Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC announced Thursday it has added two shareholders to its corporate and securities practice in Dallas, snagging both lawyers from now-dissolved Shannon Gracey Ratliff & Miller LLP, where they co-headed the firm's health care division.
Richard Cheng told Law360 on Thursday that after Shannon Gracey dissolved, he and J. Quitman “Q” Stephens were looking for a firm that would not only support serving their current clients, but would also provide a platform to grow and build their practices. And Munsch Hardt, with its “stellar reputation in the Texas market,” fit the bill, Cheng said.
“As an aggregate, we thought that Munsch Hardt was the best fit,” he said, adding that while they weren't considering the firm originally, the precision with which Munsch Hardt ran the interview process and the caliber of attorneys they met during that time made the decision an easy one. “They moved the process along very well, and very efficiently, and I think that showed a lot.”
Stephens told Law360 on Thursday that joining the team at Munsch Hardt was akin to what the four individual members of The Beatles were able to accomplish when they came together.
"Each were superstars in their own right, but when they came together they were able to achieve something far greater," he said. "[Munsch Hardt] is a group of superstars, and it raises the level of your practice and the breadth and depth of what you can offer your clients."
Cheng and Stephens have practiced in cannabis law and Employee Retirement Income Security Act law, which will be new practices for Munsch Hardt, the firm noted in a news release in which CEO Phil Appenzeller praised the hires.
“It remains an exciting time at Munsch Hardt as the firm continues to grow organically from within as well as through the addition of accomplished and well-respected lateral hires, of which Richard and Q are prime examples,” he said. “Before they joined the firm, we had a hole when it came to health care and ERISA/employee benefits counsel. Their practices allow us the opportunity to offer new services to our clients, and throughout 2017, we look forward to visiting with other lateral candidates who will help us to continue growing in this tradition.”
Cheng has focused his practice on health care law and has represented skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, community hospitals, physician groups, hospices, medicinal cannabis products providers and rehabilitation providers.
Cheng received a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, a graduate certificate from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center and completed law school at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center.
Stephens focuses his practice on ERISA, employee benefits, and executive compensation and health care, which includes compliance and strategy with respect to the Affordable Care Act. He is described in a company biography as a “passionate advocate for wellness and physical fitness” and has overseen for employers the implementation of workplace wellness programs and arrangements.
He completed both his undergraduate work and law school at Southern Methodist University and its Dedman School of Law. He also received a Master of Laws in taxation from New York University School of Law.
By: Michelle Casady