In an age populated by power-driven law firm executives scrambling to turn a booming economy into a bulging bottom line, Richard Brunette stands out. He’s reserved, unassuming and, well, just plain shy.

Recently, Brunette quietly completed his first year as chairman of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, one of the oldest law firms in Los Angeles. And it seems a good match: Brunette’s professional demeanor matches the firm’s present-day personality — quietly confident and assuredly steady.