James C. Olson


James C. Olson, an esteemed nationally known lawyer and advisor, is a Senior Partner with the California law firm Joseph, Cohen & Del Vecchio and has over 40 years of experience.

Mr. Olson’s expertise includes significant banking and financial services industry mergers and transactional experience, federal and state regulatory matters as well as extensive skill in corporate governance, commercial and corporate debt and equity finance, syndicated credit facilities, treasury matters, derivatives and other complex financial transactions. He regularly advises large and emerging business clients, non-profit organizations, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and, more recently, various market participants in fintech and money transmitter matters, including new payment systems and lending platforms.

Some of the numerous representative matters handled by Mr. Olson include:

  • Representing a major US bank holding company in the sale of its securities underwriting and brokerage subsidiary
  • Representing a major US bank holding company in ten separate transactions in five states covering the divestiture of $11 billion in assets and liabilities for antitrust purposes
  • Representing a leading private equity fund in establishing and licensing a credit fund in California
  • Representing one of the world’s largest computer companies and its finance subsidiary in state regulatory and licensing matters on a nationwide basis
  • Representing a major payments provider in money transmitter regulatory matters in California and other states
  • Representing a liquid natural gas company in a $100 million delayed draw term credit facility with a major international bank
  • Representing a regional bank holding company in establishing one of the first special purpose credit card banks
  • Representing a major solar energy manufacturer and distribution company in a $1 billion syndicated letter of credit facility
  • Representing a major Australian manufacturing company in a $95 million institutional private placement of senior notes in the United States
  • Representing a major foreign bank in providing $40 million in funding to finance the hostile bid and acquisition of a domestic manufacturing company

Prior to joining Joseph, Cohen & Del Vecchio, Mr. Olson served as a Partner and Of Counsel at Jones Day, one of the largest law firms in the world. There, he advised clients in the banking, technology, solar and agribusiness sectors.

Mr. Olson has also long been active in the non-profit world having been a director and legal counsel to the United Way Bay Area for over 20 years. Most recently, he was the Vice Chair of the United Way Board.  For the last 10 years, Olson has been on the Board and is now Board Chair of HomeBase, The Center for Common Concerns, in San Francisco, which is a national nonprofit working at the state and national level to support communities in responding to homelessness through a team of 50 public policy lawyers and analysts.

Prior to his tenure at Jones Day, Mr. Olson was a Shareholder at Heller Ehrman, LLP, where he held various leadership positions, including Co-Chair of the Corporate Finance and Financial Services Groups and Co-Chair of the San Francisco Business Department, and represented clients in financing, M&A and cross border matters. He worked with clients in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and was a leader in developing and expanding their Asian practice.

Mr. Olson was also a Partner at Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP) in the San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles offices. There he headed the financial institutions and banking practice.

Mr. Olson is a frequent lecturer and author on corporate finance and international finance topics. Mr. Olson is a member of the American Bar Association (Banking Law and Commercial Finance Committees), California Lawyers Association (Member Section on Business Law), Financial Lawyers Conference, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1979.  He received a B.A. in Government and Law at Lafayette College in 1976, where he earned a place on the Dean’s List.

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