Larry Braun

Firm: Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Law School: Northwestern University
Clients: Northrop Grumman Corp., Alcatel-Lucent and Sanders Industries Inc.


Larry Braun, a corporate lawyer at Sheppard Mullin, has worked in investment banking, restaurants, oil and gas. But he chose law because he loves dealing with people.


"A lot of my practice is dealing with business owners. They're very different people from very different backgrounds," he said.


Braun believes that his first job selling sneakers in Brunswick, N.J., taught him to understand the needs of a much broader group, business owners' families.


His practice is primarily buying and selling businesses, but he appreciates what it means to his clients' households.


"That may be the third or fourth most important event in their lives," he said of his clients. "There's getting married and having kids, and pretty soon after that is creating family wealth and family liquidity."


There are a number of ways Braun said he gets involved.
"I keep them out of jail and sometimes I make them very wealthy, but I help them with issues facing the business when it comes to dealing with the government, their employees or their families," he said. "You actually help them make their lives better."


One of the more interesting times of his career, Braun said, was working with the Rose Bowl in trying to attract an NFL team for Southern California. While ultimately unsuccessful, crafting the complex business and real estate proposal required navigating the City of Pasadena's laws and the powerful Tournament of Roses Association.


Braun said his worst career moment was when he left the hospital for a few minutes after his son was born. He was a young associate in the midst of a structuring a deal, and he'd taken some work to a colleague. But while he was bragging about the baby, his car was broken into and confidential documents were stolen.


"Explaining that to the client and partner was hard enough, but recreating months of work in a few days was even tougher," he remembers. "I did get the deal closed."


Emily Bryson York


Gordon Bava

Firm: Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
Clients: NorthWestern Corp., East West Bancorp Inc. and Bear Stearns & Co. Inc.
Most Interesting Matter: Representation of the California Wellness Foundation in connection with the contested conversion of Health Net Inc. and subsequent sale of its controlling interest in Health Net.
Most Challenging Matter: Representation of Lippo Bank of California and its principal owner in connection with Clinton campaign finance investigations during the late 1990s.
Worst Career Moment: Confusing and misusing the words "demur" and "demurrer" in my first motion and court appearance and having the judge call me up to the bench to chastise my incompetence. I became a corporate lawyer at that point.

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