September 22, 2022

Munger Tolles Firm Chair Brad Brian Discusses “Striving for Excellence” in Lawdragon’s Hall of Fame Lawyer Limelight

Munger, Tolles & Olson Firm Chair Brad D. Brian was interviewed by Lawdragon as a part of its Hall of Fame Lawyer Limelight series, a series that profiles 58 of the country’s top attorneys inducted in the Lawdragon Hall of Fame. Notably, Mr. Brian was one of only 12 corporate litigators profiled nationwide.

Mr. Brian, who was recently inducted into the Lawdragon Hall of Fame Class of 2022 alongside legal luminaries such as retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, shared how being an all-star baseball player and his father—the longest-running high school baseball coach in the history of the State of California—influenced who he is as a lawyer.

“As both a coach and a parent, [my father] instilled in me the values of working as team, striving for excellence, and respecting your opponents. The same values apply in litigation. I work hard every single day to do the very best work I can, to encourage my colleagues to do the same, and to try as hard as possible to get the best possible results for our clients. Regardless of how hard I push, I always respect my opponent and of course the court and its staff. As a mentor to junior lawyers, I do my best to pass along those values in the next generation of attorneys,” Mr. Brian said.

In the Q and A feature, Mr. Brian reflected on his career and how his start as an assistant U.S. attorney shaped him as a lawyer and taught him to exercise his judgement.

Mr. Brian highlighted his important work representing companies in their most challenging, high-stakes criminal and civil cases and leading them through difficult crises. He also recognized the attorneys, who mentored him along the way, and how he focuses on mentorship at Munger Tolles.

“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to learn from some of the best lawyers in the country, including my friend and mentor Ron Olson, former partners like Alan Bersin, Carolyn Kuhl, Jerry Roth, Allen Katz, Susan Nash, and Bart Williams, and some wonderful lawyers at other firms like Jamie Gorelick, Ted Wells, Dick Sauber, Deb Yang, Mary Jo White, Kerry Miller, and Kevin Orsini,” Mr. Brian told Lawdragon. “All of them have made me a better lawyer, and I’m truly humbled by the chance to work with them and with some of the best in-house lawyers in the country.”

Additionally, Mr. Brian discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the legal industry and how both he and the firm were able to quickly adjust to the new pandemic normal.

“Because of the non-bureaucratic way we govern ourselves, our firm has always been able to pivot quickly. We are rigorously committed to hiring and promoting only the best lawyers. From day one, lawyers here are given early responsibility and treated like owners,” Mr. Brian said. “This has imbued an ownership-focused mindset among our lawyers, which is central to our firm’s success and ability to be nimble.”

Induction into the Lawdragon Hall of Fame is one of several accolades Mr. Brian has received over the course of his legal career, which spans four decades. For more than 23 years, he has been named by the Daily Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California and in 2021, the Daily Journal named him one of the top 18 lawyers of the 2011-20 decade. Mr. Brian is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is also the co-editor of Internal Corporate Investigations (ABA 4th ed, 2017), the leading guide for practitioners in this complicated area.

Read Mr. Brian’s Lawyer Limelight.