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Munger, Tolles & Olson Gets New Set of Co-Managing Partners (1)

March 6, 2019, 8:16 PMUpdated: March 6, 2019, 9:17 PM

Munger, Tolles & Olson has tapped two firm veterans to be co-managing partners, labor and employment litigator Malcolm A. Heinicke and complex litigation lawyer Hailyn J. Chen.

They were elected to replace co-managing partners Brad D. Brian, who steps into the newly created position of firm chair, and Sandra A. Seville-Jones.

Both Heinicke, 47, and Chen, 43, began their legal careers as summer associates at the firm, which handles corporate, litigation, real estate and financial restructuring matters.

Heinicke, who joined the firm in 1998, is its first San-Francisco-based co-managing partner. Chen joined the firm’s Los Angeles office in 2005. Both indicated they would continue their law practices along with leading Munger Tolles.

Heinicke’s clients have included Wells Fargo, 99¢ Only Stores, Square and Plains All American. His recent legal wins included helping Garda, the armored car services company, fend off class action lawsuits involving meal period and overtime claims. In 2016, he represented Wells Fargo as the bank defeated a charge that its financial advisors were misclassified under labor laws.

He also served as president of the Bar Association of San Francisco last year and is a former chair of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. He chairs the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

“Hailyn and I will be working together to grow in a manner that will train and assimilate our lawyers. Our priority would be the development of our junior lawyers, primarily associates,” Heinicke said.

Munger Tolles, whose founders include Warren Buffett partner Charlie Munger, employs some 200 attorneys.

Notable hires over the last few years include Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., a former U.S. solicitor general under the Obama administration, who is a partner in the firm’s Washington office.

Chen has represented clients including Airbnb, Tokyo Electric Power Company, LG Display, and the University of California. Representing Airbnb, she won dismissal of a challenge in Los Angeles that short-term rental service had interfered with renters’ contractual relationships with owners. She has also represented various universities in their handling of sexual misconduct matters.

Chen said the recruitment, training and retention of talented lawyers has long been at the core of the firm.

“Both Malcolm and I have been here our entire legal careers, and so have most of our colleagues,” she said.

In 2017, Chen was appointed by the California Supreme Court to the State Bar of California’s governing body, the Board of Trustees. She also co-chairs the ABA Section of Litigation’s Woman Advocate Committee.

She begins her new role on May 1, when Seville-Jones winds up her term. Heinicke and Brian began their roles on March 1.

(Added quotes from Chen and new information about Airbnb case in tenth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson in Washington at egolson1@gmail.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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