Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP is delighted to announce the return of Ambassador (Ret.) Jeffrey L. Bleich. Ambassador Bleich, who recently completed four years of service as United States Ambassador to Australia, is rejoining Munger Tolles as a partner resident in the San Francisco office effective immediately.
Ambassador Bleich will focus on international and domestic litigation and counseling, with a particular focus on privacy and data security, investigations, trade and cross-border disputes. He will lead the firm’s expanding efforts in the international arena. Munger Tolles already is counsel to a number of multi-national corporations, and Ambassador Bleich will focus on expanding the practice with particular emphasis on Asia.
Ambassador Bleich’s tenure in Australia was marked by a commitment to expanding Australia and the United States’ broad alliance by promoting security, advancing free trade, promoting human rights and expanding collaboration in education, space, energy and technology. He recently received the State Department's highest award for a non-career ambassador, the Sue Cobb Prize for Exemplary Diplomatic Service. Immediately prior to his nomination for ambassador in 2009, Ambassador Bleich served as Special Counsel to President Obama in the White House.
“Jeff is a leadership lawyer whose strategic vision will add value for our clients and whose community commitment will continue to advance our state and country. We are delighted to welcome him home and back to our firm," name partner Ronald L. Olson said.
“Our firm has a long history of attorneys leaving, and then returning, from government service and Jeff is certainly among our most distinguished of this group,” Sandra A. Seville-Jones, Munger Tolles managing partner, said. “The primary beneficiaries of Jeff’s global perspective and skills as a diplomat will be our clients.”
San Francisco litigation partner Rosemarie T. Ring said, “Jeff recruited and mentored many of our attorneys. He will have a tremendous impact mentoring future leaders of our firm and guiding our practice development efforts.”
Ambassador Bleich joined Munger Tolles in 1992 and became a partner three years later. As a litigator, he represented such clients as Hewlett Packard, Applied Materials, Cisco, Microsoft, American Standard, Time Warner and Willie Mays. Mr. Bleich was recognized as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and as California Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer. Ambassador Bleich’s record of public service during his tenure at the firm included serving as President of the California State Bar (2007-2008), President of the San Francisco Bar Association (2003), and Director of the White House Commission on Youth Violence (1999). His long-standing interest in education is also reflected by his service on the California State University Board of Governors (2004-2009), which he led as chair in 2008-2009.
Ambassador Bleich received his law degree in 1989 from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif. He graduated from Amherst College magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science and holds a masters degree from Harvard University’s School of Government. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from both U.S. and Australian universities.
Mr. Bleich served as a law clerk to Judge Abner J. Mikva of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1989-1990) and to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States (1990-1991). He was legal assistant to Judge Howard M. Holtzmann of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal at The Hague (1991 -1992), and he received a Certificate of Study in Public and Private International Law from the Hague Academy of International Law, Netherlands in 1993.