Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Hill Wynne Founders Launch Sheppard Mullin Media Group
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Three of the four name partners of one-time Los Angeles legal powerhouse Hill Wynne Troop & Meisinger have rejoined to become senior advisers to former rival Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in a bid to launch an entertainment and media practice.
Sheppard, Mullin reported that Louis M. Meisinger will step down as top in-house counsel for the Walt Disney Co. Rejoining him will be entertainment lawyer Robert Wynne, after a stint as co-president and chief operating officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment and then as an adviser to Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, and corporate and securities lawyer Richard Troop, who also been with Akin, Gump.
In 1975, the three founded a firm with Dennis Hill that focused on entertainment business and litigation. The firm was transformed when Meisinger and Wynne left to head two of the world’s largest entertainment companies. Troop continued with the reconstituted Troop Steuber, which later was merged into another firm.
Meisinger headed Hill Wynne’s litigation practice. At Disney, he managed a staff of about 275 lawyers and ran the legal operations of Disney. The Beverly Hills Bar Association named him entertainment lawyer of the year in 1999.
He called Sheppard Mulling the “perfect place” to reunite with two of his former partners.
“Together, we will build what we expect to become the leading institutional entertainment and media practice in the industry,” Meisinger said in a written statement. “Sheppard Mullin shares this vision, and as one of the most respected and entrepreneurial law firms is the perfect platform for this venture.”
Troop said the firm has the same feel as the old firm.
“I’m very excited to be getting back together with Lou and Bob, and associating with a dynamic firm like Sheppard Mullin,” he said.
Sheppard, Mullin paved the way for its three new advisers with the addition last week of former Hill Wynne partners Marty Katz, Tom Leo, Linda Michaelson, and David Sands.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that The Walt Disney Company settled a $20 million whistleblower suit brought by former Disney executive Judy Denenholz, who alleged she was wrongfully terminated after clashing with Meisinger over her refusal to sign off on Disney’s response to an IRS audit.
A Disney executive speaking on condition of anonymity told the Times that there was no connection between Meisinger’s departure and the case settlement.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company