SAN FRANCISCO — Cooley has lured two more partners from Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.
Corporate partners Kevin Rooney and Louis Lehot started work at Cooley’s Palo Alto office Wednesday, becoming the fifth and sixth lawyers to join the Silicon Valley stalwart from Sheppard in the past month. Corporate partners C. Thomas Hopkins and Ian Smith were the first to move, switching to Cooley’s Los Angeles office in mid-February. They were joined by special counsel Peter Wenzel and associate Melika Martin this week, said Hopkins, who co-chaired Sheppard’s global corporate practice before his departure.
Lehot, who led Sheppard’s capital markets and public company M&A practices, said he and Rooney were drawn to Cooley by its roster of clients.
"We both view Cooley’s portfolio of 3,900 private companies as a currency with which to grow relationships with the leading venture capital firms, private equity firms and investment banks," he said.
Lehot, who focuses his practice on later-stage and public companies, specializes in complex equity and debt security deals as well as M&A. Rooney, who headed Sheppard’s emerging growth/venture capital and technology M&A practices, concentrates on early-stage companies and has counseled entrepreneurs at incubators such as Kicklabs and NestGSV.
The partners who came from Sheppard Mullin will play different roles in Cooley’s Silicon Valley home base and Southern California, where the firm opened an L.A. office last summer, said Frederick Muto, chair of Cooley’s business department.
"They both help us accelerate what we are doing in Los Angeles and add depth and dimension to one of the leading corporate practices in the Bay Area," Muto said.
Sheppard Mullin has also been active on the lateral market, hiring six new partners so far this year, spokeswoman Vickie Spang wrote in an email.
"We wish them well," she said of Lehot and Rooney.