12 February 2021

O'Melveny makes raft of leadership changes across departments, practice groups

Portraits of Eric Richards and Apalla Chopra

Eric Richards and Apalla Chopra

Apalla Chopra named litigation co-chair, Eric Richards becomes corporate co-chair; second vice chair also appointed

O’Melveny & Myers has shaken up its leadership team with a host of fresh appointments across the firm’s departments, practice groups and global offices.

Among those taking up new roles include Apalla Chopra, who has been named co-chair of its litigation department, and Eric Richards, who becomes corporate co-chair. They replace Randy Oppenheimer and Warren Lazarow respectively, both of whom are stepping up to the firm’s executive committee after roughly a decade as department heads – longer than any chairs in the firm’s history. Chopra will co-chair alongside Rich Goetz while Richards will serve alongside Brophy Christensen.

Los Angeles-based Chopra has been with the firm for more than 28 years and specialises in litigating class action discrimination and wage and hour cases on behalf of employers. She co-chair of the firm's labor and employment practice, leads the its colleges and universities industry Group and is a member of its policy committee. 

Richards is also based in O’Melveny’s LA headquarters and has 32 years at the firm under his belt. He specialists in project finance and infrastructure investment and development.

Bradley Butwin, chair of O’Melveny, said: “Our commitment to identifying important and challenging opportunities for our people to grow as leaders is one of the things that makes O’Melveny so special. We all benefit when more of our partners have the chance to take on management responsibilities. And we are blessed to have so many talented colleagues with leadership qualities ready to answer the call.”

He added: “Apalla and Eric are among the most widely recognised, highly decorated lawyers in their respective fields. They are models of client service and firm citizenship who will bring enormous talent, energy and drive to these crucial roles.”

Butwin was re-elected as chair of the firm for a third term last May, keeping him in the top seat until 2025. As part of the changes announced by the firm this week, he is getting a second deputy, with chair of O’Melveny’s trials practice, Dan Petrocelli, stepping up to join Mark Samuels in a newly created second vice chair position.

Other changes across the firm’s practice groups include Eric Amudursky, who becomes co-chair of labour and employment; Michael Hamilton, who becomes chair of project development and real estate; Pamela Miller, who becomes co-chair of financial services; and Sabrina Strong, who becomes co-chair of product liability and mass torts.

The firm has also made leadership changes in three offices, naming Madhu Pocha managing partner in Century City, Courtney Dyer managing partner in Washington DC and Nima Amini managing partner in Hong Kong. 

Entertainment and media corporate practice head and Hollywood dealmaker Bruce Tobey is also stepping down from his leadership role, replaced by a trio of new leaders: Molly Lens, Irwin Raij and Amy Siegel.

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