Ian Shelton, Eversheds Sutherland.

Lured by the Austin tech scene and the opportunity to build his own client roster, litigator Ian Shelton has joined global firm Eversheds Sutherland as counsel, relocating from the Los Angeles office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Shelton said he got excellent trial experience in his near-decade at litigation firm Quinn Emanuel, but he wanted an opportunity to build client relationships, which he expects to do at Eversheds Sutherland.

“As I got more senior and got more responsibility, lately I have really enjoyed taking ownership of cases, particularly my California disputes and taking them all of the way up,” he said.

James Guy, the partner-in-charge of Eversheds Sutherland’s 17-lawyer Austin office, said Shelton is the first lawyer in Austin focused solely on litigation, although he and some others lawyers in the office have handled energy-related litigation.

“His background and experience will fit well with our practice and, really, there’s a lot of overlap in technology, intellectual property, that he has done before,” Guy said.

Eversheds Sutherland co-CEO Mark Wasserman said in a press release that Shelton strengthens the firm’s global litigation practice, and “reinforces our commitment to growing strategically in areas such as intellectual property and technology to better service our clients.”

Shelton said much of Quinn Emanuel’s work was “enormous” and important litigation, but he realized he wanted to do more client development, after working closely with client Premier Medical Center of Burbank on an appeal.

Shelton, who joined the firm Feb. 25, said he likes Eversheds Sutherland’s “entrepreneurial spirit” and looks forward to building a litigation practice in Austin. He said he is already working with Michael Bennett, an energy litigator who joined the firm in January in Houston from Baker Botts.

Shelton does IP litigation, complex commercial litigation and appeals. In addition to work for Premier, Shelton said he recently represented HiteJinro, a Korean alcoholic beverage company, in a dispute with distributors.

Shelton said he’s a Houston native and a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, so he is happy to return to Austin. The Texas city is a good fit for his practice as well, Shelton said, because he has worked on a number of intellectual property disputes for technology companies, with a focus on trademark and trade secret issues.

“Austin is the technology growth hub in Texas and it’s presenting really unique opportunities,” he said. “I want startup tech companies. I want California work. I want to get with the entrepreneurs and startups in Austin and build an Eversheds Sutherland litigation practice.”

Quinn Emanuel did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on Shelton’s departure.

Read More

Eversheds Sutherland Grabs Energy Litigator From Baker Botts in Houston