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Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Los Angeles

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP - Los Angeles
  • 355 South Grand Avenue
  • 35th Floor
  • Los Angeles
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90071-1560
  • Managing Partners: Sandra Seville-Jones
  • Number of partners: 89
  • Number of lawyers: 184
  • Website: www.mto.com 

Firm Overview:
For more than 50 years, Munger, Tolles & Olson has represented major clients in their most important cases and transactions.The firm is considered among the elite, full-service law firms in the country and has been at or near the top of The American Lawyer’s A-List for six straight years. Munger Tolles is known for its selectivity in choosing its lawyers and for its 1:1 partner-to-associate ratio. These qualities mean that all matters receive careful thought and the attention of the partners. Munger Tolles maintains a national and international practice.The majority of the firm’s lawyers clerked for federal judges, and 18 were clerks to US Supreme Court Justices. The firm has built its reputation by offering clients exceptional judgment, creative thinking and a commitment to solving problems. For these reasons, clients have said they call on Munger Tolles in “precedent-setting cases that require a creative mind” and in cases that require “trial lawyers capable of waging war.” The firm’s clients include such major corporations as Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Edison International, KB Home, LG Display, Oaktree Capital Management, Rambus, Transocean, Verizon and Yucaipa Cos. The firm’s lawyers are committed to serving the community. Munger Tolles consistently devotes more than three percent of collective attorney time to delivering pro bono legal assistance. In particular, the firm has acted as lead counsel in pro bono matters involving gay rights and the right of women to serve in combat. Commitment to diversity is an integral part of the culture at Munger Tolles. The firm is ranked fourth on The American Lawyer’s Diversity Scorecard, and this year, Chambers Associate noted that the firm “has one of the highest proportions of ethnic minority partners and associates of any firm we cover in this guide.”

Main Areas of Practice:
Munger Tolles is a full-service law firm. The firm’s recent major matters include representing:
• Transocean and certain of its subsidiaries, which owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, in litigation arising from the April 20, 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Munger Tolles represents Transocean in multi-district litigation and other civil proceedings and ongoing criminal investigations
• Universal Music Group in the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust review of UMG’s acquisition of EMI
• Bank of America, as lead counsel, in multibilliondollar litigation filed by AIG and many other institutional investors alleging fraud in connection with investments in residential mortgage-backed securities originated or underwritten by BofA and its subsidiaries
• Berkshire Hathaway in its proposed $28 billion acquisition of H.J.Heinz Company
• The Boeing Co. in obtaining a reversal of a $603 million jury verdict from the California Court of Appeal in a fraud and breach of contract case against ICO Global Communications Limited
• LG Display in the defense of a multistate class action brought on behalf of indirect purchasers stemming from allegations of price-fixing among manufacturers of liquid crystal display panels. The class action was settled in 2012, and Munger Tolles continues to defend LG Display in related suits brought by the direct action plaintiffs, including Best Buy, Target, Radio Shack, Sears and others
• HealthCare Partners in its acquisition by DaVita in a cash and stock transaction valued at $4.42 billion
• Guardian Industries in connection with a significant minority investment by Koch Industries 
• HTC in nationwide class action lawsuits seeking hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of all US residents who had mobile phones containing tracking software in violation of a federal wiretapping statute
• Solvay Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories, in a major antitrust case, where the 11th Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that so-called “reverse payment” settlements to generic drug manufacturers are anti-competitive
• Bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach and his company DoubleLine Capital LP against TCW. A Los Angeles jury found no damages against Gundlach and awarded him $66.7 million in unpaid wages
• Fox Entertainment Group in dismissing a class action that challenged the “tiering”or bundling of channels in purported violation of the Sherman Act. The 9th Circuit affirmed in a published opinion
• Official Committee of Syms Corp. Equity Securities Holders in the Chapter 11 reorganization of Syms, a discount retailer in the Northeast, and its subsidiaries, including Filene’s Basement

Areas of Practice

  • Antitrust
  • Bankruptcy
  • Corporate
  • Entertainment
  • Environmental
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor and Employment
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Tax
  • Technology
  • White Collar

Branches

  • 355 South Grand Avenue,
  • 35th Floor,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90071-1560
  • Tel +1 213 683 9100
  • Fax +1 213 687 3702
  • Website : www.mto.com
  • 560 Mission Street,
  •  27th Floor,
  • San Francisco,
  • California
  • USA
  • 94105
  • Tel +1 415 512 4000

Antitrust - California

THE FIRM This strong antitrust group has two offices in California, where its entire operation is based. It excels across a variety of areas including pharmaceuticals, technology and entertainment. Although traditionally recognized for the litigation aspects of its practice, the firm has expertise in transaction-related work, as exemplified by its representation of Universal Music in the FTC review of its widely publicized $1.9 billion merger with EMI. On the litigation side, clients have included LG Display in the LCD antitrust litigation and Fox Entertainment in a lawsuit alleging a conspiracy in the cable and satellite TV market.

