Steven J. Olson serves as the firmwide Chair of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice. As a former federal fraud prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Steve regularly represents companies, boards of directors and executives in criminal and civil matters against government enforcement agencies.
He also advises companies and independent directors in connection with complex and sensitive internal investigations. Steve has extensive jury trial experience both at the government and in private practice.
Steve rejoined O’Melveny in 2013 after serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the US Commerce Secretary. Steve also served as Executive Director of SelectUSA, the federal initiative to create jobs by attracting increased investment in the United States from international businesses.
Steve built the SelectUSA program and under his leadership, it helped channel more than US$25 billion in new foreign direct investment and handled a pipeline of over 800 in-bound investment matters from businesses all over the world, helping to navigate the US regulatory environment.
Steve has been recognized by Chambers and Legal 500 as a leading lawyer in the area of White-Collar Criminal Defense. The 2018 edition of Chambers USA quotes a client who describes Steve as “smart” and “talented” and notes that “he really has a very, very good touch in terms of negotiations” and “can make on-the-spot calls which inevitably turn out to be right and he has a sixth sense when it comes to governmental agencies.” Steve has also repeatedly been recognized as among the “Most Influential People in Los Angeles” by The Los Angeles Business Journal.
Steve has served as O’Melveny’s firmwide Talent Development Partner, firmwide Hiring Partner, and a member of the Partner Admissions Committee.
- Representing the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California in multiple high profile investigations and corporate governance issues
- Defending Fortune 50 global energy company in environmental matters before various federal and state agencies following an incident concerning its downstream activities in California
- Led large-scale internal investigation on behalf of independent directors of NYSE-listed auto parts retail company regarding allegations of accounting fraud. Represented directors in subsequent SEC and DOJ prosecutions
- Represented major Brazilian energy company and CEO regarding US corporate governance and compliance issues
- Defending JPMorgan Chase in unfair competition and Fair Housing Act cases brought by Los Angeles City Attorney
- Advised China Mobile International, the US subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned telecommunications company, with regulatory, licensing and related national security issues
- Represented leading California semi-conductor company in multiple civil misappropriation of trade secret cases against competitors and former employees, and in defending against a federal criminal grand jury investigation
- Represented California public technology company in corruption allegations stemming from sales operations in China
- Defended aircraft services company in federal criminal and state civil environmental prosecutions
- University of Michigan, J.D., 1995: Contributing Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law
- Stanford University, B.A., 1990: with honors
- Honorable Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., US District Court, Central District of California
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