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shea-jamesJames L. Shea

Chairman Emeritus
Venable LLP

Consistently ranked as one of The Best Lawyers in America among other accolades, James L. Shea, Venable’s Chairman Emeritus, has focused his career on corporate litigation trying cases in both federal and state courts throughout the country. His signature style consists of “aggressive, thorough counseling” – a style that has earned him recognition amongst his peers and within the community.

Shea became chair of Venable in 2006 and grew the firm’s footprint beyond Baltimore and Washington to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. When he first started at Venable, the firm employed about 300 lawyers, with annual revenues of approximately $65 to 70 million. Venable now employs more than 700 lawyers and brings in revenues over $650 million.

“I have led Venable and helped it grow to become the largest firm in Maryland and one of the largest in the U.S. and the world, but to remain solidly anchored in and committed to Baltimore,” Shea said.

In his career, Shea has prosecuted and defended major corporations in securities class actions, contract, breach of fiduciary duty and products liability cases. He was the lead in the defense of the Clean Water Act claim. Major clients include Johns Hopkins University, M&T Bank, Marriott International Inc., CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and many others.

Shea is active in the community and serves as Chair on a number of boards, including the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, the Empower Baltimore Management Corporation, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Equal Justice Council, among others.

His advice for success is simple. “Work hard, never compromise on issues of integrity and treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect,” Shea said.

Work hard, never compromise on issues of integrity and treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Icon Honors awards.

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