Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced today that former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, a long-time luminary in the state’s legal and political arenas, has joined the Los Angeles office as counsel in the Government & Global Trade practice. Previously, he was of counsel with Dewey & LeBoeuf in Los Angeles.

“With a long and distinguished career in public service spanning more than 30 years plus 20 years in private practice, John is known statewide as a ‘lawyer’s lawyer’ who is widely respected for his wisdom, experience and integrity,” said Philip R. Recht, co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Government & Global Trade practice and partner-in-charge of the firm’s Los Angeles office. “He brings to the firm unique capabilities in advising government and non-profit entities on political and internal matters. His wise counsel, combined with his proven skills in arbitration and mediation, will benefit clients in Los Angeles and across the globe. And with his arrival, Mayer Brown now can offer clients the counsel of two former state attorneys general, the other being long-time partner and former Mayer Brown Chairman Tyrone C. Fahner.”

Mr. Van de Kamp’s governmental career has included serving as: US Attorney for the Central District of California; Director of the Executive Office for US Attorneys in Washington, DC; the Central District’s first Federal Public Defender; two terms as Los Angeles County District Attorney; and two terms as California Attorney General.
He transitioned to private practice in 1991, when he joined Dewey Ballantine (now Dewey & LeBoeuf). He served as chair of that firm’s litigation department, and over the years has been involved in litigation ranging from insurance disputes to the representation of the Sultan of Brunei. Mr. Van de Kamp also has extensive experience as an arbitrator and mediator, working with alternative dispute resolution organizations including the Arbitration Administration Association. In 2007, he was appointed by the California Attorney General as its Monitor of the Getty Trust. He currently serves as the Independent Reform Monitor for the City of Vernon, California.

“Mayer Brown’s global platform and depth of involvement in government matters make it the perfect place for me to apply my knowledge gained from serving in various governmental positions, as well as my experience as a business arbitrator and mediator, to a broad range of client challenges,” said Mr. Van de Kamp. “I look forward to contributing to the continued growth of the firm’s Government & Global Trade practice.”

Mr. Van de Kamp has been involved with legal organizations throughout his career. He has served as Chairman of the California Commission of the Fair Administration of Justice and was a member of the ABA Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions. In addition, Mr. Van de Kamp was President of the State Bar of California from 2004 to 2005.

“Through an association spanning several decades, John and I have worked effectively together on a wide range of matters to benefit the citizens of California,” said Michael (Mickey) Kantor, a partner in Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office and former US Secretary of Commerce and US Trade Representative in the Clinton Administration. “I am delighted that we will be working together again to benefit clients on various issues around the world.”

Mr. Van de Kamp earned a JD from Stanford Law School and received a BA from Dartmouth College.