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Finance Partner Michael O'Brien Joins Sheppard Mullin in Chicago


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that Michael P. O’Brien has joined the Chicago office as a partner in the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group and a member of the Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance team. O’Brien will lead Sheppard Mullin’s Derivatives & Structured Products practice.  O’Brien joins after more than 20 years as a partner at Winston & Strawn where he was head of the firm’s Derivatives & Structured Products and North American Aviation Finance practices.

"Michael enhances the depth and breadth of the already significant resources that we offer our clients in the financing of renewable energy projects and commercial aircraft," said Guy Halgren, Sheppard Mullin chairman. "Our Finance practice and our Energy team have never been busier and Michael is a seasoned and extremely talented attorney who is a welcome addition to our growing practices."

Katherine Gillespie, co-leader of Sheppard Mullin’s Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance industry team, added, "I am very much looking forward to practicing with Michael again.  His work on some of the most complex derivative and structured products matters in the renewable energy space further broadens our capabilities in Chicago and firmwide."

"Michael is a trusted advisor with an outstanding reputation and track record for guiding clients through the most complex transactions," commented Lawrence C. Eppley, managing partner of Sheppard Mullin’s Chicago office.  "We’ve brought on several attorneys over the last 12 months, and Michael is the latest great addition to our growing office."

O’Brien advises financial institutions, money managers, hedge funds and end-users in derivatives, structured products and structured financing transactions, with an emphasis on the financing of renewable energy projects, commercial aircraft and transportation equipment.  He has particular experience with structuring and documenting off-exchange derivative transactions in a broad range of financial markets and in handling the controversies that may arise from these transactions. He has more than 30 years of experience in these areas, which includes lead counsel roles in several litigation matters that have established market precedent. Many of these transactions have involved restructuring and protection of rights involving a bankrupt counterparty.  In the municipal securities markets, O’Brien represents several market leaders in all aspects of the tender option bond financing structure.  

In addition, O’Brien represents banks and developers in various aspects of the development, construction and operation of projects to generate electricity through wind and solar sources. He has significant experience in secondary market transactions to provide additional financing sources or to monetize the tax benefits of renewable energy facilities.  He also represents lessors, lenders, investors and airlines in a broad range of financing and sale transactions involving transportation equipment, particularly commercial aircraft and rolling stock. These transactions are often structured to achieve certain tax characterizations. Many of these matters have involved the protection of rights and work-out of transactions involving bankrupt entities.

O’Brien earned his B.B.A., magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago and his J.D. from Northwestern University.

About Sheppard Mullin’s Finance and Bankruptcy Practice 

The firm’s Finance and Bankruptcy practice has been a key element of the firm since its founding more than 90 years ago.  Sheppard Mullin has the resources to respond to the time sensitivity of financial crises and the depth to provide whatever size team is required. As part of a large, broad based commercial law firm, we are able to draw on all of the resources necessary to solve the multidisciplinary problems presented by business insolvencies, including telecommunications, real estate, entertainment, intellectual property, tax, labor, securities, and mergers and acquisitions.

About Sheppard Mullin’s Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance Industry Team

Sheppard Mullin’s Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance team comprises more than 60 attorneys, each highly trained in a particular legal discipline and having the requisite electrical power, oil and natural gas, renewables and biofuels experience to understand our clients’ objectives. But it is our steadfast client-focused approach that sets us apart from other law firms and that is the reason some of the largest and most innovative energy industry players, including leading utilities, pipeline operators, municipalities, independent power producers, commercial banks, equity and tax investors, EPC contractors and energy technology companies come to us for assistance on their most important energy related legal matters.


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