United States: Top In-House Trial Lawyer To Join Piper Rudnick
Last Updated: March 24 2004

Shand Stephens brings team from Aon Corporation to Piper Rudnick’s Growing San Francisco Office.

San Francisco, CA, March 8, 2004 - Piper Rudnick LLP, a leading national law firm, announced today that prominent litigator Shand Stephens will join the firm as a partner. Also scheduled to join Piper Rudnick are Margaret Lund Parker, who will join the firm as a partner, and Eliot Hudson, who will join the firm as of counsel. This top litigation team comes to Piper Rudnick from the San Francisco office of the Chicago-based Aon Corporation.

This move allows Stephens’ team to continue to service Aon’s business from the expanded platform offered by Piper Rudnick. Aon Corporation will be closing their San Francisco office at the end of the first quarter of 2004 and Piper Rudnick will be representing the company in significant litigation matters in California and elsewhere.

This addition, the latest in a series of strategic growth moves for Piper Rudnick in the California market, follows the firm’s announcement earlier this year of its merger with Steinhart & Falconer, a San Francisco-based law firm of 32 attorneys. Also announced over the last 15 months were several strategic mergers and alliances, and the recruitment of many high-profile partners and strategic advisors across the country, including Southern California.

Building on National Litigation Growth, Local San Francisco Momentum

Mr. Stephens and his team of highly regarded trial attorneys come to a firm with a leading national litigation practice. The arrival of these attorneys gives Piper Rudnick an opportunity to capitalize on the growing litigation business generated by the financial services, insurance and re-insurance industries.

"The team coming over from Aon is a great addition to our San Francisco office," stated Robb Scott, managing partner of Piper's San Francisco office. "Their arrival will further our goal of increasing our insurance and commercial litigation capabilities and practices on the West Coast. This is one of a number of strategic moves we have targeted."

"After more than a decade of servicing Aon’s litigation needs in-house, I am happy that my team can be a part of Piper Rudnick’s growth while continuing our relationship with Aon," said Stephens. "We had been approached by several top law firms, but Piper Rudnick was clearly the best fit for us."

Additional highlights of the firm’s recent national growth include:

  • Formation of a strategic alliance with former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen’s international consulting firm, The Cohen Group
  • The merger with legal and consulting firm Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand, which brought former Senator and Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former Michigan Governor and Ambassador to Canada Jim Blanchard to its partner roster
  • The addition of former Congressman and House Majority Leader Dick Armey
  • The opening of a San Francisco office earlier this year with the addition of 32 lawyers from Steinhart & Falconer.

About the New Attorneys

Shand S. Stephens is a highly regarded trial lawyer with experience in handling and supervising complex litigation on a global scale. Since joining Aon Corporation in 1993, Stephens has headed the trial department where he supervised the strategy and handling of large national and international cases as well as trying, arbitrating and mediating a wide range of litigation matters involving insurance and reinsurance-related issues. Prior to that, Stephens was a partner at the San Francisco-based law firm of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon where his practice included acting as outside general counsel at Westamerica Bancorporation and the San Francisco State University Foundation, in addition to major litigation.

Shand Stephens was selected by California Lawyer as one of the "Lawyers of the Year" in 1998 and 2000. He chaired a seminar for general counsel titled, "Controlling Outside Litigation Expense," has spoken at the Defense Research Institute, the Orange County Bar Association, the Bank Administration Institute, and has been interviewed on CNN regarding sexual harassment investigations. He is also a member of the executive committee of the Russian Arts Foundation and serves as vice president, general counsel and member of the board of KIDDS and CARS, a charitable foundation devoted to pursuing safety for children in and around motor vehicles. Stephens received his B.A. from Yale University in 1971 and his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of law in 1975.

Margaret Lund Parker has first chair trial experience, primarily in California and the western United States. In addition to her litigation capacity at Aon Corporation, Parker’s duties included the outsourcing of legal services and arbitrating and mediating cases, both individual and class actions, including unfair competition, employment, brokers E&O, insurance and reinsurance. Prior to joining Aon Corporation in 1993, Parker was with the San Francisco law firm of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon. Parker received her B. A. from UCSB in 1984 and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Francisco Law School in 1987.

Eliot R. Hudson joined Aon Corporation in 1997, where he served as senior litigation counsel for United States litigation involving insurance broker professional liability, insurance regulations, unfair competition, trade secrets and bankruptcy, among others. Additionally, Hudson handled litigation for Aon Corporation in Canada. Prior to joining Aon Corporation, Hudson was with the Oakland-based law firm Kincaid, Gianunzio, Caudle & Hubert, where he was principal from 1982. Hudson received his B.A. with honors from U.C. Davis in 1972 and his J.D. from the University of California Hasting College of law in 1975.

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