With an unparalleled depth of insight, Michael O’Connor guides clients through every step of complex settlement administration programs for both class actions and mass torts. A former practicing attorney, with class action trial experience, Mr. O’Connor’s holistic approach touches upon all aspects of strategy, communication and process.
Prior to joining Western Alliance, Mr. O’Connor started his career practicing law for 13 years. As a partner at a 110-attorney firm, his practice focused on helping clients resolve business, employment and commercial litigation disputes. He also conducted internal investigations for companies facing criminal sanctions and corresponding civil litigation, with significant experience in antitrust matters such as JLM International, Inc. v. Stolt-Nielsen SA and In re Puerto Rican Cabotage Antitrust Litigation. Mr. O’Connor is a seasoned class action trial lawyer and played a key role in his firm’s representation of a major fast food chain in one of the largest and most complex wage and hour class actions in Oregon state court history (Bravo and Galambos v. Taco Bell Corp.).
Mr. O’Connor spent the next 12 years of his career in leadership positions at a large class action and mass tort settlement administrator, overseeing contracts with the United States Federal Government, including the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. His time in settlement administration was highlighted by his oversight of: (a) Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, a $1.9 billion disbursement to victims of the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut; (b) In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, a nearly $6 billion settlement brought by all U.S. merchants against Visa and Mastercard; and (c) In re Dicamba Herbicides Litigation, a $300 million mass tort administration brought by soybean producers against Monsanto.
Mr. O’Connor graduated from the University of Oregon Law School (1997), and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Yale University (1994). Based in Washington, D.C., Mr. O’Connor is an active member of the Oregon State Bar Association and the Multnomah Bar Association.
Western Alliance Settlement Services, a national banking group within Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, specializes in banking for law firms, claims administrators and related businesses managing class action, mass tort and bankruptcy settlements across the country. Relationship bankers bring clients years of experience and offer outstanding service to support all phases of the settlement process, from escrow to distribution, with a single point of contact. As part of $65 billion Western Alliance Bancorporation — ranked #1 top-performing large bank with assets greater than $50 billion in 2021 by both American Banker and Bank Director — the Settlement Services group has the reach, resources and deep industry knowledge that make a difference for customers.