Steve Olson is global co-chair of O’Melveny’s White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice and a member of the firm's management committee.
Steve is a trusted advisor to clients facing sensitive regulatory oversight and enforcement actions, and to boards investigating allegations of fraud and misconduct. A former federal prosecutor, he guides clients through complex inquiries with reputational ramifications, and prepares efficient and coordinated defense strategies for parallel government investigations, criminal and regulatory proceedings, and civil litigation.
Corporate and university boards and independent directors regularly turn to Steve for counsel on strategic initiatives and crisis management, and rely on his in-depth understanding of the nuanced responsibilities and liabilities of board leadership. Steve recently advised the boards of CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies), Mattel, USC, and UCLA in high-profile investigations involving allegations of financial fraud and misconduct, and he represents UCLA, Stanford, and other universities in connection with athletic conference realignment matters that have reshaped the landscape of college sports.
As a former senior advisor to the US Commerce Secretary and executive director of SelectUSA, Steve also advises non-US headquartered companies on investing and operating in the US and navigating the regulatory and political environment.
In 2021, Steve served as interim general counsel and chief legal officer for Hyundai and Genesis Motor Americas. He is chair of the World Trade Center Los Angeles and past chair of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. He also serves on the board of the Public Policy Institute of California and is a trustee of Pomona College.
Steve has been recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US, and Benchmark Litigation as a leading lawyer in the area of White Collar Criminal Defense. In recent editions of Chambers USA, clients describe Steve as “very adept at anticipating legal issues—quickly cutting through complex facts to distill key issues” and as someone with “great integrity” who is “always working to protect his client.” Clients also note that Steve is “completely committed to his clients” and “a top-flight investigations and trial attorney.” Sources also tell Chambers that Steve “is very results-oriented, and delivers with extraordinary speed,” “has a very, very good touch in terms of negotiations,” and “can make on-the-spot calls which inevitably turn out to be right and he has a sixth sense when it comes to governmental agencies.” Steve has also repeatedly been recognized as among the “Top White Collar Lawyers” by the Daily Journal and among the “Most Influential People in Los Angeles” by The Los Angeles Business Journal.