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News Mar 01, 2018

Shearman & Sterling Opens Austin Office

Shearman & Sterling is delighted to announce the opening of a new office in Austin – its first in Texas – with seven partners focusing on advising emerging growth companies in the technology, media and telecommunications, and life sciences industries.

The new Austin-based corporate partners are Matthew Lyons, Carmelo Gordian, Alan Bickerstaff, Ted Gilman, Brian Dillavou and Russ Denton. They are joined by litigation partner David Whittlesey and investment funds counsel J.R. Morgan. They all join the firm from Andrews Kurth Kenyon.

The Austin-based team, the core of which has practiced together for more than 20 years, will provide clients with a range of services including venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, corporate governance and disputes.

“We’re very excited to open a new office in Austin and to welcome this outstanding group of partners,” said David Beveridge, Senior Partner. “The new team’s stellar emerging growth, technology and life sciences experience perfectly complements our growing West Coast practice as well as our global offering.”

In discussing the firm’s expansion into Texas, Beveridge said, “Our entrance into Texas, initially with our Austin presence, signifies our continued commitment to our growth plans in the U.S. and the emerging growth sector. Together with our new colleagues in Austin, we are well positioned to advise our clients on their most cutting-edge technology and life sciences matters in the U.S. and globally.”

Matthew Lyons, the Head of the Austin office, said: “We are enthusiastic about joining Shearman & Sterling and its rapidly expanding technology and emerging companies practices. We believe that Shearman & Sterling’s choice to be the first New York-based firm with a full-service Austin office marks a significant milestone in the maturation of the Central Texas economy. Our clients will benefit greatly from the firm’s premier capital markets and M&A expertise, its deep relationships with financial institutions and its West Coast and global presence.”

Carmelo Gordian, Austin partner, added: “Shearman & Sterling’s reputation as a global elite firm presents numerous opportunities for us to work with extraordinary talent across its international platform. We look forward to bringing our decades of experience representing startups, high growth companies and institutional investors to Shearman & Sterling.”

“Shearman & Sterling is a world-class firm and we are thrilled our clients will now have access to one of the few firms that has the breadth and depth to represent emerging companies throughout the entire life cycle of the company, from formation to accessing global capital and M&A markets,” said Alan Bickerstaff, Austin partner.

The firm will continue its expansion into Texas with the launch of a Houston office. The Houston office will focus primarily on energy transactions, including oil and gas and projects, further expanding the capabilities of the firm’s existing highly regarded global energy group, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

The firm is also pleased to expand its litigation and disputes practice in Texas, where many of the firm’s existing clients have a significant presence. Adding litigation capabilities as part of its Texas service offering is an important part of the firm’s long-term strategic goal of domestic growth and will better serve current and future clients in Texas, across the U.S. and worldwide.

About the New Austin Team

Matthew Lyons advises public and private companies, venture and private equity funds, emerging growth companies and entrepreneurs in public and private offerings, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and issues related to business formation, operation, executive compensation and corporate governance. Matt was Austin office managing partner, co-head of the corporate and securities practice, and a member of the Policy Committee at Andrews Kurth. He is also a frequent speaker on topics pertaining to entrepreneurs, startups, financing and acquisition matters. He graduated in 1993 with honors from The University of Texas School of Law. In 1990 he earned his B.A. with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin.

Carmelo Gordian practices corporate and securities law. With more than 30 years of experience, he is known as a leader in the Texas venture capital and private equity community and was formerly the chairman of the San Francisco-based Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison’s Business & Technology Group. Carmelo’s primary focus is on advising clients in the life science, software, telecommunications, semiconductor and energy sector. He advises on corporate governance issues, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and private financings, and private equity, venture capital and real estate funds matters. Carmelo graduated from Harvard Law School in 1983 and earned his B.A. with honors from Harvard University in 1980.

Alan Bickerstaff represents entrepreneurs and public and private emerging growth companies on private equity and venture capital financings, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, formation, operations and corporate governance matters, securities law reporting and compliance matters. He represents companies in a wide variety of industries, including the technology, energy (including renewables), life sciences and telecommunications industries. He also represents institutional investors in venture capital financings and private equity transactions and underwriters on public securities offerings. Alan was the co-head of the emerging companies and technology practice at Andrews Kurth. He also regularly gives presentations and writes articles relating to venture capital financings, startups and securities law matters. He graduated in 1996 from The University of Texas School of Law. He earned his B.B.A., cum laude, from the University of North Texas in 1993.

Ted Gilman practices corporate and securities law, predominantly in the context of entrepreneurial and emerging growth companies. His transaction-based practice focuses on private equity and debt offerings, public equity offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. His experience includes representation of both acquirers and targets in a variety of public-public and public-private business combination transactions, as well as issuers, underwriters and venture capital firms in public and private securities offerings. Ted graduated in 1997 from The University of Texas School of Law and earned his B.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1994.

Brian Dillavou represents startups and emerging growth companies from incorporation and early-stage financings through strategic exits such as initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. He also represents institutional investors in venture capital financings and private equity transactions and underwriters on public securities offerings. He graduated with honors from The University of Texas School of Law in 2007. In 2004 he earned an M.P.A. and a B.B.A., Business Honors and Accounting, from The University of Texas at Austin.

Russ Denton advises clients in mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and private equity financings and public offerings. Russ also has experience representing companies in proxy solicitations and other contests for corporate control, corporate governance and SEC compliance and disclosure matters. Russ graduated from Stanford Law School in 2008 and earned his B.S., magna cum laude, from Duke University in 2005.

David Whittlesey practices complex commercial, business and intellectual property litigation. He has litigated numerous cases involving shareholder disputes, mergers and acquisitions, securities fraud claims, patent infringement claims and trademark disputes. In addition, he has significant experience with disputes involving license agreements, software and systems design, systems integration, telecommunications, professional malpractice, trade secrets, real estate, insurance, banking, construction, oil and gas and health care matters. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in 1994 and achieved Order of the Coif distinction. David earned his B.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1991.

J.R. Morgan represents private fund sponsors in the formation of domestic and international funds, including private equity, venture capital, oil and gas, real estate, private debt and hedge funds. J.R. also frequently works on related investment management matters such as structuring management companies, family offices, co-investment vehicles, managed accounts and “funds of one.” J.R. was a partner at Andrews Kurth and the head of the Investment Funds practice. J.R.’s previous practice received national recognition when the firm he founded was named “Best Boutique Law Firm” in the United States by HFMWeek. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law in 2009 and earned both a B.S. and B.A. from The Evergreen State College in 2001 and 2002.