P. Housh (San Diego (Del Mar)), Patricia M. Jeng (San Francisco), Joy Nemirow (Palo Alto), Chris Ponder (Palo Alto), Thomas R. Proctor (San Diego), Mikela T. Sutrina (Chicago), and Douglas A. (Drew) Svor (Washington, D.C.).  The promotions are effective March 1, 2021.

"These accomplished 13 women and men, resident across eight of our offices, embody Sheppard Mullin’s long-standing commitment to client service,” said Sheppard Mullin chairman Guy Halgren.  “2020 was a challenging year for many reasons, and these attorneys were instrumental in helping their clients navigate these unprecedented times. I am proud to promote these deserving lawyers to our partnership ranks as the future leaders of our firm.”

Meet Sheppard Mullin’s 2021 Partner Class:

Daniel Belzer is a member of the firm’s Corporate practice group and is based in the Century City office. He is also a member of the Private Equity, Emerging Growth/Venture Capital, Esports & Games and Latin America teams.  Daniel’s practice focuses on corporate and securities law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions. His practice includes venture capital and private equity financings, business formation and structuring, commercial contracts and early-stage company counseling.  He represents clients in a variety of industry sectors, including social and digital media, software, video games, manned security guard and alarm monitoring, communications, manufacturing, healthcare, food and beverage, real estate, hospitality, technology and entertainment. He also has significant experience representing clients in cross-border transactions, particularly in Mexico. Daniel received his B.A. from Duke University and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Vinay Bhupathy is a member of the firm’s Corporate practice group and Healthcare team and is based in the Century City office.  Vinay provides advice to healthcare clients with his experience in a broad range of areas, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic transactions, value-based care, reimbursement and regulatory compliance, health information technology contracting, product development and operations and data security and privacy. He regularly assists providers with navigating the complex issues surrounding CMS innovation models such as the MSSP and the Direct Contracting Initiative and commercial initiatives. Vinay also assists healthcare technology companies with regulatory compliance throughout the product life cycle, from product development to post-market compliance. His practice extends to contract drafting and negotiation for managed care companies, insurers, hospitals, health systems, physicians, ancillary providers and vendors.  Vinay also advises clients in connection with corporate issues surrounding complex joint ventures between healthcare entities. He received his B.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Matt Bonovich is a member of the Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance team and the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group and is based in the Chicago office.  Matt focuses on energy transactions, with particular experience in renewables.  He negotiates all manner of project contracts, including M&A transactions, power purchase agreements, hedges and other offtake arrangements, construction and procurement, interconnection and transmission and operations and maintenance.  Matt is experienced in the full life cycle of energy projects, from inception through development, financing and construction to operation.  He works with all types of energy technologies, including wind, solar, storage, transmission, natural gas, cogen, LNG and biomass.  Matt is a frequent speaker on a variety of renewable energy topics.  Prior to returning to private practice, Matt served as Deputy General Counsel at Invenergy, where he was responsible for commercial transactions and served on the company’s risk management committee.  He earned his B.A. from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Kira T. Conlon is a member of the firm’s Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group and is based in the Los Angeles office. She is also a member of the Multifamily Housing and Cannabis teams and serves as a Leader of the firm's Los Angeles Women Lawyers Group and on the Recruiting Committee. Kira helps real estate developers, including public institutions, secure land use and zoning entitlements for a broad spectrum of residential, mixed-use, commercial, industrial and educational institution projects throughout California.  Kira’s extensive entitlement background is complemented by her deep CEQA experience. Kira serves on the Board of Directors of the Little Tokyo Service Center and is President of the Japanese American Bar Association. In 2018, she was honored with the firm's inaugural Bob Williams Award, which recognizes associates who provide exceptional service for the betterment of the firm and the community. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California, San Diego and her J.D. from Southwestern Law School, where she was Special Project Editor, Southwestern Law Review.

Matthew J. Goldman is a member of the Corporate practice group and is based in the Century City office.  He is also a member of the firm's Healthcare team.  Matthew’s practice blends the regulatory and transactional components of healthcare law and includes representation of hospitals, managed care organizations, medical groups and other healthcare entities and providers. On the regulatory side, Matthew’s practice is focused on licensing, regulatory compliance and managed care arrangements. Matthew has extensive experience preparing Knox-Keene HMO license applications and assisting clients with structuring shared-risk arrangements, developing and utilizing innovative payment methodologies, and ensuring compliance with applicable federal and state law. Matthew’s transactional practice is focused on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances in the healthcare sector. He received  his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was Executive Editor, Harvard Business Law Review and Senior Editor, Harvard International Law Journal.

Haley S. Grunvald is a member of the Labor and Employment practice group and is based in the San Diego (Del Mar) office.  Her practice encompasses all aspects of labor and employment law with a specific focus on employment litigation defense work.  Hayley has handled a wide range of litigation matters including wage and hour class actions, single plaintiff actions and State and Federal enforcement actions.  Hayley also regularly provides advice and counseling to her clients on issues ranging from wage and hour compliance to large scale investigations and audits.  In addition to her employment litigation practice, Hayley has a subspecialty in Title III ADA access litigation, where she not only focuses on all aspects of litigation but counsels her clients in accessibility compliance both as to architectural barriers in brick and mortar locations and website, mobile applications and similar technologies. Hayley received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota Phi Beta Kappa and her J.D., cum laude, from California Western School of Law, where she was Editor in Chief and a member of the California Western Law Review and attended on a full academic scholarship.

