WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 5, 2007 — Jonathan G. Rose and Sheldon M. Kline have joined the Washington, D.C. office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP as partners in the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group. Rose most recently practiced with Katten Muchin Rosenman in Washington, D.C. and Kline joins the firm from Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner in Washington, D.C.
Also joining the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group in the D.C. office is Thomas K. Wotring, previously with Thelen Reid. Rose, Kline and Wotring previously practiced together at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where Wotring formerly chaired the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice.
Rose’s practice is focused on the representation of plan sponsors and fiduciaries involved in ERISA and related litigation. He has extensive first-chair trial experience, including a successful jury trial involving claims under Section 510 of ERISA, as well as successful bench trials involving complex ERISA claims representing plan fiduciaries. Rose also has significant first-chair litigation experience handling ERISA class actions, including stock drop cases and formal disputes before arbitration panels established to resolve disputes arising under complex ERISA class action settlement agreements. He advises plan sponsors and fiduciaries of pension and welfare benefit plans on compliance of fiduciary duties required in the administration and investment of plan assets, including the prudent selection and oversight of investment providers, disclosure obligations, and prohibited transaction issues.
Kline represents clients in labor negotiations, in bankruptcy, federal and state court litigation, and before administrative agencies, particularly the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board. He is experienced in all facets of transportation, including the representation of international and domestic airlines, trucking companies, maritime, and ports. Kline was Special Labor Counsel for Aloha Airlines, Inc. in its recent bankruptcy. In that role, he was responsible for achieving the termination of the carrier’s defined benefit pension plans, negotiating a final settlement of all claims with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, resolving with the PBGC controlled group liability claims, and addressing claims made by the PBGC regarding financial transactions involving the carrier’s pension plans.
“The arrival of this team marks another significant step in deepening the firm’s regulatory and labor expertise on the East Coast,” said Guy Halgren, chairman of the firm. “Our clients will benefit from their experience and backgrounds in private practice, in-house and government work. The group’s formidable ERISA and employment knowledge complement our employee benefit and labor practices.”
Commented Rose, “I am enthusiastic about joining the firm with Sheldon and Tom, as well as to be working with the great lawyers here. The three of us previously practiced together and we are thrilled to regroup at Sheppard Mullin, in the firm’s growing D.C. office.”
“I look forward to expanding the firm’s East Coast employment practice,” Kline said. “Sheppard Mullin is a top-notch firm with an excellent platform for labor law. I am delighted to be joining with my former colleagues.”
“We are excited to have Jonathan, Sheldon and Tom onboard,” said Ed Schiff, managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. “Their respective practices are an excellent fit for the D.C. office, which has a strong regulatory and transactional focus. Jonathan’s investment fund clients and Sheldon’s airline industry work dovetail well with the firm’s existing matters and representations.”
In June, telecommunication litigation partners Chris Huther and Megan Troy joined Sheppard Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office from Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis in Washington, D.C. Sheppard Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office has 35 attorneys, more than half of whom are litigators. In total, the firm has approximately 250 litigation attorneys in ten offices.
Prior to private practice, Rose served as an attorney in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (“PBGC”) Office of General Counsel where he handled the PBGC’s special litigation projects involving unique legal issues and difficult law enforcement cases. He gained extensive experience at the PBGC handling ERISA issues relating to bankruptcy liquidations and reorganizations, and significant experience dealing with the Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service on policy and enforcement matters.
Kline has extensive experience in the federal government, having served for eight years at the U.S. Department of Labor and nine years at the National Mediation Board. While at the Mediation Board, Kline was involved in the mediation of a number of major collective bargaining disputes, including pilots, flight attendants and mechanics at major domestic airlines. He was directly involved in the government’s legislative efforts to deregulate the railroad and airline industries.
Wotring’s practice involves advising employers in labor negotiations, federal litigation and before state and federal agencies, particularly the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He has extensive experience in the negotiation and administration of single and multi-employer collective bargaining agreements, most notably in the trucking, automobile transport, maritime and air freight industries. Wotring also represents employee benefit plans regarding all areas of benefit collective bargaining and benefit plan operations. In addition to bargaining with union representatives, his practice on behalf of employers includes ERISA compliance, litigation of federal claims, and representation before the Department of Labor and Department of Justice.
Rose earned a J.D. from Catholic University of America, School of Law in 1992 and a B.A. from Western Maryland College in 1986. Kline earned a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law in 1987, a M.A. from Virginia Tech in 1981 and a B.A. from University of Massachusetts in 1970. Wotring earned a J.D., with honors, from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1975 and a B.A. from American University in 1972.
About Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with 490 attorneys in 10 offices located throughout California and in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanghai. The firm’s California offices are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Century City, Orange County, Del Mar Heights and San Diego. Founded in 1927 on the principle that the firm would succeed only if its attorneys delivered prompt, high quality and cost-effective legal services, Sheppard Mullin provides legal counsel to U.S. and international clients. Companies turn to Sheppard Mullin to handle a full range of corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. In the U.S., the firm’s clients include more than half of the Fortune 100 companies. For more information, please visit www.sheppardmullin.com.
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