2019 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#4
- New York#33
“Super interesting work”
“The flexibility of working remotely as necessary”
“Unpredictability of hours”
“Bonus is paid out late in the year”
With an extensive history of working big-time cases spread across a diverse array of fields, O’Melveny & Myers LLP boasts expertise in a little bit of everything, with the firm’s litigation and corporate teams leading the way. Long rooted in California—where it maintains a quintet of offices—O’Melveny has branched out in all directions and now handles everything from entertainment law to M&A from its offices in seven countries on three continents.
Growing with L.A.
The O’Melveny story starts way back in 1885 when Henry W. O’Melveny and Jackson Graves founded a partnership in Los Angeles. The fledgling firm gained traction through its work on land litigation surrounding the ownership of California’s Spanish haciendas and its handling of the legalities of hydroelectric power, which helped to transform the arid basin of Los Angeles into a sprawling, car-centric metropolis. The firm underwent a total of nine name changes, and after Judge Louis J. Myers was hired as a lateral partner, became O’Melveny & Myers in 1939. During World War II, the firm reeled in several major military contractors—some of whom remain on the client list. Postwar investment drove the growth of O’Melveny’s corporate practice, as Henry’s son John kept the family business thriving.
The following half-century brought exponential growth as the firm added offices in new cities foreign and domestic. Much of this expansion can be credited to the late Warren Christopher—who served as firm chairman in the 80s between stints in the Johnson and Carter administrations and before his turn as Secretary of State under President Clinton.
Prominent Inside the Beltway
O’Melveny boasts impressive political connections. In 1977, O’Melveny hired William T. Coleman, Jr.—who earlier helped the country move toward desegregation as a lead strategist for the plaintiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education—who became the firm’s first African-American partner, as well as its first laterally hired partner in a half-century. A former secretary of transportation under President Ford, Coleman worked out of O’Melveny’s DC office for more than 38 years. The firm created the William T. Coleman Legal Diversity Fellowship to honor the late Coleman.
The firm’s former Chair Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., who served as White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan, is often called to assist with the vetting and confirmation processes of DC hopefuls. Walter Dellinger—Clinton administration acting Solicitor General is also on the firm’s roster. Many of the firm’s alums have gone on to serve in illustrious government positions, including former Appellate practice chair Sri Srinivasan, who is currently a Judge on the DC Circuit Court and was considered by President Obama as a potential nominee to the Supreme Court. Alums who have returned to the firm following notable government service include White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations partners Jeremy Maltby, who served in the Office of the White House Counsel, and Steve Bunnell, former General Counsel of the US Department of Homeland Security. Recent arrivals have included Ben Singer, former head of the Justice Department’s Securities & Financial Fraud and Health Care Fraud Units.
O’Melveny is known as a go-to for the toughest cases, often brought in when clients need a change in legal strategy. The firm’s litigators work on disputes that seek damages in the billions, challenge the business practices of entire industries, and stand to set new legal precedent. O’Melveny’s litigation roster runs the gamut—from multibillion-dollar, multidistrict antitrust litigation alleging price-fixing by optical disk drive manufacturers to a bellwether product liability trial involving an antipsychotic medication to a series of precedent-setting disputes over music broadcast rights.
Across the deal landscape, O’Melveny’s corporate groups are routinely tapped for headline-making transactions, serving as sounding boards, creative problem solvers, and thought partners for industry leaders. Last year the firm advised on nearly 20 separate billion-dollar M&A transactions worldwide, helped issuers and underwriters raise more than $53 billion in capital; transacted more than $4 billion in private equity secondary deals; and extended its 10-year streak of handling VC/PE deals at a one-per-day pace.
IN THE NEWS
O’Melveny serves as lead counsel in Puerto Rico’s overall restructuring, as well as more than a dozen lawsuits involving complex constitutional, territorial, municipal finance, and bankruptcy law issues. The outcomes will influence Puerto Rico’s financial future against the backdrop of a newly enacted federal statute, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, which has yet to be tested in court.
A leader in the emerging Fintech space, O’Melveny is advising some of the biggest cryptocurrency and blockchain players, including Bittrex and Ripple, as well as dozens of emerging companies on potential initial coin offerings.
In June 2018, a federal judge in Washington, DC ruled that the $85.4 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner may proceed with no conditions. O’Melveny served as lead trial counsel to both AT&T and Time Warner in the trial.
In what is the largest team purchase in NFL history, O’Melveny represented prominent hedge fund manager and private investor David A. Tepper in his winning bid to purchase the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Tepper and original Panthers owner Jerry Richardson signed the agreement in May 2018. Tepper, the co-founder of Appaloosa Management, acquired the team as sole owner, without investment partners.
O’Melveny represented Microsemi Corporation, a leading provider of semiconductor solutions, in its definitive agreement to be acquired by Microchip Technology Incorporated in a deal valued at approximately US$10.15 billion. As The Deal reported in an exclusive March 2018 feature, the transaction marked the culmination of a 10-year relationship spanning more than 30 deals.
O’Melveny defeated antitrust claims seeking more than $1 billion in actual damages—$3 billion in treble damages—for Samsung in multidistrict litigation alleging the company was part of a conspiracy to fix prices of optical disk drives, a key component for reading and writing data on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray Discs that’s found in computers, video game consoles, and other devices. Achieving dismissal was particularly noteworthy given that other disk makers had previously settled for tens of millions of dollars and agreed to guilty pleas following a Justice Department investigation.
At O’Melveny we strive to create an environment that makes us not only better lawyers but also better people. We do that by attracting individuals of diverse backgrounds and experience whose voices push us to grow and innovate. And we offer dynamic, creative attorneys the opportunity to perform cutting-edge legal work that serves both industry-leading companies and the communities we call home.
Our culture sets us apart. When clients look for a law firm that genuinely cares about their businesses, and when lawyers look for a law firm that genuinely cares about its people, they turn to O’Melveny. Those relationships help keep us near the top of The American Lawyer’s various contests and surveys year after year.
Phone: (213) 430-6000
Employer Type: Private
Chairman: Bradley J. Butwin
Hiring Partner: Allen Burton
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 750
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
Summer associate: $3,700/week
70 out of 70 (2018)
Los Angeles, CA (Century City)
Los Angeles, CA (Downtown)
New York, NY
Newport Beach, CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Antitrust and Competition
Consumer Class Actions
Distressed Company and Bankruptcy Litigation
Distressed Mergers and Acquisitions
Electronic Discovery and Document Retention
Environment and Natural Resources
Entertainment, Sports and Media
Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Insurance and Reinsurance
Intellectual Property and Technology
Investment Adviser Regulation and Compliance
Labor and Employment
Mergers and Acquisitions
Public Policy and Political Strategy
Product Liability and Mass Torts
Project and Infrastructure Finance and Development
White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations