O'Melveny & Myers

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O’Melveny & Myers LLP
O'Melveny & Myers
Headquarters 400 South Hope Street Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA
No. of offices 15 Internationally
No. of attorneys approx. 740
Major practice areas Litigation and transactions
Key people Bradley J. Butwin, Firm Chairman
Revenue $689.5 million (2015)
Date founded 1885
Founder Henry O’Melveny and Jackson Graves

O’Melveny & Myers LLP (OMM) is a prominent international law firm founded in Los Angeles, California. The firm employs around 700 lawyers in 15[1] offices worldwide. O'Melveny is one of the most prestigious and selective firms in the world.[2]

Reputation and Compensation[edit]

O'Melveny ranked in the Top 10 for the fourth consecutive year on the 2015 “A-List,” a prestigious measure of the nation’s most “well-rounded” firms. The firm has been a winner, finalist, or honorable mention recipient in every year of the biennial Litigation Department of the Year contest since its 2002 inception, one of only two firms to achieve that distinction.[3]

The firm ranked #1 on Vault's list of "Best Firms to Work For," #1 in "Job Satisfaction," #1 in "Best Hours Requirements," #2 in "Best Firm Culture," and #2 in "Substantive Work Experience."[4] With regards to compensation, O'Melveny is within the top 5 highest paying law firms in the United States.[5] Profits per partner are US$ 2.1 Million. First year associates are paid a salary of US$180,000 with merit based bonuses available. Summer associates are paid the same salary as first years, although it is prorated over ten weeks (amounting to US$3,500 per week).[6]


The firm was founded in 1885 as "Graves & O'Melveny" by Henry O'Melveny and Jackson Graves.[7] The firm became "O'Melveny & Myers" when Chief Justice of California Louis Wescott Myers joined the firm after retiring from the Supreme Court.

The former Chair of the firm, Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., who serves at the firm's Washington, D.C. office, is the former White House Counsel during the Reagan Administration. Former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher (1925-2011), who served as the firm's Chairman from 1981-1991, was a Senior Partner at the firm's Century City, CA office. Litigation partner Bradley J. Butwin is the current Chair of the firm.

Notable partners and alumni[edit]

Notable cases[edit]

In January 2008, the Interim Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Peter Nickles, selected O’Melveny & Myers partner Walter E. Dellinger III to defend the constitutionality of the District's handgun ban before the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller.[9] In March 2008, Dellinger argued that the city's ban on the possession of handguns and its trigger lock requirement is not implicated by the Second Amendment.[10] However, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's "right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."[11]

In February 2008, Dellinger argued before the Supreme Court in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, on behalf of Exxon regarding the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision (Justice Alito had recused himself), reduced the $2.5 billion punitive damages award against Exxon to $507.5 million, holding that in maritime cases there should be a 1:1 ratio between punitive and compensatory (actual) damages.[12]

O'Melveny represented former Enron Corporation chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling during his four-month fraud and conspiracy trial.

In September 1991 the firm represented, pro bono, community gang abatement specialist Ronald Lazar, StreetPeace, and nine other plaintiffs in a precedent-setting consolidated small claims action on appeal, Rawlings, et al. v. Crumpton, establishing an important, powerful tool in crime prevention.[citation needed]


External links[edit]