Munger, Tolles & Olson

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Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Headquarters KPMG Tower
Los Angeles, California
No. of offices 3
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)
Date founded 1962
Founder Charlie Munger, Leroy Tolles and Ronald Olson
Company type Limited liability partnership

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (MTO) is a prominent California law firm that has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. It is consistently ranked as one of the most selective law firms in the United States in terms of hiring and regularly tops lists of the country's most elite firms.[1][2] Charles Munger founded the firm in 1962 with six other lawyers.[3]

Legal practice[edit]

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."[4] Chambers and Partners noted that the firm is a "litigation powerhouse" known for its "intellectual excellence."[5]

The firm typically hires law school graduates with "impeccable grades, law review, and a federal clerkship" and promotes from within.[6] Known for its egalitarian culture, Munger Tolles maintains a 1:1 partner to associate ratio where each lawyer gets an equal vote in hiring decisions.[7] Nearly half of the attorneys who started at the firm in the last twenty years continue to practice there.[3]

About eighty percent of attorneys have clerked for federal judges, including 18 for justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.[3] All but one of President Obama's appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California have been Munger Tolles alumni.[8][9][10]

Notable representations include:

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.[17] 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.[18]


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.[19][20] The firm topped the "A-List" of the nation's most elite law firms again in 2009[21] and 2010.[22] After three years at the top of the list, the firm took second place in the 2011 rankings.[23]

In 2015, Vault ranked the firm first in the nation for selectivity, and sixth in transparency.[24] 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.[25]


Munger, Tolles & Olson's headquarters in Los Angeles


There are 170 lawyers at Munger, Tolles & Olson.[3] In 2008, the Daily Journal named three attorneys to its list of the most Top 100 Lawyers in California.[26] Attorneys include:



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^,-tolles-olson-llp/company-overview
  8. ^
  9. ^ <
  10. ^ <
  11. ^ Felch, Jason; Frammolino, Ralph (2006-09-02). "Investigators Secretly Mined Munitz's Records". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ "Lawyers at Disney's Ovitz Trial Learn to Adapt to Delaware". Bloomberg. 2005-01-11. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  15. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  19. ^ Chang, Andrea (2008-07-08). "L.A. law firm judged No. 1". Los Angeles Times. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Jones, Ashby (2009-06-30). "Munger Tolles Tops AmLaw's A-List, Once Again". The Wall Street Journal. 
  22. ^ Jones, Ashby (2010-07-01). "Deja Vu All Over Again: Munger Tolles Again Tops the 'A-List'". The Wall Street Journal. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  27. ^ "Salomon Inc. names new CEO to head up securities house". Chicago Tribune. 1992-06-03. 
  28. ^ Olson, Elizabeth (2016-09-28). "Donald Verrilli, Former Solicitor General, to Join Law Firm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-11. 
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-07. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  31. ^ LA Observed
  32. ^ Fritsch, Jane (September 2, 1990). "Felicia Marcus : Fighting for the Environment From Inside the Establishment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-05-07. 

External links[edit]