Sources say: "They are very responsive, very commercially savvy and have a wealth of practical experience."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Glenn Pomerantz is back in the firm's employ having briefly transferred to the DOJ to be co-counsel on the high-profile investigation into the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. This stint, as one source put it, "shows you how well respected he is." Commentators are full of praise, describing him as "very analytical and aware of commercial realities." He has a wealth of experience representing clients in the entertainment industry.

Bradley Phillips is an "extraordinarily talented lawyer," according to one source, while another called him "outstanding." His complex civil litigation practice takes in a great deal more than just antitrust work, including having argued a constitutional case in the US Supreme Court. In the antitrust arena he was recently part of the team involved in the AT&T/T-Mobile proposed merger.

Jeffrey Weinberger is described as a "top litigator" who is "very strong in antitrust and IP." Noted particularly for his pharmaceuticals expertise, he acted for Abbott Laboratories in a complaint brought by the FTC concerning a so-called 'pay for delay' agreement.  

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - California

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Corporate/M&A - California

THE FIRM Munger, Tolles & Olson continues to impress sources with its high-quality transactions team in Los Angeles. Its star clients include Berkshire Hathaway, Yucaipa and Universal Music Group, and as a department it excels across the gaming, media and entertainment industries. One feature of the team is its experience in going-private transactions, which of late has included deals for Wesco and Playboy Enterprises. Notably, the firm also represented the Yahoo! board of directors in connection with the company's sale of its stake in Alibaba.

Sources say: "They have an extraordinary quality of lawyers from top to bottom." "The lawyers at MTO have an incredible work ethic, always going the extra mile to get things done and done well."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Denham "brings a unique perspective to any corporate problem, that of an insider - his kind of advice and counsel cannot be found anywhere else," said one source. Clients say that his experience as both CEO and general counsel of a major corporation affords him great creativity and inventiveness when faced with difficult transactions.

The "excellent, knowledgeable" Mark Kim wins high praise from clients, who say "he understands the corporate world really well." His recent highlights include working on the team that represented Berkshire Hathaway in its $5 billion investment in Bank of America.

Mary Ann Todd continues to attract notice from peers in this market, and clients say she is "terrific." She worked alongside Denham and Kim on Berkshire Hathaway's Bank of America investment, and also represented the company in a $2.5 billion deal to acquire the remaining 19.9% of Wesco's common stock.

Energy & Natural Resources - California

THE FIRM This firm's broad energy practice incorporates the full range of regulatory issues as well as remaining a prominent player for energy-related litigation. It regularly acts for major industry organizations including Shell Oil and Transocean, which it has represented in a series of disputes arising from the 2012 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The group's regulatory element has represented clients in various proceedings before the CPUC.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Market sources think very highly of Henry Weissmann. He is a leading expert in regulatory proceedings and major energy class actions. He has played a key part in the group's representation of Transocean.

Labor & Employment - California

THE FIRM This group truly has expertise in the complete spectrum of labor and employment issues. On the traditional labor side, the team deftly represents media and entertainment entities in collective bargaining negotiations and arbitrations. The group also acts on a range of substantial employment matters, including gender discrimination and overtime pay issues. The team recently represented Warner Bros. in its dispute with Charlie Sheen.

Sources say: "They know how to get things done and have an excellent knowledge of the law." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers state that Terry Sanchez "has a very good reputation and is very high-profile." He represented Warner Bros. during the Charlie Sheen matter.

Alan Friedman is a seasoned attorney who handles both labor and employment disputes and negotiations.

San Francisco-based Malcolm Heinicke handles both employment and commercial matters. A client notes that "his oral arguments are outstanding." 

Katherine Forster is known as an "impressive lady." She recently acted for 99 Cent Only Stores in a gender discrimination class action concerning female store managers.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM This firm enters the rankings for appellate law in California for the first time having received warm praise from the market. The firm's appellate practitioners represent clients in matters involving virtually every major area of law, while its formidable reputation at trial level ensures that clients are able to receive a seamless, high-quality service.  

KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel Collins is a key contact.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM This venerable California heavyweight continues to demonstrate impressive abilities in the litigation sphere. The team recently assisted Boeing and Boeing Satellite Systems with a reversal of a $604 million verdict, successfully dismissing class actions against Philip Morris, and handling mortgage-backed securities litigation on behalf of major financial institutions.

