Miranda Kane, Munger Tolles & Olson
Miranda Kane, Munger Tolles & Olson (Jason Doiy)

SAN FRANCISCO — Miranda Kane, the former Criminal Division chief in the Northern District U.S. attorney’s office, joined Munger, Tolles & Olson’s San Francisco office as of counsel on Tuesday.

She plans to carve out a broad white collar practice, with a focus on internal investigations, antitrust, trade secrets and securities. Kane said in an interview that she was drawn to Munger because of its relatively small size and culture of consensus-building.

“It’s so clear that all of the attorneys respect one another, whether they’re first year associates or long-standing, rain-making partners,” she said. “There doesn’t seem to be that sort of ugly hierarchy that can sometimes get in the way.”

Last June, Kane stepped down from her post leading criminal prosecutions for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of California. She gave up her solo practice in 2010 to join newly appointed U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, with whom she had worked in the U.S. attorney’s office from the mid-1990s until 2003.

In two and a half years as criminal chief, Kane reorganized the division and implemented a training program. Though she oversaw the work of more than 80 assistant U.S. attorneys, Kane said she missed practicing herself.

“I didn’t feel like I had taken my last breath as an active, practicing attorney,” she said.

Kane said she expects her strong ties to law enforcement and the court to pay dividends in her work at Munger.

“If you practice with integrity, those groups that you forged relationships with are still going to respect you as a lawyer even if they’re sitting across the table from you,” she said.

She is Munger’s second high-profile addition in recent months, following partner Jeffrey Bleich, who returned to the firm after four years as U.S. ambassador to Australia.

“Miranda is among the most respected lawyers in the region whose unique insight and perspective about the federal and state systems will be of tremendous value to our clients locally and around the world,” Bleich said in a statement.

Contact the reporter at jlove@alm.com.