Kristin P. Housh is a member of the Business Trial practice group and is based in the San Diego (Del Mar) office.  Kristin represents clients in business litigation matters, including high-stakes contractual disputes, as well as equity ownership, partnership and shareholder disputes.  She also has significant experience representing investor-owned utilities in a variety of complex litigation matters.  And, Kristin defends directors and officers in securities and corporate governance litigation.  Kristin also represents clients in pro bono matters, including obtaining a reversal of summary judgment in an appeal before the Ninth Circuit on behalf of an inmate denied medical care.  Kristin is also active in the San Diego community: she sits on the Advisory Board for the ABA’s Immigration Justice Project; she is a member of the Host Committee for the Equality California Awards; and she presents on legal issues as a Barrister at the Welsh Inn of Court.  Kristin received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Southern California and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Texas School of Law.

Patricia M. Jeng is a member of the Labor & Employment practice group and is based in the San Francisco office. Patti represents clients in a wide range of labor and employment matters in state and federal court, as well as before administrative agencies. She is an experienced class and representative action litigator and has repeatedly defeated certification and obtained summary judgment for her clients.  Her litigation practice ranges from defending complex wage and hour matters, including representative actions under the Private Attorneys General Act, to single-plaintiff claims of harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and other employment-related claims.  Patti also provides counseling to companies in all areas of employment law, utilizing a preventative approach to avoid litigation. She regularly advises employers on workplace issues including personnel policies and arbitration agreements, wage and hour compliance, employee discipline and termination, accommodations and leaves of absence and reductions-in-force.  She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Dr. Joy Nemirow is a member of the Intellectual Property practice group and the Life Sciences team and is based in the Palo Alto office. Her practice focuses on patent preparation, prosecution and strategy in the pharmaceutical, biotech and chemical fields. She has extensive experience developing global patent portfolios, particularly covering small molecules, syntheses, polymorphs, formulations and methods of use. She analyzes the validity of patents, freedom-to-operate and inventorship, and provides opinions and litigation strategies regarding validity and infringement in the abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) context.  She also performs due diligence on patent portfolios for various types of transactions, including acquisitions, initial public offerings and follow-on financing, with experience in representing the company and underwriter. She earned her B.S. from Creighton University; her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Southern California; and her J.D. from Loyola Law School, where she was a member of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review.

Chris Ponder is a member of the Intellectual Property practice group and is based in the Palo Alto office. Chris handles complex intellectual property disputes involving patents, trade secrets and unfair competition for clients in the digital streaming, enterprise software, gaming, medical device, semiconductor and telecommunications industries.  Chris has litigated cases in federal district courts in California, Delaware, Texas and Wisconsin.  He has also represented petitioners and patent owners in more than 40 proceedings before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  Chris also assists clients with intellectual property licenses, evaluating commercial agreements relating to technology, and developing policies and procedures to protect intellectual property rights.  He earned his B.S., cum laude, and his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Houston.

Thomas R. Proctor is a member of the Business Trial practice group and is based in the San Diego office. Thomas represents insurance companies in bad faith litigation, as well as in a vast array of first- and third-party bad faith lawsuits, including large, first-party property losses; “cap off,” failure to settle lawsuits; complex coverage litigation involving environmental, progressive loss and other long-tail liabilities; and class actions. Thomas has also represented his insurance clients in “institutional bad faith” litigation across the country.  Thomas is a seasoned trial lawyer, who has won multiple defense verdicts for his insurance clients. He earned his B.A. and his J.D., cum laude, from Brigham Young University.

Mikela T. Sutrina is a member of the Labor & Employment practice group and is based in the Chicago office. Mikela defends employers in state and federal court, as well as before federal, state and local administrative agencies in matters of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, whistleblower and whistleblower retaliation actions and breach of contract, especially as it relates to restrictive covenant agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets. Mikela represents employers in both single and multi-plaintiff matters, as well as class and collective actions. Additionally, Mikela both prosecutes and defends actions involving trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition and the enforcement of restrictive covenants across the country.  She also advises, trains and counsels employers on a multitude of human resources issues, including alcohol and drug testing programs and written policies and testing procedures, harassment and discrimination policies, restrictive covenant agreements and trade secret protection.  She conducts internal investigations and audits on behalf of her clients regarding sexual harassment, discrimination, whistleblower complaints and wage and hour compliance, among other issues affecting the workplace. She earned her B.A. from the University of Denver and her. J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

Douglas A. (Drew) Svor is a member of the firm’s Corporate practice group and the Communications team and is based in the Washington, D.C. office. Drew’s practice is focused on technology, media and telecommunications, with an emphasis on satellite, wireless and new technologies.  Drew advises clients on all aspects of communications law, routinely representing technology companies, telecommunications and satellite operators, and their investors in complex regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission, including complex spectrum policy matters. Drew also counsels clients on international telecommunications and cross-border investment issues, frequently representing companies before the “Team Telecom” Executive Branch agencies, as well as the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  He earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from Catholic University, Columbus School of Law.

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