John F. Olson, a 1964 honors graduate of the Harvard Law School, is a founding partner of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Olson has extensive experience in general representation of business organizations as to corporate governance, corporate securities, corporate finance and merger and acquisition matters. He has counseled many boards of directors and board committees on governance issues and in assessing shareholder litigation, responding to business combination proposals and conducting internal investigations. He also has represented firms and individuals in defense of Securities and Exchange Commission and other governmental investigations.
In the American Bar Association (ABA), Mr. Olson served for five years (2000 - 2005) as Chairman of the Business Law Section's Committee on Corporate Governance, and was also a member of the Presidential Task Force on Corporate Responsibility appointed by the President of the ABA. Previously, he was Chairman of the ABA's Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities (1991-1995). He is a member of the Executive Council of the Securities Committee of the Federal Bar Association.
For the ABA, Mr. Olson has also chaired the Task Force on Regulation of Insider Trading, which produced a comprehensive analysis of and report on U.S. insider trading law, and he chaired the Task Force which has produced the third (2001) and fourth (2004) editions of The Corporate Director's Guidebook. He served for nine years on the Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange and was a member of the Legal Advisory Board of the National Association of Securities Dealers. He was a Founding Trustee of the American College of Investment Counsel. In 1987, he served on a select committee of leading securities lawyers, appointed by the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which drafted insider trading legislation introduced in the United States Congress.
In 2006, Mr. Olson led a team of the firms lawyers which advised the Board of the American Red Cross on a comprehensive audit of it's governance practices.
Mr. Olson has been named by the International Financial Law Review as a Leading Lawyer in US Mergers & Acquisitions and is listed in the 2007 Who's Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers by Who's Who Legal. He is also ranked one of the top four securities advisory attorneys in the District of Columbia by Chambers USA America's Leading Business Lawyers 2006. In 2005, he was named one of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon and as one of the leading corporate governance practitioners in the world by both Legal Media Group and Who's Who Legal. He has been listed in the guide The Best Lawyers in America for corporate and securities work for more than twenty years. In 2004, Mr. Olson was identified by Legal Times as one of the "10 Leading Securities Attorneys" in Washington, D.C.
A frequent lecturer at legal and business seminars, Mr. Olson co-chairs various seminars on an annual basis. He is on the planning committee for the San Diego Securities Regulation Institute and the advisory committee for the Practising Law Institute's Annual Securities Regulation Institute. He is the author of more than 100 articles and a member of the editorial advisory boards for a variety of securities and corporate law publications. Mr. Olson is the co-author of Director and Officer Liability: Indemnification and Insurance, published by West Publishing (revised 2002) and has edited several other books on securities law issues. Mr. Olson was the Distinguished Visiting Practitioner in Residence at Cornell Law School in Spring 2003 and from 2005 through 2007 taught corporate governance at Northwestern University School of Law. He is currently the Distinguished Visitor from Practice at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching an advanced seminar in securities regulation and a seminar on governance of non-profit organizations.
Mr. Olson serves on the Board of Directors of the Frederick B. Abramson Memorial Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides scholarships for disadvantaged high school graduates going on to college and fellowships for law school graduates who accept non-profit public interest positions and is a board member of the Washington Performing Arts Society.
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