18 Apr 2023

Former Biden White House chief of staff Ron Klain rejoins O’Melveny & Myers in Washington DC

Klain joins Los Angeles firm’s litigation department as a partner to lead strategic counselling and crisis management practice

Ron Klain Image courtesy of O'Melveny & Myers

Former Biden White House chief of Staff Ron Klain has returned to private practice at US law firm O’Melveny & Myers.

Klain has rejoined the firm, where he was an attorney between 1999 and 2004, in Washington DC as a partner in its litigation department and as a member of the firm’s executive committee. He will also lead its strategic counselling and crisis management practice.

A longtime advisor to President Joe Biden, Klain served in the powerful chief of staff role for two years before stepping down in February and earlier was in senior positions in the Obama and Clinton administrations. 

As chief of staff in the Biden administration he helped oversee matters including the $1.9trn American Rescue Plan Act to speed the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the Inflation Reduction Act. 

He also oversaw the confirmation of 97 federal judges during President Biden's first two years in office, in the process setting records for the sheer numbers of jurists and their diversity. Among those confirmed was Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the high court.

O’Melveny chair, Bradley Butwin, commented: “We have witnessed Ron’s remarkable achievements on the global stage, and we know that our clients will be well served by his strategic counsel and singular insights on issues relating to national and international policy, legal disputes, crisis management, and the global regulatory environment. His brilliance, dedication and leadership will be immediate assets to the firm.”

Klain served as assistant to President Bill Clinton and chief of staff and counselor to Vice President Al Gore before joining O’Melveny as a partner in 1999. In 2009 he began working as a senior aide to President Obama and chief of staff to then-Vice President Joe Biden, later rejoining Biden for the 2020 Presidential campaign. 

His private sector experience includes serving for more than a decade as executive vice president and general counsel for Revolution, a Washington-based investment firm he helped to launch with AOL co-founder Steve Case. 

“Serving as White House Chief of Staff was the greatest honour of my professional life,” Klain said. “Now I am excited to start this next chapter and return ‘home’ to O’Melveny. Throughout my years in public service, I have felt the support of the O’Melveny community, including mentors Warren Christopher, Bill Coleman, Walter Dellinger and A.B. Culvahouse. I am delighted to rejoin many friends and former colleagues at the firm and I look forward to collaborating with them on complex legal disputes.”

O’Melveny said that as head of its strategic counselling practice, Klain will advise C-suite executives and boards of directors across industries on their ‘most pressing legal and business concerns at a time of ever-increasing geopolitical and reputational risk.’ He is also expected to handle important pro bono matters and help recruit lawyers to the firm.

O’Melveny has a reputation as a litigation powerhouse and works with a number of big name clients including Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America and the Walt Disney Company. Last year the firm grew revenue 12.1% to $1.02bn, the highest in its 137-year history, against a 2.1% rise in profit per equity partner to $2.76m.

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