San Francisco, CA (January 10, 2006) – Heller Ehrman LLP has announced the election of nine attorneys to the position of shareholder effective immediately. The Class of 2006 includes Kevin A. Burke (New York, Securities Litigation); Andrew C. Byrnes (Silicon Valley, Intellectual Property Litigation); Russell P. Cohen (San Francisco, Antitrust & Trade Regulation); Chrysanthe L. Gussis (San Francisco, Real Estate & Finance); Stuart M. Rennert (Washington, D.C., Antitrust & Trade Regulation); Raymond H. Sheen (San Francisco, Consumer Litigation & Insurance Recovery); Kirt W. Shuldberg (San Diego, Corporate/VLG); Stephen B. Thau (Silicon Valley, Corporate/VLG); and Amy K. Van Zant (Silicon Valley, Intellectual Property Litigation).
“We’re very proud to welcome these outstanding attorneys to the shareholder ranks,” said Matthew L. Larrabee, Heller Ehrman’s Chairman. “They represent exactly the kind of excellent lawyers Heller Ehrman is known for and are terrific role models for our associates.”
The members of the 2006 shareholder class include:
* Kevin A. Burke joined the firm’s New York office in 2003 and is a member of the Securities Litigation Practice Group. With broad experience in antitrust, intellectual property, and general commercial litigation, Mr. Burke focuses on representation of accounting firms, financial institutions and other entities in private actions and civil and criminal investigations in the areas of securities fraud and professional liability. Since joining Heller Ehrman, Mr. Burke also has represented clients in, for example, M&A transactions involving regulated futures businesses, consumer litigations involving allegations of deceptive trade practices, and pro bono matters involving allegations of federal and state wage statute violations. Mr. Burke received his A.B. from Columbia College, cum laude, and his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
* Andrew C. Byrnes joined the firm’s Silicon Valley office in 1997 and is a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Byrnes has represented a variety of emerging and established companies, including technology companies in the software, semiconductor and Internet spaces, in patent and complex commercial disputes, and intellectual property transactions. Mr. Byrnes earned his A.B. from Stanford University, with honors and distinction, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
* Russell P. Cohen joined the firm’s San Francisco office in 2002 (having originally joined the firm’s Silicon Valley office in 2001) and is a member of the Antitrust & Trade Regulation Practice Group. Mr. Cohen’s practice is focused on large antitrust matters and complex commercial litigation, including class actions. Mr. Cohen has represented clients in many aspects of state, federal and coordinated multi-district litigation, from the filing of a complaint to briefing on appeal. Mr. Cohen earned his B.A. from McGill University and his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School.
* Chrysanthe L. Gussis joined the firm’s San Francisco office in 1998 and is a member of the Real Estate & Finance Practice Group. Ms. Gussis’ practice focuses on commercial real estate, finance, hospitality, joint venture transactions involving large office, residential and mixed-use projects, hotels, shopping centers, industrial properties and telecommunications projects. Her experience includes real property project acquisition and development, real property-secured and unsecured and subordinate/mezzanine financings, joint ventures, hospitality (including extensive experience in the representation of hotel operators and owners in the acquisition, development, financing, management and sale of hotel, resort and fractional ownership properties), telecommunications and land use and regulatory counseling, including California Environmental Quality Act. Ms. Gussis is a former law clerk for the Honorable William T. Moore of the United States District Court for the Southern District in Savannah, Georgia, and a law clerk in the Counsel’s Office at the White House. Ms. Gussis received her B.A., with honors in Classics from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
* Stuart M. Rennert joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 2001 and is a member of the Antitrust & Trade Regulation Practice Group. Mr. Rennert’s practice has an emphasis in complex financial fraud cases, False Claims Act litigation, corporate compliance, and defending companies and individuals involved in criminal and administrative investigations. Mr. Rennert earned his A.B. from Amherst College, magna cum laude, and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
* Raymond H. Sheen joined the firm’s San Francisco office in 1998 and is a member of the Consumer Litigation and Insurance Recovery Practice Groups. Mr. Sheen’s practice includes representing business entities in defending against product liability and other consumer class actions. He also has experience representing policyholders in complex insurance coverage disputes. Mr. Sheen earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from Amherst College and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. Mr. Sheen is a former law clerk for the Honorable J. Spencer Letts of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and a judicial extern to the Honorable Thelton Henderson for the United States District Court in San Francisco, California.
* Kirt W. Shuldberg joined the firm’s San Diego office in 2003 and is a member of the Corporate/VLG Practice Group. Mr. Shuldberg’s practice focuses on corporate and securities law with an emphasis on venture capital, private placements, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and collaborative transactions. He has represented both companies and investors in the life sciences, technology and software industries. Mr. Shuldberg received his B.S., magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University and his J.D. from University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.
* Stephen B. Thau joined the firm’s Silicon Valley office in 2003 and is a member of the Corporate/VLG Practice Group. Mr. Thau represents emerging growth companies and venture capital firms, with an emphasis on venture capital financings, corporate partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and public offerings. He has worked with clients in numerous industries, including medical devices, life sciences and biotechnology, software and semiconductors. Mr. Thau received his A.B. in biology, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. Mr. Thau is a former law clerk for the Honorable Vaughn R. Walker of the United States District Court in the Northern District of California.
* Amy K. Van Zant joined the firm’s Silicon Valley office in 1998 and is a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group. Ms. Van Zant has represented a variety of technology clients, including telecommunications, semiconductor, biotechnology and software development companies. She has also has practiced complex antitrust and securities litigation. Ms. Van Zant earned her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University and received her J.D., cum laude, from University of California, Hastings, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Heller Ehrman has recently been acknowledged as one of America’s leading law firms:
* Ranked #9 on The American Lawyer’s 2005 “A-List” of top U.S. law firms (September 2005)
* Heller Ehrman’s Intellectual Property practice was recognized by The American Lawyer as one of the top five IP practices in the U.S. (January 2006)
* VentureOne ranked Heller Ehrman 3rd in the U.S. based on the number of client raising capital transactions in the Healthcare and IT sectors (June 2005)
* Ranked #8 for pro bono work in 2004, according to The American Lawyer (September 2005)
* Chambers & Partners USA recognized 31 Heller Ehrman attorneys in its annual publication, America’s Leading Business Lawyers. (June 2005)
* 39 Heller Ehrman attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2006, published by Woodward/White, Inc. (November 2005)
Heller Ehrman LLP has more than 700 attorneys and professionals in 12 offices worldwide – Anchorage; Beijing; Hong Kong; Los Angeles; Madison, WI; New York; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Singapore; and Washington, D.C. As a full-service law firm, we represent a wide range of industry leaders, from entrepreneurial, technology-driven enterprises to established, multinational conglomerates. At Heller Ehrman, we take a multidisciplinary approach to the practice of law, drawing upon our legal, scientific and industry knowledge from across the firm to build the best legal teams for our clients. Through commitment to our core values of Excellence, People, Teamwork, Innovation, Community and One Firm, we offer clients unparalleled legal service.