Munger, Tolles & Olson
Los Angeles, California
|No. of offices||2|
|No. of attorneys||170 (2011)|
|No. of employees||450 (2008)|
|Major practice areas||litigation, corporate, tax, real estate, bankruptcy, labor and employment, environmental|
|Key people||Sandra A. Seville-Jones, Managing Partner|
|Revenue||$204 million (2011)|
|Founder||Charlie Munger, Leroy Tolles and Ronald Olson|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Munger, Tolles & Olson is known for its defense of corporations in civil lawsuits and individuals in criminal trials and investigations. The American Lawyer described the firm as an "army of trial lawyers capable of waging war". Chambers and Partners noted that the firm is a "litigation powerhouse".
Notable representations include:
- The Getty Trust after allegations of wrongdoing in the acquisition of its antiquities collection;
- Michael Ovitz in defending his executive pay at Disney;
- California candidate for governor Bill Simon after a jury returned a $78 million verdict for fraud;
- Southern California Edison in the reorganization of California's energy industry;
- Merrill Lynch in the bankruptcy of Orange County;
- The Philippines against Imelda Marcos and Ferdinand Marcos;
- Several couples and Equality California in a California Supreme Court petition challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8.
- Defense of AFTERMATH RECORDS regarding the percentage of royalties owed for digital downloads. Known as the "Eminem Decision".
- Defense of ABC's reality show The Glass House in a lawsuit by CBS alleging copyright infringement.
- Defended and lost the case of self-help speaker James Arthur Ray (The Secret) when he was convicted of criminally negligent homicide for the deaths of 3 people at a sweat lodge in Sedona, Arizona.
The firm has a transactional practice that represented Yahoo!'s board of directors during Microsoft's proposed takeover; Warren Buffett in his $31 billion gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Berkshire Hathaway in its $22 billion purchase of General Reinsurance and $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs. Additionally, the firm served as legal counsel during the construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.
In 2008, Munger, Tolles & Olson ranked as the nation's top law firm on the American Lawyer A-List based on financial performance, pro bono practice, associate satisfaction and workplace diversity. The firm topped the "A-List" list of the nation's most elite law firms again in 2009 and 2010. After three years at the top of the list, the firm took second place in the 2011 rankings.
The firm employs graduates each year and promotes from within. About seventy percent of attorneys have clerked for federal judges, including 18 for justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Vault's 2012 Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms ranked the firm third in the nation for selectivity, and second in transparency. Nearly half of the attorneys who started at the firm in the last twenty years continue to practice there. Additionally, the firm ranked third on the American Lawyer's 2011 Diversity Scorecard, with 23.4% of the firm's attorneys and 16.1% of the firm's partners as minorities.
- Robert Denham, former CEO of the investment bank Salomon Brothers during the 1990s and current chairman of the MacArthur Foundation;
- Ronald Olson, a director of Berkshire Hathaway, who was named the most influential lawyer in California by California Law Business;
- Jeffrey L. Bleich, former Special Counsel to the President and United States Ambassador to Australia
- Alan Bersin, President Barack Obama's "Border Czar" and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of California;
- Nancy Bekavac, the first woman president of Scripps College;
- Roderick Hills, former White House Counsel and Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
- Carla Anderson Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative and former Secretary of Health and Human Services;
- Carolyn Kuhl, judge on the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles and former Deputy Solicitor General at the Department of Justice;
- Vilma Socorro Martínez, United States Ambassador to Argentina and past president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF);
- Felicia Marcus, Chairman of California State Water Resources Control Board
- Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
- Paul J. Watford, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- John B. Owens, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Michelle T. Friedland, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- LA Observed
- Fritsch, Jane (September 2, 1990). "Felicia Marcus : Fighting for the Environment From Inside the Establishment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-05-07.