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Los Angeles-based Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has lured the general counsel of The Walt Disney Co. in a bold bid to build a new entertainment practice. Louis Meisinger, a veteran entertainment lawyer who became the top in-house lawyer at Disney in 1998, is joining Sheppard Mullin as a senior adviser. Meisinger says the move reunites him with former colleagues Richard Troop and Robert Wynne, who he says are also joining Sheppard Mullin as senior advisers. The three practiced together at Hill, Wynne, Troop & Meisinger, the predecessor to Troop, Steuber, Pasich, Reddick & Tobey, which merged with Dallas-based Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in 2001. “We are in an advisory capacity to the group,” said Meisinger. “We’ll help to develop it and grow it and advise it and also make our services available as appropriate.” According to Meisinger, the new group will initially consist of about 20 attorneys and grow as the practice develops. The news came a day after Sheppard Mullin announced the creation of its entertainment, media and communications practice with the hiring of Akin Gump partners Martin Katz, Thomas Leo, Linda Michaelson and David Sands. “Since Los Angeles is in the entertainment center of the world, we decided Sheppard Mullin should have a first-class entertainment practice. These four extremely talented attorneys are the foundation on which we will build an unrivaled entertainment team,” said Sheppard Mullin executive committee member Joseph Coyne Jr. in a statement. In addition to advising Sheppard Mullin, Meisinger will work as a mediator for alternative dispute resolution firm Action Dispute Resolution Services. “I hope that my background as a trial lawyer and now as a former GC of a major corporate entity will give me a perspective on settlement that few people can bring to the table,” said Meisinger.

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