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03 October 2016

Former solicitor general opens D.C. office for Munger Tolles & Olson

Los Angeles-based law firm Munger Tolles & Olson has hired former US Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli to open an office in Washington, D.C.

By Victoria Basham


The move will give the 200-lawyer firm, which is consistently included in The American Lawyer’s A-List,  its first base outside California and a formidable Supreme Court practice.

Landmark arguments

A former Jenner & Block partner, Mr Verrilli argued 37 cases in front of the US Supreme Court while serving as solicitor general between 2011 and 2016, including defending the Affordable Care Act and the right to same-sex marriage. Prior to that, he served as deputy White House counsel and as an associate deputy attorney general at the US Department of Justice.

Making the move with him are veteran litigator Michael DeSanctis, who will join as a partner, and Chad Golder, who will join as counsel. Mr DeSanctis specialises in election law and telecommunications and was formerly managing partner of Jenner’s Washington, D.C. office, while Mr Golder is a former deputy associate attorney general and a former clerk to current US Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland.

Not a trend

Munger’s co-managing partner Brad D. Brian emphasised that the move ‘does not signal some trend by Munger Tolles & Olson to open more offices,’ but rather that the firm ‘had the opportunity to hire a really talented lawyer who brought along two other really talented lawyers, and happened to be in Washington, D.C.’

‘Second to none’

Mr Verrilli told Big Law Business that he is ‘hoping and expecting that we’ll have a Supreme Court practice that’s second to none,’ but added he envisions ‘a broader practice than that and I want to be a full part of Munger.’ That means not only appellate work, but helping clients with multidimensional problems where litigation, regulation and public policy intersect to ‘change the rules of the game.’

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