Michael J. Sheppeard has nearly two decades of experience serving as counsel to clients in a broad range of industries. He represents clients on an international scale in a wide variety of legal matters including corporate and business transactions, brand management, restructuring and business turnarounds, complex litigation, labor and employment, franchising, and technology, among other practice areas.
With recent economic ups and downs, Mr. Sheppeard has devoted a significant portion of his practice to working with clients to restructure and turn around their businesses to avoid closure or filing for bankruptcy. Throughout this process, Mr. Sheppeard works closely with clients to understand their goals and various needs in order to assist the client in stabilizing their business, diagnosing and evaluating the issues afflicting the business, and developing a business plan that places the client on the path to future success.
Additionally, Mr. Sheppeard assists clients with numerous brand management issues, with a particular focus on clients with lax enforcement policies concerning their intellectual property and distribution channels. Together with the client, Mr. Sheppeard develops oversight mechanisms to monitor and effectively respond to actions by distributors, licensees, and franchisees.
Mr. Sheppeard earned his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts from the Eastern Kentucky University, magna cum laude, and his Juris Doctor from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
- Lead American corporate counsel for a Southeast Asian retail development company with over 10,000 employees that focuses on developing significant American brands in the apparel, accessory, and specialty beauty industries via joint ventures and complex distribution/licensing arrangements throughout Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan, and China
- Represent transaction consultants and parties in strategic acquisitions and dispositions of brands and ongoing businesses in excess of $100mm through non-traditional transactions
- Work with start-ups in the technology industry to transform current corporate and business structure to attract and permit private equity and venture capital investments anticipated to be in excess of $100mm.
- Direct due diligence and draft opinion letter to be submitted by client and a top five bank in Asia to secure Chinese governmental approval and permit bank financing and for a transaction involving the purchase of assets in the United States Bankruptcy Court valued in excess of $1.5 billion
- Prepare private placement memorandum documentation and compliance materials, including blue sky materials, for private equity fund focused in the hospitality industry with over $1 Billion in current assets under management
- Work with startup and newly established franchisors to develop and implement franchise programs, including the preparation of all necessary documentation, including FDD’s and franchise agreements
- Advise Chinese construction equipment company with 20 manufacturing facilities across the world employing over 11,000 people and dealers spanning 130 countries on six continents concerning potential sales transactions subject to US export control laws
- Luxury Salon Brand: Review collapsed holding company, numerous failed subsidiaries, and affiliated companies; determine ownership of viable assets; defend numerous litigations, settling certain problem litigations at de minimis amounts to permit for restructuring activities, and develop restructuring plan
- Italian Import Food Company: Stave off creditor suits, domestically and internationally, to allow company operations, newly developed line(s) of business, and inventory to stabilize, thereby allowing the company to regain foothold in marketplace prior to commencing a Chapter 11 proceeding in which a principal-funded plan of reorganization was confirmed (Awarded Global M&A Network’s Turnaround Atlas Award for Consumer Products Restructuring of the Year)
- Activated Carbon Company: Review all company operations and lines of business, including (i) manufacturing and importation of activated carbon; (ii) manufacturing and importation of auto parts; and (iii) rare earth mineral importation and sales; devise reorganization plan utilizing IRC § 355 to spin-off each line of business into a new company
- Smart Home/Solar Power Company: Work with Chinese-based solar panel company to reorganize its US operations and transition from a supplier of solar panels into a full-service solar power-generated smart home company
- Hospitality Private Equity Fund: Step into defense of Fair Labor Standards Act collective action after (i) conditional certification, (ii) approximately 330 hotel employee plaintiffs joined the action against more than 20 corporate and individual defendants, and (iii) extensive damaging depositions of defendants’ management. Develop strategy to transition case from defensive posture to an offensive one, causing case to be partially dismissed at the summary judgment stage and completely dismissed on the eve of trial, with the trial court rulings ultimately being upheld by the 5th Circuit after re-argument. Thereafter, defend approximately 18 progeny cases throughout the country stemming from such dismissal, causing each of the progeny cases to be dismissed, with one dismissal being upheld by the 11th Circuit or settled on favorable terms with significantly reduced or eliminated attorney fee awards
- Japanese Litigation: Act as US counsel to an international designer, her eponymous operating companies, and the trust we set up to hold and manage designer’s intellectual property in a series of three litigations in Japan after significant federal litigation stateside, including appeals to the 2nd Circuit, with the bulk of the litigations stemming from the misappropriation of (i) designer’s right of publicity, and (ii) certain of the intellectual property by a Japanese trading company that had acquired limited rights in certain intellectual property
- Secured Lien Enforcement/Fraudulent Conveyance: Represent secured creditor in obtaining a favorable settlement when enforcing security interest against debtor and manufacturer of goods claiming rights therein, and revealing through discovery (i) that the manufacturer and the debtor had defrauded US immigration officials; (ii) debtor fraudulently altered documents to obtain financing; and (iii) orders and other assets, including millions of dollars of inventory, were fraudulently conveyed to a shadow company established by the principals and a corporate insider in order to avoid manufacturers collection actions and secured creditor’s security interest
- Trade Secret/Confidentiality Agreement: Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of US-based lighting manufacturer against its Chinese factory, thereby preventing such Chinese factory from utilizing client’s misappropriated trade secrets and other confidential information to develop a competing business within the US and from soliciting client’s employees, customers, and consultants, which caused the Chinese factory to eventually cease all operations stateside
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- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, JD
- Eastern Kentucky University, BA
- Bar Admissions
- New York
- New Jersey
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York
- North District of Florida
- Second, Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal