February 25, 2021

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP Places Cash Reserves in Black-Owned Bank

Firm Deposits Funds at OneUnited, Calls on Legal Industry to Follow Suit

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP announced today the establishment of a new banking relationship with a Black-owned financial institution as part of its ongoing pledge to help combat racial inequities. The firm has deposited an initial amount of cash capital with OneUnited – the largest Black-owned bank in the United States and the first Black-owned internet bank, with offices in Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami.

“Black-owned, community-focused banks offer much-needed capital and access to financial services for countless people who have been overlooked by major national banks,” said Brad Brian, chair of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. “Unfortunately, historically Black-owned financial institutions themselves have been excluded from servicing corporate clients, and without this business, have suffered undercapitalization and limited growth. Our investment marks the beginning of a relationship that seeks to address Black-owned financial institutions’ undercapitalization.”

A long-time advocate for racial equality, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP redoubled its efforts toward advancing access to justice after the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020, and assembled its Combatting Systemic Racism (CSR) Task Force to address issues of systematic racism. The CSR Task Force found that supporting Black-owned financial institutions is important – especially important at a time when Black business owners have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, 41% of Black businesses closed their doors between February and April of 2020 as the pandemic unfolded in the United States.

“We appreciate Munger, Tolles & Olson taking a leadership role in the legal community by recognizing the importance of depositing a portion of the firm’s financial reserves into a Black-owned financial institution that serves low to moderate income communities,” said Robert Patrick Cooper, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for OneUnited Bank. “We look forward to deepening our relationship with the firm as we combine our efforts to close the racial wealth gap and hope others in the legal profession will follow suit in this critical fight for social justice.”

“Establishing banking relationships with institutions that are positioned to support Black communities can help narrow the socioeconomic impacts created by systemic racism,” said Hailyn Chen, co-managing partner of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.

“We are proud of the full support we received from our firm to begin working with OneUnited and hope others in the legal industry will make similar moves,” adds Malcolm Heinicke, co-managing partner of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Today’s action is part of the firm’s pledge to support local communities. This follows the firm’s founding role in the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, as well as the MTO Foundation’s donation of more than $300,000 to organizations addressing systemic racism, seeking change through impact litigation and policy work, organizing community members and providing direct services.

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP decided to partner with OneUnited following a thorough analysis in which the firm determined that – in addition to sharing a geographic footprint in Los Angeles – the bank shared its commitment to the community, such as by providing financial literacy programs.

About Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

For nearly 60 years, we have partnered with clients on their most complex matters. With a deep bench that includes former governmental luminaries and over 158 former federal judicial clerks, our attorneys have extensive experience handling precedent-shaping cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, and federal and state courts across the country. We have earned our reputation by providing exceptional judgment, creative thinking, and a deep commitment to understanding the complexities of our clients’ businesses and industries.

Press Contact: 
Jesse Dungan
[email protected]