• Home »
  • Big stories »
  • O'Melveny & Myers elects Bradley Butwin as chair for third term

18 May 2020

O'Melveny & Myers elects Bradley Butwin as chair for third term

Partners give Butwin stamp of approval after failure of last year's talks with Allen & Overy

Portrait of Bradley Butwin

Bradley Butwin: 'While the global economy remains challenged, we look forward to helping our clients forge ahead toward a promising future'

O’Melveny & Myers has re-elected Bradley Butwin as chair of the firm for a third term, keeping him in the top seat until 2025.

His reappointment comes well ahead of the scheduled date for his third term to begin in February 2021 and signals an endorsement of his leadership after long-running merger talks with UK magic circle firm Allen & Overy (A&O) broke down last September.

In a statement, the firm said Butwin had led O’Melveny to five consecutive years of record growth in revenue, share value and profits-per-equity-partner.

Revenue at the top 52 US firm grew by 4.3% in 2019 to $835.3m with profits per equity partner up by 2.4% to $2.3m, according to Law.com.

Pamela Miller, lead director of O’Melveny’s policy committee and member of the firm’s management team, said: “Our partners have expressed their utmost confidence in Brad’s leadership. Under his steady leadership, O’Melveny has expanded our range of client services and enhanced our reputation in the marketplace.”

Butwin added: “While the global economy remains challenged, we look forward to helping our clients forge ahead toward a promising future. The cornerstone of our success has been our focus on building and growing enduring, meaningful relationships with our clients through both prosperous and difficult times.”

His reappointment follows a major refresh of the firm’s leadership in March when it appointed new managing partners for its offices in New York, Los Angeles, Newport Beach and San Francisco, as well as chairs and co-chairs of its M&A, Securities Litigation and White Collar practices. 

Butwin  — who has been at O’Melveny since 2002 when it acquired his previous firm O’Sullivan Graev & Karabell — is rated as one of the top securities litigators in the US.

His endorsement follows that of his counterpart at A&O, senior partner Wim Dejonghe, who was elected to serve a second term in February after beating off a challenge by banking co-head Philip Bowden.

A successful merger with A&O would have been transformative for O’Melveny, which is committed to international legal work with eight international offices in London, Brussels, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo; and there was reported to be significant support for a deal within both firms.

But the talks ultimately broke down despite what A&O described in a statement as ‘compelling synergies’.

Last month, Suzzanne Uhland, the co-chair of O’Melveny’s US restructuring practice, quit the firm for Latham & Watkins, citing the Latham’s “unrivalled global platform”.

However, O’Melveny has secured several notable lateral hires in recent months.

In March, it hired San Francisco private equity partner C. Todd Boes from Ropes & Gray — the fifth lateral hire to its corporate department in six months.

And in December, it hired former Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben as a partner in New York.

Email your news and story ideas to: news@globallegalpost.com