Gibson Dunn's Olson is new US Solicitor General

The US Senate has confirmed Gibson Dunn & Crutcher partner Theodore Olson as the 42nd Solicitor General of the US.

His tenure begins today (11 June) and news of his appointment has already sent commentators in the US into a frenzy.`Olson is most widely known as President Bush's representative in the US Supreme Court Bush v Gore case, which effectively determined the outcome of last year's election. He is known as one of the country's most formidable appellate litigators.`Olson's relationship with the Republican Party can be traced back to the 1970s, when he worked in Gibson Dunn's Los Angeles office. He worked with William French Smith, who became the first Attorney General in the Reagan administration, and Kenneth Starr, Bill Clinton's nemesis in the Whitewater investigations.`Gibson Dunn's managing partner Wes Howell said: “He continues in the tradition of so many Gibson Dunn lawyers who have been selected to serve their country in the highest legal positions.”`Operating out of the firm's Washington DC office, Olson focuses his practice on constitutional law, appellate litigation and federal legislation.`Olson said: “I'm deeply honoured to have been selected by President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft to serve as Solicitor General.”`Howell added: “Ted's a terrific lawyer. His departure will be a loss to the firm and a benefit to the country.”`But Olson will have to win over a more ambivalent public and press if he is to enjoy an effective term as Solicitor General.