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Gibson Dunn Takes Tech Transactions Partner From Sheppard MullinGibson Dunn has scooped up the chair of Sheppard Mullin's technology transactions group. Partner Shaalu Mehra said he was driven to go on the market by unresolvable client conflicts. Having fielded many cross-border transactions, Mehra said Gibson Dunn's global reach was appealing. The firm's client list was another draw.
2013-04-18 02:44:05 PM
Gibson Dunn has scooped up the chair of Sheppard Mullin's technology transactions group.
Partner Shaalu Mehra -- who advises companies on patent portfolio strategy, IP-focused M&A and licensing, among other matters -- joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Palo Alto, Calif., over the weekend. Gibson Dunn had been searching for a lawyer to expand its capabilities in IP strategy and tech transactions for some time, said Russell Hansen, partner-in-charge of the firm's Palo Alto office. Mehra, who came recommended by a common client, emerged as the right candidate.
"He brings some great relationships, a track record of satisfying the needs of sophisticated clients and an understanding of the importance of their IP portfolios to their businesses," Hansen said. "This was an easy one."
Mehra said he was driven to go on the market by unresolvable client conflicts that he encountered at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, a point echoed by a firm spokesman.
"We wish him all the best," the spokesman wrote in an email.
Sheppard Mullin now has three corporate partners in Silicon Valley. Earlier this year, nine corporate lawyers fronted by partner C. Thomas Hopkins left Sheppard's Los Angeles and Silicon Valley offices to join Cooley. Mehra said those moves did not influence his decision.
Having fielded many cross-border transactions, Mehra said Gibson Dunn's global reach was appealing. The firm's client list was another draw, he said.
"The clients represented by this firm are a who's who of technology companies," he said. "That, coupled with its global reach, presents me with an opportunity that is one of a kind for a tech transactions attorney."
Mehra said he will be charged with strengthening Gibson's tech transactions practice. With Silicon Valley companies angling to monetize their patents, tech transactions partners are hot commodities, legal recruiter Stacy Miller Azcarate said. But many firms frame tech transactions as a support practice, making partners like Mehra with books all the more desirable, she added.
"It's difficult to recruit people with a substantial book and a standalone client base," Miller Azcarate, who wasn't involved in the move, said. "This is a big step forward for Gibson in establishing that practice."