LOS ANGELES — Three partners from Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office are joining Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton to help build a white-collar criminal defense practice at the Los Angeles-based firm.

Bryan Daly, Charles Kreindler and Peter Morris, all former prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, are joining Sheppard Mullin’s downtown Los Angeles office as partners in the business trials and government contracts practice groups.

Joseph F. Coyne Jr., a member of the executive committee in charge of Sheppard Mullin’s strategic growth, and a partner in Los Angeles, said the new group brings a prominent white-collar defense practice to Sheppard Mullin, which has had one partner focused in that area since the mid-1990s.

“All kinds of companies have issues here and again about a wide range of criminal issues that come up, or investigations, most of which are unfounded,” he said. “But it pays for us to have that capability on a prominent level in-house, and it raises our visibility a lot. If you manage the practice right, it can be profitable.”

He also said the three partners have worked extensively with one of Sheppard Mullin’s largest clients, Northrop Grumman Corp.

Daly, who was an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the Public Corruption and Government Fraud section in Los Angeles, served as director of the Southern California government fraud task force from 1991 to 1995. He specializes in business crimes and defends companies in federal investigations.

Kreindler, who was a prosecutor in Los Angeles from 1989 to 1997, coordinated the California Defense Procurement Task Force and the Southern California Health Care Fraud Task Force. He was promoted to assistant division chief in 1994. Kreindler also represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex civil litigation, particularly representing defendants in complaints brought by the Federal Trade Commission and in litigation alleging state and federal False Claims Act claims.

Both joined Mayer Brown about a year ago from their own white-collar criminal defense boutique firm, Beck, De Corso, Daly, Kreindler & Harris, which has since dissolved. Marc Harris, another former name partner of Beck De Corso, is remaining at Mayer Brown, where he is a partner.

Morris was an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles from 1989 to 1991. From 1994 to 1996, he was a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law.

Also joining Sheppard Mullin will be Barbara E. Taylor and Melissa K. Eaves, both counsel to Mayer Brown, who will become special counsel to Sheppard Mullin.