Market demand for law firm partners with books of business continues to be hot.
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton announced Monday that it has added five Texas corporate real estate transactional lawyers — four partners and a special counsel — from rival Jones Day.
The five attorneys — partners Michelle R. Brown, Andrew W. Bengtson, Ian Lange and Shane M. Trawick and special counsel Jeffrey T. Ramsey — join Sheppard Mullin’s real estate, energy, land use and environmental practice group in Dallas.
“We were presented with a wonderful opportunity, and the transition [to Sheppard Mullin] could not have gone better,” Brown, who had practiced at Jones Day for more than 25 years, told The Texas Lawbook in a weekend interview. “Sheppard Mullin has a deep bench in real estate. It was important to our team that we move to a firm that is focused on growth in Texas.”
Brown’s team, which has worked together for more than a decade, represents public and private equity companies and developers of multifamily and other commercial real estate in real estate finance matters, M&A transactions and joint venture formations. The five represent three of the Top 10 U.S. multifamily developers as ranked by the National Multifamily Housing Council in 2022.
Sheppard Mullin opened in Dallas in 2018 and launched a Houston office in 2022. The Los Angeles-founded firm has more than 1,000 lawyers in 16 offices, including more than 60 attorneys in Texas.
Last year, Sheppard Mullin added groups of real estate lawyers in New York and Los Angeles.
“This team boasts extensive real estate finance experience and a tremendous client base that complements our existing capabilities, particularly in the multifamily sector. We are delighted that this talented group has joined the firm,” said Keith Garner, co-leader of the firm’s real estate, energy, land use and environmental practice.
Brown, a 1997 graduate of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, focuses her practice on real estate finance and acquisitions and dispositions across numerous asset classes, including multifamily projects, mixed-use projects, office and retail buildings, hotels, restaurants and grocery stores. Brown has represented borrowers in connection with more than 170 constructions loans with aggregate value of more than $11 billion.
Bengtson, who earned a law degree and an MBA from the University of Michigan in 2004, focuses his practice on commercial real estate joint venture formation, real estate finance, real estate fund sponsor formation and M&A activity. He has significant experience with various equity investments and structures, including single asset ventures, programmatic ventures, platform companies as well as preferred equity investments.
Lange, who earned his law degree from Ohio State University, has a law practice that centers on real estate joint ventures, financings, acquisitions and development-related agreements. He has particular experience in the multifamily housing industry, having worked on numerous transactions for the acquisition and development of apartment projects with a variety of capitalization structures, including single-asset and programmatic ventures, preferred equity investments and secured debt.
Trawick is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and a former extern for the chief justice of the California Supreme Court. Trawick has closed real estate acquisitions and dispositions in excess of $13 billion and more than 55 construction and term loans in excess of $5 billion.
Ramsey, a graduate of Drake University Law School, specializes in real estate joint ventures, including development and acquisition ventures, programmatic, portfolio and single-asset joint ventures across all asset categories. Ramsey has negotiated complex joint ventures involving a myriad of structures, including those for sponsors, developers and investors providing sponsor, LP and GP capital.