Ronald L. Olson

Ronald L. Olson

Ronald L. Olson is a name partner of Munger, Tolles & Olson whose practice involves a combination of litigation and corporate counseling.

Mr. Olson counsels individual executives and boards of directors in a wide range of matters, including transactions, corporate governance and executive compensation. He has also been the lead partner in numerous high-profile litigation matters. Mr. Olson is ranked among Chambers USA’s Senior Statesmen in California litigation.

Mr. Olson is a director of Berkshire Hathaway, Western Asset Trusts and Provivi. He was a director of Edison International (1995-2014), a director of City National Bank (2001-2014) and a director of The Washington Post Company (2003-2017). He serves as a director of several nonprofits, including the California Institute of Technology and ProPublica. He was chairman of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section (1981-1982), the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary (1991-1992), the American Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (1976-1986) and Vice President of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California (1986-1987). He was also chairman of the board of trustees of Claremont University Center and Graduate School (1984-1994), founding chairman of the board of trustees of Southern California Public Radio (1999-2004), a trustee of the Mayo Clinic (2004-2016), a trustee of the RAND Corporation (1994-2016 and formerly chair) and a director of the Council on Foreign Relations (2002-2010).


Mr. Olson has been actively involved in legal and public affairs including:

  • The Ron Olson Justice Center (headquarters of the Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation)
  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, American Law Institute
  • Fellow, The American Bar Foundation
  • Counsel for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Past General Counsel to the California Democratic Party


Key Representations:

  • Berkshire Hathaway in a wide range of matters including Board governance and advice, acquisition of BNSF and corporate litigation matters.
  • Intel Corporation in a broad range of matters including Board governance and advice, Mobileye acquisition and side-channel security litigation.
  • Mark Zuckerberg in a variety of matters, including Facebook’s capital structure.
  • The Board of Directors of PepsiCo in connection with demands from activist Nelson Peltz.
  • Founders (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) of Google in connection with Google IPO and subsequent recapitalization and related litigation and subsidiary management.
  • NFL consultancies regarding concussion and antitrust cases.
  • Los Angeles Chargers football team in connection with its move from San Diego to Los Angeles, and other matters for the Denver Broncos and the Washington Redskins.
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company regarding claims from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
  • Grupo Mexico in an appeal in connection with a $2.4 billion judgment.
  • Imperial Irrigation District regarding Colorado River water rights and restoration of the Salton Sea.
  • Steven Udvar-Házy and Air Lease Corporation in establishing a new, global airline leasing company.
  • Numerous Board investigations, including Sea World and the Getty Museum.
  • The Board of Directors of Yahoo! in connection with Microsoft’s proposed takeover, the Google outsourcing contract and the proxy contests of 2008 and 2012.
  • General Reinsurance, Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiary, in being investigated by the United States SEC, United States Department of Justice and New York Attorney General for its involvement with AIG and various finite insurance transactions.
  • The Board of Trustees of the Getty Trust in connection with corporate governance and foreign government claims to its antiquities collection.
  • Shell Oil Company in various antitrust and environmental matters including in its 2006 U.S. Supreme Court antitrust victory (Dagher v. Shell Oil Company, et al.), its pipeline explosion and in the pending series of class actions claiming oil companies’ liability for the Katrina hurricane damage and global warming.
  • The Tornante Company, the private equity firm of Michael Eisner, in its successful proxy fight for control of Topps and subsequent deals.
  • Brad Grey, Paramount’s Chairman, in a wide array of matters, including executive compensation.
  • Edison International in the California electricity crisis.
  • Merrill Lynch in the Orange County bankruptcy.
  • Shell Oil Company industry lead counsel in CARB gas antitrust cases.
  • Universal Studios, as co-lead counsel, in a trial against Viacom/Paramount for the ownership of USA Network.
  • Salomon Inc. in connection with the Nasdaq antitrust litigation (United States Department of Justice and class actions) and the 1991-1992 criminal investigation and governmental claims arising from its conduct of treasury security auctions.
  • The Republic of the Philippines against the Marcos family.
  • Alyeska and its oil company owners in the criminal investigation and civil litigation arising from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.