Sources say: "What I liked about them was their eagerness to take on tough cases from the beginning. They are hard workers and very trial savvy."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients are thoroughly impressed with Brad Brian, with one commenting: "He lives up to his fame and is one of the best trial attorneys." He enjoys a strong following among large multinational corporations and is considered to be one of the state's top trial lawyers. He was the lead in representing Transocean in various proceedings and investigations stemming from the BP oil spill.

Ronald Olson is well thought of as a skilled litigator with a peer stating that they "have only good things to say about him." His impeccable business knowledge is a vital asset when handling corporate investigations and complex litigation for financial institutions and a range of private and public companies.

A client enthuses that John Spiegel is "very strategic and a great all-around litigator." His distinguished practice covers the spectrum of business litigation. He was the lead partner representing Warner Bros. in Charlie Sheen's termination action, and defending Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a stockholder class action.

Marc Dworsky enters the rankings this year and is highly regarded by clients, with one commenting: "His quality of work is beyond anyone else." He was the lead counsel handling $10 billion mortgage-backed securities litigation on behalf of Bank of America, and representing Citigroup Global Markets against Impac Funding in a dispute related to securities law violations.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM This established firm has a well-deserved reputation for its superb white-collar criminal defense practice. The group regularly handles criminal antitrust violations, high-profile corporate investigations and tax fraud issues. The firm has a strong record representing clients against various federal and state agencies that include the IRS, Federal Trade Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Sources say: "The lawyers are preeminent and the firm stands out in many respects."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brad Brian is renowned for his remarkable capacity in effortlessly representing Fortune 500 corporations involved in high-value litigation. His dedicated work ethic is highlighted by a client who praises him as "very thoughtful, easy to work with and responsive." He is also well regarded for his great depth of expertise handling claims made under the False Claims Act's qui tam provisions.

Former US Supreme Court clerk, John Spiegel concentrates his practice on complex investigations and white-collar criminal defense. He regularly appears in state and federal courts and is recognized for being "top of the practice."

A market source praises Bart Williams as "a trial lawyer at heart who is always great on his feet" and for his advocacy skills. He has a very strong and varied practice that covers conducting internal corporate investigations for international companies and defending high-profile public figures and politicians in complex public corruption matters.

Media & Entertainment - California

THE FIRM The media and entertainment team at Munger Tolles continues to provide clients with an incredibly diverse legal service in a range of contentious matters. It counsels the biggest names from the motion picture, television and music industries in numerous matters, but can boast a particular wealth of experience battling the ever-increasing threat of internet piracy. The group successfully concluded a case representing six major film studios in a copyright infringement claim against internet service provider Zediva.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Glenn Pomerantz is a highly esteemed litigator in his field. He continues to represent media heavyweights such as ABC, Disney, Universal and FOX. He recently acted for Universal Music Group in the FTC's antitrust review of its EMI acquisition. Sources say: “He is very smart, very strategic, and also very personable.” 

Ronald Olson is a respected litigator with years of experience to draw upon. He is a noted trial lawyer among his peers. Recently he has been working on the successful representation of Dick Clark Productions in a production and distribution lawsuit.

Real Estate - California

THE FIRM The Munger, Tolles & Olson's real estate offering is known for its prowess in litigation, although the team's expertise covers areas ranging from acquisitions, leasing and development projects to workouts and restructurings. Recently, it represented Downtown Properties in the $344 million acquisition of the office building Three First National Plaza in Chicago. The firm has also acted for key names in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the County of Los Angeles.

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "phenomenal" O'Malley Miller wins applause from peers for being "exceptionally talented" and "very intellectual." He acted on the acquisition of Three First National Plaza, one of the largest buildings in Chicago.

Tax - California

THE FIRM This compact tax team has a solid reputation, particularly in the taxation aspects of complex transactions, including M&A, joint ventures, real estate transactions, venture capital and private equity, restructurings and issues of financial instruments. Highlights include the representation of HealthCare Partners in its acquisition by DaVita for $4.42 billion.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Stephen Rose is commended for his in-depth finance and tax structuring knowledge.  

Securities - Nationwide

THE FIRM Elite West Coast firm Munger Tolles & Olson has a talented group of litigators who appear in some of the nation's most significant securities litigation cases. On the public company side, the team has advised Facebook's board of directors on multiple IPO-related class actions, and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin on a shareholder action linked to a proposed offering by the search engine. The team also advises financial institutions Bank of America, Citigroup Global Markets and Wells Fargo, particularly on ongoing litigation relating to the RMBS crisis.

Sources say: "They are very specialized, smart counselors on the litigation side and are our go-to firm."

KEY INDIVIDUALS John Spiegel has a well-rounded litigation practice incorporating both civil and criminal defense representation. Sources point to his "good judgment and high energy." He leads the Facebook and Google representations.