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Sheppard Mullin Appoints First Female Office Managing Partner, Liisa Thomas, In Chicago


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has appointed Liisa M. Thomas as managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office. Thomas is the first woman to lead this local office. She succeeds Larry Eppley, who has served as founding managing partner since the Chicago office opened in 2012. Eppley will continue to lead the firm’s nationwide Hospitality industry team.

“Liisa is a talented, exceptional attorney who is known as a leader in pioneering initiatives to achieve client goals and successes,” said Sheppard Mullin chair Luca Salvi. “Her deep understanding of Chicago and the local business community, coupled with her commitment to her colleagues and to client service, will further strengthen the momentum of Larry’s outstanding work as office managing partner.”

“I am honored to lead the Chicago office,” said Thomas. “It is an exciting time here. We’re celebrating 10 successful years this summer, and we’ve outgrown our physical office space and are preparing for a new location in River North later this year. I’m energized to deepen and expand our client relationships, continue to focus on building an inclusive environment and raise the profile of Sheppard Mullin in the Chicago market.”

“It has been a privilege to serve as Chicago’s managing partner for the last decade and lead our office through numerous milestones,” said Eppley. “Since day one, Chicago established a unique, tight-knit and collaborative culture, and I’m really proud of how we’ve maintained and nurtured our office rapport as we’ve grown. Liisa will be a great ambassador for the office, and I am delighted to congratulate Liisa on her appointment.”

Thomas joined Sheppard Mullin in 2017 as partner and co-leader of the firm’s global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. She is recognized by privacy professionals and clients alike as a pioneer within the industry, having practiced in this area since its inception. Recognizing a lack of on-the-job training for privacy professionals, Thomas recently spearheaded the creation of Sheppard Mullin’s Privacy and Cybersecurity Fellowship Program, designed to mentor the next generation of cybersecurity leaders.

She is also the author of two well-regarded treatises (Thomas on Data Breach and Thomas on Big Data), and teaches privacy and security law classes at Northwestern University where she is the recipient of the Edward Avery Harriman Law School Lectureship. She is consistently recognized as a privacy and cybersecurity leader by Chambers, Cybersecurity Docket, Legal 500, Best Lawyers in America and Crain’s Chicago Business. She was recently named to Legal 500’s Hall of Fame for Cyber Law. Earlier this year, Thomas was awarded Sheppard Mullin’s Diversity & Inclusion Award for her commitment to D&I programs and initiatives within the firm and the legal profession.

Sheppard Mullin’s Chicago office, which has consistently been recognized as an Illinois “Best Places to Work,” includes more than 80 attorneys and staff and serves national and local clients across a broad range of disciplines, including bankruptcy, commercial litigation, corporate/M&A, energy, healthcare, hospitality, labor and employment, intellectual property, privacy and cybersecurity, real estate and tax.

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