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Sheppard Mullin Expands Texas Presence With New Houston Office


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP announced today the opening of an office in Houston – the firm’s second location in Texas (the firm opened an office in Dallas in 2018) and sixteenth office worldwide.

"Houston is an exciting new market for us and our future growth as it is one of the largest cities in the country with an increasingly diversified economy that continues to grow and thrive," said Luca Salvi, chair of Sheppard Mullin. "Our new Houston team’s tremendous reputation and varied practices, particularly in renewable energy, corporate/M&A, intellectual property, commercial litigation and international tax, complement our existing capabilities in Dallas and firmwide. Going forward, we plan to expand in Houston, serving clients across multiple practices and industries."

The founding partners of the new office, located at 700 Louisiana Street, include:

  • John R. Keville, Michelle C. Replogle and Robert L. Green from Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Andrius R. Kontrimas and Barclay R. Nicholson from Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
  • Chad E. Mills and Kathryn Shurin from Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • Steve Peterson from Locke Lord LLP
  • Eric S. Schlichter from McGuireWoods LLP

Houston will be led by office managing partner John Keville, who is excited by the opportunity to lay the foundation for the new office: "Sheppard Mullin is known for its powerhouse litigation and transactional practices. We were particularly impressed by the firm’s culture and partnership structure, deep industry sector expertise, strong financial performance and its strategic growth model. We’re thrilled to begin this new chapter with a team of talented attorneys and to continue building out the Houston office."

About Sheppard Mullin’s Houston Team

Robert Green, who joins as a member of the Intellectual Property practice group, focuses on complex litigation, with an emphasis on intellectual property, business torts and breach of contract actions. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. Green has considerable pre-trial and trial experience in courts throughout the country, including two trials in 2021 dealing with complex patent and trade secret issues. His experience includes all phases of litigation, from pre-suit investigation through discovery, dispositive motions, trial and appeal. He previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable K. Nicole Mitchell in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Green received his B.S., magna cum laude, from Texas A&M University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Baylor University School of Law where he served as a managing senior editor of the Baylor Law Review.

Andrius R. Kontrimas, who joins as a member of the Tax practice group, was previously Global Head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Tax practice. Kontrimas represents clients in a wide range of tax matters, including complex global tax planning and structuring, transfer pricing, joint ventures, cross border mergers and acquisitions, global mobility, private client and family offices, contested tax matters, corporate counseling, and private foundations and other exempt organizations. Additionally, he has particular expertise representing domestic and foreign clients, including foundations, museums, galleries and dealers, regarding the ownership, sale or charitable disposition of works of art. He received his B.A., from the University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

John R. Keville joins as a member of the Intellectual Property practice group and will serve as the Houston office managing partner. Keville is a trial lawyer who focuses on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright litigation. With a background in mechanical engineering, Keville has served as lead trial counsel in contested patent disputes involving an array of technologies, including mechanical and chemical oilfield technologies, electronic devices, software and web-based technologies and digital signal processing. He has tried a broad range of cases before juries, judges and arbitration panels, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, and has argued appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Fifth Circuit. He is consistently recognized as an intellectual property leader by Chambers USA, IAM Patent 1000, Legal 500, Best Lawyers in America, Managing Intellectual Property and Benchmark Litigation, among others. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the New York Institute of Technology and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.  

Chad E. Mills, who joins as a member of the Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance industry team, has significant experience handling structured energy transactions and related energy trading agreements. He counsels clients in connection with the acquisition, divestiture and development of energy projects, including renewable energy, natural gas and midstream assets. He is a recognized leader in his field, including being named a “Lawyer of the Year” in Derivatives and Futures Law by Best Lawyers in America. He received his B.S. from the University of Texas and his J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center where he was a member of the Houston Law Review.

Barclay R. Nicholson, who joins as a member of the Business Trial practice group and the Construction and Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance industry teams, offers clients in-depth knowledge and expertise in energy-related, construction and commercial disputes. Within the area of energy litigation, Nicholson represents some of the world’s major oil and gas producing and refining companies as well as some of the nation’s biggest drilling and E&P companies. He was selected to assist the U.S. State Department Bureau of Energy and the U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Commercial Law Development Program, in advising the countries of China, India, Iceland, Vietnam, Colombia, Chile and Afghanistan on their energy programs and the regulatory and legal matters associated with those resources. He also has a significant construction litigation practice, having represented some of the nation's largest construction companies, general contractors and design professionals in construction defect and construction delay cases. Nicholson also routinely represents clients in connection with complex insurance issues that involve amounts exceeding $1 billion. He received his B.A. with honors, from the University of Texas and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Houston where he was associate editor of the Houston Law Review and was Order of the Coif and Order of the Barons.

Steve Peterson, who joins as a member of the Corporate and Securities practice group, represents public and private companies in the energy, food and beverage, hospitality, automotive and industrial sectors in connection with mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, securities offerings, corporate restructurings, venture capital, private equity financings and matters related to corporate governance. He has advised companies, family offices, sponsors, borrowers, lenders and investors on hundreds of transactions totaling several billions of dollars over his career. He received his B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and his J.D. from the University of Texas.

Michelle C. Replogle, who joins as a member of the Intellectual Property practice group, is dedicated to intellectual property litigation with a focus on patents, copyright and trade secret litigations. She has substantial trial experience and thrives on delving into convoluted, challenging facts to find the compelling simple story that resonates with a jury. By far, the most rewarding part of her career has been the relationships she develops with clients and their witnesses starting from the inception of a case to ultimately presenting those witnesses at trial. Her cases have involved a broad range of technologies, ranging from medical devices, cellular, software and energy, to chemical and mechanical oilfield technologies. She has handled cases in federal courts throughout the country, on appeal to the Federal Court and before the Patent and Trademark Office, including in Inter Partes Review and reexamination proceedings. In addition to litigations, she has also managed complex product clearance evaluations and counseled clients on intellectual property enforcement and procurement matters, arbitrations and mediations, and patent portfolio development and licensing strategies. She received her B.S. in Biology from Colorado State University and her J.D., cum laude, from Minnesota Law School.

Eric S. Schlichter, who joins as a member of the Intellectual Property practice group, provides strategic counsel in all aspects of intellectual property law, including litigation, enforcement and prosecution, counseling, licensing and portfolio management. Schlichter’s experience includes serving as lead trial counsel, trial witness examination, trial preparation, Markman hearings, preliminary injunction hearings, contempt proceedings, all aspects of discovery, mediation and settlement negotiations, and appellate practice before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in matters involving oil and gas drilling technology, downhole tools and environmental protection equipment, consumer electronics technologies and website functionality, among others. Schlichter also has experience in multiple inter partes review proceedings and ex parte reexaminations. He has been named a leader in his field by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America, among others. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center, where he was managing editor of the Houston Law Review.

Kathryn “Katy” Shurin, who joins as a member of the Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance industry team, represents financial institutions, hedge funds, commodities trading companies, energy marketers, project sponsors and developers and other energy companies in complex energy finance and commodities trading matters, mergers and acquisitions and bankruptcy and restructuring matters that span the power and renewables, alternative energy, natural gas and upstream oil and gas sectors. Her representations often involve highly structured, asset-backed transactions, including physically and financially settled hedging transactions, power purchase agreements, tolling agreements and other off-take arrangements, prepaid transactions, power and natural gas retail supply arrangements and secured trading facilities. Shurin also has significant experience negotiating environmental products purchase and sale and other trading agreements. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Middlebury College and her J.D., from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

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