King & Spalding’s Atlanta headquarters (Photo: John Disney/ ALM

Michael Shepard, a prominent white-collar litigator in the Bay Area, has left Hogan Lovells to join King & Spalding.

Shepard has joined King & Spalding as a partner on its special matters and government investigations team in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. Prior to the move, Shepard spent more than a decade at Hogan Lovells, where he most recently served as managing partner of the global firm’s San Francisco office.

“King & Spalding is really a preeminent litigation firm, known for collegiality and culture,” said Shepard of his new firm. “It is growing its special matter practice, my practice on the West Coast.”

Shepard’s practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, related civil litigation and internal corporate investigations. He represented former Uber executive Eric Alexander in a lawsuit brought by a woman who alleged that after she was raped by an Uber driver in India, Uber executives improperly obtained and reviewed her medical records. (Uber agreed to settle the lawsuit in late 2017.)

Michael Shepard of King & Spalding.

Shepard’s move to King & Spalding was brokered by Larry Watanabe and Ken Schwartz of Watanabe Nason. Before joining Hogan Lovells, Shepard was a shareholder at now-defunct Heller Ehrman, and before that, he was a prosecutor. During his time working for the government, Shepard served as chief of public integrity at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a federal prosecutor and Interim U.S. attorney in Chicago, where he investigated and tried high-profile public corruption and financial fraud cases.

“I have found over time that most of my clients would rather not be in the courthouse at all. They would rather that I won the case before [getting to] the courthouse by convincing the government not to bring the case in the first place,” said Shepard. “Having worked in the government provides an incredibly good experience and background to be able to talk to the government out bringing a case.”

King & Spalding’s special matters and government investigations team focuses on white-collar criminal defense, civil and regulatory investigations, corporate internal investigations, and investigations before the U.S. Congress. According to the firm’s website, the group consists of 109 attorneys, including more than 40 former federal prosecutors and other government enforcement officials.

“Mike is a prominent white-collar lawyer, and his reputation and experience as a first chair trial lawyer is exactly what our team was seeking on the West Coast,” said Wick Sollers, head of King & Spalding’s government matters practice group, of which the special matters team is a part. “He is a leader and will add significant depth to our special matters capabilities in California and across our offices.”

King & Spalding’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco both offices opened in 2008. According to numbers provided by King & Spalding, the 1,007-lawyer firm currently has 33 lawyers in San Francisco and another 17 in Palo Alto. The Atlanta-based firm also has seven attorneys based in Sacramento, California.

Fritz Zimmer, the managing partner of King & Spalding’s San Francisco office, added: “Growth of our special matters capabilities on the West Coast is a key strategy for the firm, and we’re pleased that Mike is helping us achieve that.”

In a statement responding to Shepard’s departure, a Hogan Lovells spokesman expressed well wishes for Shepard. Nate Gallon, who currently leads the firm’s Silicon Valley office, will serve as an interim managing partner for the San Francisco office, according to the spokesman.

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