To Our Clients and Friends:
O’Melveny proudly presents its 2018 annual report, showcasing the many successes we have helped our clients achieve and the positive impact we have had on our communities over the past year.
Whether defeating the US Department of Justice’s attempt to block AT&T and Time Warner’s landmark merger in “the antitrust trial of the century,” counseling longtime client Microsemi Corp. on its multibillion-dollar sale to Microchip Technology Inc., or providing free legal services for Dreamers seeking to renew their DACA status, our record in 2018 demonstrates our dedication to excellence, focus on client service, and deep sense of civic responsibility.
Exemplifying what Benchmark Litigation describes as O’Melveny’s “commanding presence on the world stage,” our lawyers litigated cases in all 50 states, every federal circuit, the US Supreme Court, and major venues across Asia and Europe. And we achieved strong results at every stage of litigation: positive trial verdicts, case-dispositive legal rulings, landmark appellate victories, and liability-erasing settlements.
We thwarted an onslaught of patent infringement cases filed by Tessera Advanced Technologies against client Samsung, secured dismissal for Chevron in a closely watched ERISA class action, and guided the University of Southern California’s board of trustees and Harvard through separate, high-profile investigations and lawsuits. Our antitrust trial victory for AT&T and Time Warner was one “for the history books,” as The American Lawyer put it, while our string of appellate wins in insurance coverage cases included a New York Court of Appeals ruling widely viewed as one of the decade’s most important insurance decisions. Before the Supreme Court, we argued and won a unanimous ruling for China Agritech in a securities case that gives companies significant new protections against successive class actions.
On the corporate side, we advised on groundbreaking deals that crossed borders and industries, including more than 20 transactions valued at US$1 billion or more. Among them: the US$1 billion funding of Lucid Motors, the US$3.2 billion sale of Finisar, the £2.1 billion secondary acquisition by Coller of nine Nordic Capital portfolio companies (the largest GP-led secondary to date), and Microsemi’s US$10.3 billion sale—the largest principal-side M&A representation our firm has ever closed. We also raised tens of billions of dollars in venues around the world, with a particularly strong share in the supercharged Hong Kong IPO market and in the US market for aircraft leasing and auto finance issuers. Clients showed their appreciation with repeat business: We handled at least three deals each for more than 50 clients in 2018, and advised on five or more transactions for more than a dozen clients.
Some of the most significant matters we handled in 2018 have carried over into the new year—from our leading role in massive litigation over the marketing of opioids to steering the Government of Puerto Rico through the biggest, most complex municipal bankruptcy in US history to defending a contractor in a US$10 billion dispute over construction defects in a Hong Kong rail project, currently the largest and highest-profile litigation in the jurisdiction.
Through pro bono work and community outreach, we served the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Highlights include spearheading an initiative to fill 1,000 backpacks with school supplies for children in Afghanistan and joining nonprofits across the US in a Global Day of Service, including providing Dreamers and their families free legal assistance. Last year alone, we devoted almost 67,500 hours of our lawyers’ time to pro bono matters. And we’ve contributed to our communities in many other ways, from donations to charitable organizations to scholarships for worthy young people.
We also continued our tradition of public service, with our former chair A.B. Culvahouse recently named US Ambassador to Australia. In recognition of his distinguished contributions to public life and excellence as a lawyer, A.B. was presented with AmLaw’s Lifetime Achievement award, the fourth firm partner—along with Warren Christopher, Bill Coleman, and Walter Dellinger—to receive the prestigious honor.
Never resting on our laurels, we have embraced innovation in the practice and the business of law, whether counseling companies at the leading edge of growth industries or utilizing the latest legal practice management tools to deliver even more efficient and effective service.
That innovative spirit carries into our efforts to address critical diversity and inclusion issues. We became the first US law firm to adopt an advanced analytics tool that helps design flexible work arrangements and the first to evaluate potential summer associates through neuroscience-based online games as a way to eliminate implicit bias in the recruiting process.
In these and other ways, we hope to build on the impressive gains we already have made in cultivating a vibrant, creative, and diverse workplace. For the seventh consecutive year, we earned a spot on AmLaw’s “A-List,” a designation based on the firm’s revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, associate satisfaction, and racial and gender diversity. In the annual Vault survey, O’Melveny secured top spots as the “Best Firm to Work For” with the “Best Summer Associate Program,” and won honors in several other categories that speak to our unique culture, including a number two ranking for “Overall Diversity.” And we continued to deepen the diversity among our partner ranks, with nearly 80 percent of our new partner class made up of women, people of color, or LGBTQ individuals—the fourth consecutive year that more than half of our incoming partner class is diverse. As Human Resource Executive magazine recently observed: “The legal field is notorious for challenging employee conditions, but O’Melveny & Myers defies the odds with an investment in its people.”
By almost any yardstick, 2018 has been a momentous year—for the firm, its people, and most importantly, our clients and communities. The new year is filled with exciting possibilities. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together in 2019.
Bradley J. Butwin
Chair, O'Melveny & Myers LLP