O’Melveny Worldwide

The American Lawyer: ‘Top Dollar for Top Judgment’: In Public and Behind Closed Doors, Big Law Investigations Practices Are Booming

November 10, 2021

Law firms have seen a rise in the volume of investigative work demanding their expertise. Just recently, two NBA-related internal investigations have been launched, one of them looking into workplace misconduct at the Portland Trail Blazers’ team practice facility conducted by O’Melveny. The #MeToo movement has empowered whistleblowers to bring light to corruption across industries, launching probes investigating institutional wrongdoing. “What it really wound up doing was empowering whistleblowers and inspiring individuals, and companies took it more serious than in the past and the regulators were paying more attention,” said Steve Olson, Co-Chair of O’Melveny’s White Collar Defense & Corporate Investigations practice. While many of the practitioners spearheading such investigations have experience as federal prosecutors, they have also realized that success in such matters requires an extra set of skills. “In order to ensure that your witnesses are going to be willing to speak about issues that are incredibly difficult and sensitive, you’ve got to have the right people in the room,” Co-Chair of O’Melveny’s Litigation Department Apalla Chopra said. “It is always fun to practice across groups, learn from people who have a different skill set and expand your own. It’s collaborative, interesting, strategic and complex—all of the stuff that lawyers are excited to do.”

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