Steven J. Olson


Thank you for your interest. Before you communicate with one of our attorneys, please note: Any comments our attorneys share with you are general information and not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship will exist between you or your business and O’Melveny or any of its attorneys unless conflicts have been cleared, our management has given its approval, and an engagement letter has been signed. Meanwhile, you agree: we have no duty to advise you or provide you with legal assistance; you will not divulge any confidences or send any confidential or sensitive information to our attorneys (we are not in a position to keep it confidential and might be required to convey it to our clients); and, you may not use this contact to attempt to disqualify O’Melveny from representing other clients adverse to you or your business. By clicking "accept" you acknowledge receipt and agree to all of the terms of this paragraph and our Disclaimer.


Steve Olson is global Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice and a member of the firm's management committee.

As a former federal fraud prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Steve represents both public and private companies, boards of directors, and executives in criminal and civil matters against government enforcement agencies, and in complex sensitive internal investigations. Steve is a trusted advisor to governing boards and independent directors, with extensive knowledge of the nuanced responsibilities and liabilities of board leadership. He has recently advised the boards of CenturyLink (Lumen Technologies), Mattel, USC, and UCLA in high-profile investigations involving allegations of financial fraud and misconduct, and recommended improvements to internal controls. Steve also has extensive trial experience both at the government and in private practice.

In 2021, Steve served as interim General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for Hyundai and Genesis Motor Americas. He is Chair of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and Chair of the World Trade Center Los Angeles. He also serves on the board of the Public Policy Institute of California.


Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White Collar (2023)
  • Named a “Top White Collar Lawyer” by the Daily Journal (2020, 2021)
  • Named to the "500 Leading Litigators in America" list for White Collar Defense & Corporate Investigations by Lawdragon (2022)
  • Named a “Local Litigation Star” for White-Collar Crime by Benchmark Litigation (2020-2023)
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2017-2021)
  • Recognized by the Legal 500 US for Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (2016-2022)
  • Named “One of the Most Influential People in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Business Journal
  • Named a “Super Lawyer” in surveys conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. and published in Los Angeles Magazine


Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US Court of Appeals, Sixth and Ninth Circuits


  • University of Michigan, J.D., 1995: Contributing Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law 
  • Stanford University, B.A., 1990: with honors 

Professional Activities


  • Honorable Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., US District Court, Central District of California 


  • Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)
  • World Trade Center Los Angeles

Board Member

  • Public Policy Institute of California
  • Rose Bowl Legacy


  • Occidental College

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “The Future of Investigations Part 2: Regulatory Oversight & Enforcement,” FTI Consulting (October 21, 2020)
  • Served as interim General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for Hyundai Motor North America and Genesis from March to October 2021
  • Represented the Audit Committee of Mattel’s Board of Directors in an internal investigation into allegations by an anonymous whistleblower of an accounting error that resulted in a misstatement of the toy maker’s income tax accounting in the last two quarters of 2017. The whistleblower also raised questions about the independence of the company's outside auditor. As part of the investigation, O’Melveny reviewed the company’s accounting and reporting procedures
  • Defending one of the largest global automakers in three-year federal criminal grand jury and NHTSA investigations
  • Defended leading Wall Street bank in multiple SEC enforcement matters
  • Conducting internal investigation about a whistleblower alleging FCPA violations by leading U.S. semiconductor company in Asia
  • Represented the Board of CenturyLink in conducting a large-scale internal investigation of consumer sales and billing practices and allegations of sales of unwanted services following whistleblower and regulatory, consumer and shareholder litigation
  • Representing the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California in multiple high profile investigations and corporate governance issues, including conducting an internal investigation into the conduct of USC gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, and concerns regarding reporting issues at the University
  • Defending ExxonMobil in federal, state and local agency investigations following an incident concerning its downstream activities in California
  • Represented the Regents of the University of California in an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct in the clinical setting at UCLA. The engagement included reviewing the university's policies and procedures for preventing, identifying, and responding to complaints of sexual harassment or misconduct in its health centers, clinics, and hospitals, which together make up one of the world's largest healthcare systems. Issued a public written report outlining our findings and providing recommendations
  • Defended JPMorgan Chase in unfair competition and Fair Housing Act cases brought by Los Angeles City Attorney
  • Defended Bumble Bee Foods in criminal antitrust investigation and prosecution
  • Defending Wall Street bank in FINRA arbitration
  • Represented independent directors of O’Reilly Autoparts (formerly CSK Auto) during a sensitive internal investigation regarding allegations of widespread accounting fraud. Represented directors in subsequent SEC and DOJ cases
  • Representing BYD Motors, global Chinese electric vehicle and battery company, on a range of regulatory, litigation and business operations matters in US before various local, state and federal government agencies
  • Defended international real estate investment firm in SEC investigation concerning investor disclosures
  • Represented the Audit Committee of a NYSE-listed pharmaceuticals company in an internal investigation regarding revenue recognition issues and the capitalization of certain payments 
  • Defended employees of Wall Street bank in SEC and NY Federal Reserve FCPA investigation of Asia hiring practices


Alerts and Publications

Press Releases

In the News