Wesley T.L. Burrell

Wesley T.L. Burrell

Wesley T.L. Burrell is a complex commercial litigator and financial services partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Wes’ practice spans a broad range of high-profile litigation matters concerning complex, and novel issues. He specializes in intellectual property and finance-related litigation with extensive experience resolving clients’ most sensitive and important matters in both federal and state courts from coast to coast and in alternative forums such as arbitration and mediation. Wes has successfully advised clients at all stages of litigation, from pre-complaint assessment to and through verdict at trial. His representations have focused particularly on corporations and their officers and directors in cases involving complex financial products, intellectual property rights and protection, finance-related matters such as disputes arising from private equity and venture capital investments, fiduciary duties, securities law issues, and general complex commercial litigation.

He also maintains an active pro bono practice seeking justice for the most vulnerable, successfully representing clients ranging from community development organizations whose mission is to provide low-income housing to the city’s most at risk tenants to asylum seekers and domestic human trafficking victims in civil litigation against their former enslavers and traffickers. Wes also won a significant victory defending the city of Manhattan Beach’s decision to return the historic Bruce’s Beach property to its rightful owners, the Bruce family heirs, remediating a hundred-year old injustice.   

Before embarking on his legal career, Wes worked in the entertainment industry as a writer, producer, and film distributor who also created, obtained grants for, and then directed non-profit arts and education programming for underserved youth through the Salvation Army.


Some representative matters recently handled by Wes include:

Financial Services, Securities, and Investor Disputes

  • Bank of America and Wells Fargo in numerous mortgage-backed securities-related cases brought by institutional investors on class and non-class bases in federal and state courts in New York, California, and Ohio. The cases have involved federal and state law securities claims, common law fraud and other tort claims, breach of contract claims, and Trust Indenture Act claims. Many of these cases were dismissed at the pleading stage or on summary judgment, others were dismissed in part, and still others have resolved on very favorable terms. 
  • Wells Fargo as a defendant in cases arising from Wells Fargo’s role as trustee of various trusts, including in cases alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and other claims.
  • Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. in a dispute among investors in a high-growth startup concerning the elimination of preferred rights and restructuring of the distribution waterfall.  Resolved on very favorable terms.
  • A prominent tech venture capital firm and two of its co-founders in an arbitration brought by a former partner alleging claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty resulting from his expulsion and loss of carried interest. Favorably resolved after multi-day trial.

Complex Civil Litigation

  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) as trial counsel in multi-plaintiff, multibillion-dollar cases arising out of wildfires that devastated much of Northern California.
  • A major transportation company in a nationwide MDL proceeding involving anti-trust claims of price fixing. 

Intellectual Property and Data Protection

  • Pluto, Inc. (now part of Paramount) and its founder and CEO in providing advice concerning internet privacy requirements and information rights under COPPA, the CDA, and copyright.
  • The Life is Beautiful Music Festival in a trademark and copyright infringement suit brought by artist and provocateur “Mr. Brainwash,” succeeded in defending, on appeal, a grant of summary judgment in our favor and the corresponding $1 million fee award.
  • An early-stage technology investor in a dispute with a former employee over the employee’s misappropriation of confidential information and the subsequent reduction of that employee’s right to receive carried interest.
  • Multinational music publishing company in a dispute alleging joint copyright ownership of the posthumous release from a major recording artist.
  • A virtual-reality software firm in providing trademark advice for developing brands.

Pro Bono

  • Amici brief combatting Florida’s Individual Freedom Act (née the “Stop WOKE” Act) on behalf of multiple businesses and associations to combat unconstitutional provisions of Florida’s “Stop WOKE” act that would muzzle businesses and violate employers’ first amendment right to train their employees on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Successfully defended the return of Bruce’s Beach to the heirs of Willa and Charles Bruce against a taxpayer action that sought on state and federal constitutional grounds to prevent Los Angeles County from returning beachfront property to the family, which had been taken from them 100 years earlier in a racially motivated and unconstitutional condemnation. In 2021, the State Legislature and the County both voted to facilitate the return of Bruce’s Beach to the Bruces’ heirs.
  • Successfully sued human traffickers under California’s Trafficking Victims Protection Act in a civil suit on behalf of their victim, resulting in a large monetary settlement.